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At First Light - part two

I used very dilute acrylics (Golden Heavy Body Artist Acrylics) to add color to pieces of silk habotai and dupioni.  Painting rather than dying allows for some patterning techniques that I really love.  Since the particles of pigment float above the surface of the fabric rather than chemically bond to the fibers, you can manipulate the results quite a bit as the fabric dries.  I like Golden's acrylics the best because of their high pigment content.  What follows are some samples from last week's painting session.

Salt printing:
While the fabric is still wet, sprinkle the top with salt.  Experiment with fine,coarse, kosher, and even larger crystals.  Place the fabric outside in strong sunlight and let the heat do its thing.  What happens is that the salt is hydrophilic, and it draws the moisture towards it as the fabric dries, which moves the paint along with it.  That's where the wonderful patterns come from as the paint moves and dries.  It's an unpredictable technique, but sooooo pretty most of the time.

Sunprint with aquarium glass

Sunprint with cheesecloth

Sun printing:
While the fabric is still wet, position it outdoors in strong direct sunlight.  Place objects that you want to print on top of the fabric and protect them from wind, birds, and other annoyances.  The sunlight will cause a ghostly image to appear underneath the objects as the fabric dries. What happens is that the unshaded portions of fabric dry more quickly, wicking moisture from underneath the shading objects.  Paint moves along with the water and causes the fainter image to appear.  Some paint colors work better than others, you will find.

Playing with intensity and saturation:
I wanted quite a few pieces that were low intensity colors, muted pastels, just short of being muddy.  Why?  Because when you then place a vibrant highly saturated bit of color next to them, the area where they touch seems luminous.  My aim was to get the look of an early morning dawn sky.


Golden Heavy Body Artist Acrylics 2 oz

Next week the quilt layout!
Part one
Part two
Part three
Part four

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Copyright 2011 Cyndi Lavin. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.


Wow, gorgeous! It makes me really want to give this a try!
Sandy said…
Great Fabrics-I love the effects you were able to get. I use Golden too. Our sun printing is over until next summer. Thanks for commenting on my blog.
I love the effect you got with salt and thanks for the explanation.