Friday, January 22, 2016

Art Party - Fabric Painting on Aprons

My Completed Apron
My hand dye painted fabric is so colourful, it will be good to have a neutral apron for the Vendor Markets.

Preparing Ahead:

Sew or purchase aprons ahead for the amount of people you want to invite.

Have extra material available:
- for a test piece to start ie 18" square
-in case someone gets their apron done early

Gather supplies needed for fabric painting and provide adequate space for placing materials to share. Don't forget to cover your tables with protective material.

Provide fabric paints. These are ready to use.

Keep acrylic paints separate as equal amounts of the fabric printing medium (Golden GAC 900) will need to be added to make the acrylic into permanent fabric paint. 

Provide a place for your pet and some toys. If your dog is like mine, they are going to want to be in the action.

A tea and snack station is nice.

Tables for participants and their materials ready ahead of time allows everyone to start right away.

 Starting the test pieces:

A bonus of fabric stamping with others is they bring their stamps to share. Look at this beauty carved from a large eraser. Oh yea this was carved by the participant's spouse. Hmmm, how nice is that!
All could be made into something useful: colourful linings, tote bags, wrapping material, adhering to heavy paper for making into bookmark or boxes....and the list goes on.
There may be some highlighting that is going to be done to this piece yet but I love it as it is.

One person brought beige jersey fabric for stamping, later to be sewn into garments.

A harmonious colour scheme with the neutral white and black gives cohesiveness to a sampler. 
A blue blob that started this test piece simply becomes part of the background. The stamps are all of a natural nature creating a theme to the sample.

 Getting into painting on the aprons (after a cup of tea that is):

Starting on dampened fabric. Applying paint with a nylon dish scrubber - the things you learn from others.

Working in black and white. The pocket was stamped separately to create design element.

A completed apron. The stamps were dabbed off on a paper before applying, leaving a beautifully muted appearance.

This apron was built up in successive layers with each layer getting a little stronger colour. Some of the stamps were from Art Foamies, a local company that I can highly recommend. 
The newsprint sheet this participant tested her stamps on becomes wrapping paper.
After drying overnight all fabric must be heat set either in the drier or by ironing. Follow the instructions on your painting mediums.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

New Year, New Techniques: Mark Making in Ink and Heavy Thread

Mark Making in Watercolour:
A new year inspires one to try new things. So at drawing session, I've been using a dip pen with acrylic ink. It dries fast and if I am quick I can add some values in watercolour. The poses last from a minute, at warm up, to about 20 minutes for the longer seated poses so there is no time to get too fussy. It forces you to make decisions about what you will include in your drawing and what you don't have time for.

 With having to dip the pen to replenish the ink, it causes a sketchy look. I find because I work with textiles, when I am painting I am often focused on depicting the fabrics. This chiffon skirt below, draped marvelously and the dots were spell binding. The colour in the background was from a commissioned watercolour I started but abandoned as the composition wasn't to my liking. It could be an interesting start for some added watercolour paint. 

 Look at those side buttons on that jumper. Who could resist focusing on those? Notice I was using fuchsia ink. Feeling colourful that day I guess.

In summary, I like the combination of the ink and watercolour. The acrylic ink which dries quickly seems more suited to this technique than India Ink which I have found has a tendency to bleed. 

 Mark Making with Thread:

When free motion stitching on my hand (dye) painted fabrics I generally use a regular weight polyester thread. Out of the blue I decided to try a heavier weight in the upper thread. The bobbin thread remained the same regular weight thread. I did need to adjust the thread tension slightly. The thread line is NOT smooth (likely due to the differences in thread weights between the bobbin and upper thread) but I like the textural nature of the line.

Cherry tree in Bloom using a heavier weight thread.

Who is peaking out the screen door?

More wrought iron and a hanging basket.

For my friends in Yuma, "Is this the gate to your yard?"

This heavier thread weight worked really well for these flowers.

Something for the recycle bin. Too much of a contrast between the heavy black line of the thread and the light value of the hand dyed fabric for my liking.   
In summary, I think the heavier weight thread suits the more organic images but when thread painting buildings, for instance, I prefer the standard weight sewing thread. Also consider using a lighter thread when the dyed fabric is of a light value.