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View Full Version : Silk Painting WIP- SLOW !


lisilk
04-23-2004, 03:50 PM
Hello,

Since a number of folks have inquired as to how I do my particular brand of silk painting, I decided to show you the steps I go through. I want to also encourage more of you who have not shared how you get from A to Z to show your process steps in WIP's so beginner's can learn. ( I am hoping Jacki will see this and do a WIP on her much looser, abstract way of painting silk ! )

This is Charmuese silk 15 X 60. You'll see it from start to finish. The technique I use is called " gutta serti " which basically translates to linear resist. All questions and crits encouraged.

This will become a fantasy scene ( big surprise ) based on the 4 seasons. Each season will contain a creature- fairy, elf, wizard, etc. representing one of the 4 elements : earth, fire, air/ wind, and water.

Photo's :

# 1 Materials- French acid dyes, Gutta resist ( solvent based latex, ) rubbing alcohol, table salt, vanishing fabric marker, Chinese hooks ( blue plastic things with 3 razor sharp bent needles attached with rubber bands, ) plastic squeeze bottle with metal tip.

# 2 Pine frame is home made. There are commercial versions available but I'm cheap. When stretching the silk, you secure one end, then the other, then work toward the center ( the opposite of stretching a canvas. )

# 3 Close up of the Chinese hooks.

# 4 I begin with a very ( VERY ) loose sketch using the vanishing markers ( the purple lines.) There is no point in doing an elaborate, well thought out composition because by the time you got to it, it would be gone. Thus the name. The lines from vanishing fabric markers disappear in 12 to 24 hours depending on humidity. The wetter you are, the faster they go.

I then start painting very thin lines of dye to delineate all of the elements in the painting. I shade these the same as you would do in any other form of painting. Because dyes flow and bleed, each line is then re- drawn with the resist. Basically, you do everything twice to seal the lines. I am never married to the sketch. I keep it flexible because it never ends as I thought it would.

# 5 Close up of covering the dye with thin line of resist. It's important to check the back of the silk after the gutta is applied and reinforce any place where the line looks broken. It's visible to the naked eye if there is a break.

More to come. It's a slow process so have patience ! LOL. Thanks for looking.

Li

Gingerbiscuit
04-23-2004, 05:05 PM
Li, this is fascinating. I've done a bit of basic silk painting before, making cards. But nothing like this!! I will be watching with baited breath!

Thanks for taking the trouble to share this with us! :)

somk
04-23-2004, 05:14 PM
Wow... Till you're done, it's official, I will live in that thread :D
*grabs pillows, cookies and tea*

Barrie
04-23-2004, 05:34 PM
This is fascinating!!! And a great idea to! I'll do a WIP of my next project - when I get to it! <snicker, snicker> Ooh, wait!! I'll do a WIP of the Collaboration projects I'm doing for Mary!! Perfect! In the meantime, Li, I am really looking forward to this process!!!

<grabbing my own tea, cookies, and fluffing up my pillows!!>

Gingerbiscuit
04-23-2004, 05:39 PM
That's a great idea Barrie. Looking forward to seeing what you do!!

Also reaching for pillows and cookies (aka biscuits here) :)

Rose Queen
04-23-2004, 07:21 PM
Li, you need to turn this into a tutorial!!



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GardensOnGlass
04-23-2004, 08:02 PM
Li, how incredibly fascinating. I'm looking forward to seeing all of the steps.

artbabe21
04-24-2004, 09:21 PM
Li!! I'm in for the ride....thanks for doing this....OMG, but it's HUGE! How long have you been doing this & is it your primary medium?? :)

lisilk
04-24-2004, 11:29 PM
Ahhhem...Do I get any of those cookies you all are passing around ?

Thank you Lynne, Somk, Barrie, Rose Queen ( aren't you in Tibet ??? ) Lori, and Cath for your interest. Barrie, I look forward to your WIP's. Cath, at this point silk painting is my primary medium. I discovered it about 9 years ago but kept working as a chef until about 4- 5 years ago. I do also work in other mediums but this one pays the bills...sometimes.
...................................................................................................
The technique I mentioned , " gutta seti" can be very slow and tedious in the beginning of a painting. Everthing is drawn, line underpainted, then covered with gutta and painted again. Unlike some mediums, it is built front to back ; foreground first, middle ground, background. The foreground takes about 2/3 of the time, then it fills quickly from there.

Starting on the left 1/4 with Summer and the earth fairy.

Phto's:

# 1 Beginning the line underpainting. Shaded dye lines covered with gutta.

# 2 Beginning the underpainting. Everything is painted in a very pale version of it's local color. After this dries, I will use gutta to texture the subject: veins on the leaves, bark, petals, etc. Then I repaint each area with the true colors in darker tones. That's what gives it depth.

# 3 Leaks, happens to the best of us and I'm just getting started ! Each place you see a leak, the resist will need to be reinforced on the back. Rubbing alcohol is then used to " corral" the leak and pick up excess dye ( with q- tip.)

# 4 Stages of a leaf. Here you can see all 4 stages that each piece goes through.

I had a catering job ( from home ) eariler so did not get far. I will post more tonight.

Thanks for following my slow poke process. :D

Li

McDuck
04-24-2004, 11:47 PM
Oh Li this is very interesting to watch as you work through the process of your beautiful silk scarf! I cant wait to see the finished product! And now I know how to do it. :rolleyes: All I need is time! Thank you for sharing, Mary

Gingerbiscuit
04-25-2004, 04:11 AM
Ahhhem...Do I get any of those cookies you all are passing around ?

Thanks for following my slow poke process. :D

Li

No, THANK YOU!! This is fascinating. Passing a plate of cookies. Cocolate chip ok???

beclectic
04-25-2004, 10:40 AM
Li, this is fascinating. I love your style, BTW. I've been following the WIP from the beginning. Thanks for sharing this with us. Since this consists of 4 panels are you working on one at a time from start to finish or are the other panels being brought along at the same rate?

gypsysoul
04-25-2004, 10:47 AM
Li, I am always so in awe of work like this! Thank you so much for sharing the process. I've seen it done before, but I certainly never tire of seeing more, more, more! :D

Paula

somk
04-25-2004, 11:50 AM
This is the next best thing since sliced bread :D Keep'em coming Lilsilk, it's going to be a beautiful scarf btw :)
*passing the cookie plate*

Alan Cross
04-25-2004, 11:59 AM
Very cool Li thanks for doing this.....
Alan :)

WillowMajestic
04-25-2004, 03:03 PM
What a trip, Li! :D

THANK YOU for letting us join you on this adventure :clap:

Kari

toozygoot
04-26-2004, 02:14 PM
Li - thanks for taking the time to show what goes into making your work. The design is enchanting! I think I may have asked before but where do you sell your work? I love the way the frame works. Where do you find such frames? Have you ever done any designs based on L. C. Tiffany's work. When I saw the leaves on your piece it made me think of his "Apple Blossoms" which I have always liked and another famous piece that has a portal effect. I think if I were ever to try this form of art - not likely at this stage of life's game - I would turn to his work for design and color inspiration. I am amazed at the detail in this piece of yours. I can't wait to see it's completion.

pat

lisilk
04-26-2004, 05:08 PM
Where in the heck did all of you come from ?? LOL. I never got an email notice ! I'm chugging along, have not had as much time as I would have liked and it's turning out to be far more complicated than I realized as I've never attempted this composition before.

Thanks Mary, Lynne, Barbara, Paula, Somk ( LOL- Thanks for the cookies ! ,) Alan , Kari, and Pat for following along.

Barbara- It's one panel with 4 seasons. It will make more sense when you see the new photo's.

Pat- I build my own pine frames because I'm cheap ! However, commercial adjustable frames made with pvc pipe ( and everything else for silk ) are available at www.dharmatrading.com . I try not to look at other peoples work when doing these ( though I love Tiffany.) I have enough in my head already. LOL. When held against the light, silks do have a look of stained glass.

Here's the ever so slow update. Beginning transition from summer to fall ( fall's element will be fire elf. - Don't ask. LOL.)

Thanks again for sticking with me !

Li

P.S. Pat- I hope to have a website soon.

toozygoot
04-26-2004, 05:15 PM
WOW! I just can't believe the detail and your trees actually look dimensional rather than flat! I'm loving this WIP thread!

pat

Shirley C.
04-26-2004, 05:22 PM
li, you're taking us on such a wonderful journey! thanks for sharing your process and holy cow, you have a LOT of patience! this piece is going to be really lovely, can't wait to see more!

Charlee
04-26-2004, 05:50 PM
Oooh glad this got bumped up! Li, this is beyond cool. I am so thrilled to watch you work! :clap: :clap:

I brought hummus & pita bread, so someone open a window - got carried away with the garlic. :evil:

Charlee

beclectic
04-26-2004, 06:39 PM
That transition is just :::gasp::: brillient. I'm loving it, and of course, coveting it already. This is going to be one dynamite scarf.

artbabe21
04-27-2004, 12:07 AM
Absolutey lovely! What a LOT of detail.......OMG!! :clap: :clap: :clap:

WillowMajestic
04-27-2004, 02:15 AM
Love it, love it, love it!! :clap:

Kari

diane555
04-27-2004, 06:27 AM
Li...this is wonderful :clap:

I hope that you will turn this into an article for WC! I can't wait to see this finished. Great imagination! Dharma Trading is a good place to spend too much money :D One of their reps came to the quilters guild I used to belong to in Canada...if you weren't addicted to dying before that you certainly were after! LOL Beautiful work Li and thank you for posting all the pics.

Di

Beads-Me!
04-27-2004, 08:36 AM
Wow! I am amazed! Way too cool Li.....

toozygoot
04-27-2004, 12:47 PM
OK! I've bookmarked the DharmaTrading site and I have a question. Maybe this is the wrong place to ask but I love the marble look and was wondering if you could use these materials on watercolor paper or would that not be a good idea. I love marbled paper!

pat

artbabe21
04-27-2004, 12:54 PM
I love marbled paper!


Pat...I don't know the answer to your question but I love marbled paper too.
There is or was a thread on it in mixed media forum you might want to look at.
:D

lisilk
04-30-2004, 05:31 AM
Sorry about the delay. We have major wildfires threatening our town the last few days and we've all been out clearing brush. This is becoming the scarf that wouldn't die. LOL.

Here's the update.

Detail and transition from fall to winter. Winter element is air/ wind. ( Fall was fire .)

Thanks Pat, Shirley, Charlee, Barbara, Cath, Di, Kari, and Nancy for hanging in.

lisilk
04-30-2004, 05:33 AM

beclectic
04-30-2004, 09:58 AM
Another beautiful transition. Was your fall fairy perhaps inspired by your recent experience with the wild fires. I see it is also burning off brush to keep the forest safe. Is the winter fairy based on an old man winter idea? Looking forward to seeing what you do with spring. This is going to be so beautiful it is already soooo impressive and I realize that it is still a long way from finished.

sassybird
04-30-2004, 10:02 AM
Li, this is fascinating. I have painted on fabric, used bleach with a resist, but I have never done anything like this. I can just imagine how long this must take. How do you ever get enough together for a show?

Gingerbiscuit
04-30-2004, 11:09 AM
Li, this is soooo gorgeous. And what a wonderful opportunity for us to see your work in stages like this. FANTASTIC!! :clap: :clap: :clap: :)

Charlee
04-30-2004, 11:14 AM
OMG Li, it just gets better and better. The Winter fairy is perfect. :)

Charlee

gypsysoul
04-30-2004, 11:16 AM
Li, your work is amazing! :clap: Thanks so much for sharing it as you progress. I love the trees!

mistymade
04-30-2004, 11:23 AM
WOW!!! This is so cool to watch! Thank you so much for sharing this!!!

flynfire
04-30-2004, 02:57 PM
Li, I was in a shop a few days ago and the owner showed me some hand painted silk scarves she sells for a friend of hers. I had to nod politely and say, "Isn't that lovely" (it's a small town.) But of course I was thinking, "THAT's no Li scarf!" I was surprised by the new addition. It just keeps getting better and better.

lisilk
05-01-2004, 08:07 PM
Thank you Barbara, Charissa, Lynne, Charlee, Paula, Misty, and Flynfire ( funny ! )

Why yes Barbara, clearing brush from the fires here did inspire the fall fairy. LOL.
Sassy- I NEVER get enough done for a show !

Okay...I should finish this later today. I was going to put in mountains behind the foothills, as we have here, but I am sooooo burned out on this one that I need to let it go !

I still have to do the sky and add the tiny features to the faces. That should go quickly...once I figure out what kind of sky I want. This is always the scary part because the sky will make or break the piece.

.................................................................................................

Can't remember if I mentioned this but it now has a load of resist on it. The resist is slightly yellow and darkens any color under it so you will not see the true colors until it's steamed and dry cleaned to remove all the goop.

In each season, the colors on the trees varies slightly to reflect the changes. I have used salt in the foothills. Salt attracts moisture and thus drags the dyes so you get random patterns that mimic grasses, etc.

Spring's element is water.

The photo's uploaded completely out of order this time so forgive the randomness.

#1 Beginning transition from winter to spring.
#2 Detail of salted area ( wet.)
#3 Detail of water fairy.
#4 Building up Spring.
#5 Transition.

lisilk
05-01-2004, 08:12 PM
Spring and the book I had open to inspire me. (LOL ???? ) The mind is a mysterious critter.

Thanks for following along.

Li

McDuck
05-01-2004, 09:22 PM
Oh Li I lover the fairy! the whole piece will be so lovely when done.

artbabe21
05-01-2004, 10:20 PM
Li......this is coming along SO beautifully! :D Thanks SO much for sharing this
with all of us!!

beclectic
05-01-2004, 10:52 PM
Li, I find your choice of order interesting. I probably would have gone with a more traditional Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter. I like your choice because the green frames the piece, it is the beginning and the end.

I had to laugh with you on your choice of inspiration. I was wondering why the dinosaur book when I looked at the pictures before reading your explanations.

Each addition makes the scarf better and better as I begin to see the scope of your creation.

Are you planning to transition the sky from one season to the other as well as the trees? For instance those high skinny clouds in a clear, clear sky that is so normal in the fall, at least in this part of the country and those lowering all covering snow clouds in the winter when the sky is an even grey from horizon to horizon.

lisilk
05-02-2004, 07:59 PM
Thanks Cath and barbara.

Barbara- Sure wish I read your post before I finished the sky ! LOL. Boy did I screw it up. :( :( :( Skies are extremely difficut when you have to dye around all those trees and leaves. There is always bleed out around the gutta so sky colors have to go darker to cover that. I ruined the whole piece. Arrrrrggggggg. Oh well...on to the next one. :crying:

I am steaming tonight and they should be back from the dry cleaner mid week. I'll post the finish then.

Thanks for commenting everyone.

Li

beclectic
05-02-2004, 08:35 PM
<snip>
Barbara- Sure wish I read your post before I finished the sky ! LOL. Boy did I screw it up. :( :( :( Skies are extremely difficut when you have to dye around all those trees and leaves. There is always bleed out around the gutta so sky colors have to go darker to cover that. I ruined the whole piece. Arrrrrggggggg. Oh well...on to the next one. :crying:

I am steaming tonight and they should be back from the dry cleaner mid week. I'll post the finish then.

Thanks for commenting everyone.

Li

Maybe its not as bad as you think. Didn't you say something about picking up extra color from the back? :::keeping fingers crossed:::

Jet
05-03-2004, 01:01 AM
Li,
i am pleasantly surprised with this type of art ..
see, i'm a photographer since too long ago, and i've done my time in digital arts as well , so i like to stroll around the forums see what's cooking ...
I was amazed at the intrincate process and -oh- grr- the mistakes.
Far too nerve breaking for me !! lol.. but i admire your work and most of all your disposition to teach others, that's got to prevail or knowledge goes down the drain.
I urge artists all the time to share their knowledge, even if that means selling a pamphlet or CD but do it before we die...
There are so many "secrets" having to be rediscovered just for some silly souls that kept that to their grave.

I hope more people follow your example and dedication for your art.

Kudos And Hats Off !!

Regards
:cool:

Gingerbiscuit
05-03-2004, 05:23 AM
Thanks Cath and barbara.

Barbara- Sure wish I read your post before I finished the sky ! LOL. Boy did I screw it up. :( :( :( Skies are extremely difficut when you have to dye around all those trees and leaves. There is always bleed out around the gutta so sky colors have to go darker to cover that. I ruined the whole piece. Arrrrrggggggg. Oh well...on to the next one. :crying:

I am steaming tonight and they should be back from the dry cleaner mid week. I'll post the finish then.

Thanks for commenting everyone.

Li

I'm keeping everythjing crossed that it will be ok when you get it back. :)

gypsysoul
05-03-2004, 10:00 AM
Oh, Li, I'm crossing my fingers with the others that it's not as bad as you think. And even if it turns out to be something other than what you wanted it to be, maybe there will be a section you can salvage and use in another project somehow.

Bill Stephens
06-15-2004, 10:34 PM
Li...

YOU'VE GOT ME HOOKED

This is so cool.

Thank you so much for this. I will be following this one.

lisilk
06-15-2004, 10:40 PM
Li...

YOU'VE GOT ME HOOKED

This is so cool.

Thank you so much for this. I will be following this one.

I'm so embarrassed. I will go photograph the final right NOW !! Back in 20 minutes or so.

lisilk
06-15-2004, 11:23 PM
My apologies for dropping the ball but here it is finished. It did not turn out the way I wanted...did screw up the sky but that's life .I've moved on and done better since. THANK YOU ALL for cheering me on through the whole process.

ARGGGG- Here it is.

Gingerbiscuit
06-16-2004, 04:36 AM
I think it is wonderful! :)

Emjay
06-16-2004, 08:31 AM
Li,
I have been reading this with total facination. What artistry!! And I don't think it's ruined AT ALL. I was envisioning a lighter sky (short vision that I have, huh?), but I love the richness of the darker one with the highlights you chose! Looks SO rich! It's BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Beads-Me!
06-16-2004, 09:16 AM
Li - that is amazing even though the sky is a bit dark! Wow! That is definitely wearable art!!!

artbabe21
06-16-2004, 11:21 AM
Oh...Li! Tis' quite beautiful and looks beautiful to mine eyes! :)

McDuck
06-16-2004, 11:44 AM
Li-
Thank you so much for sharing the process with us. I think it is just lovely! ANd i can see how the dinosaur book gave you inspiration, just look at that big boy and your trees!
Hugs,
Mary

Hiway
06-16-2004, 12:13 PM
Just beautiful, Li.....

I have a feeling that the sky is darker than you would have wished for.... but, as Jean stated, the tones are so rich. They add a jewel-like quality to the piece.

I love it.

Watching this work evolve has been such a treat for me - thank you!

Claudia :)

[By the way, I had been marvelling at the collective memories of everyone in this group - how could you all remember each name and post when making your replies! I've just discovered the summary of all posts that is directly below the reply form.... I'm still learning! :D ]

Iona
06-16-2004, 12:54 PM
Li, This is so nice, and I think it looks good. I think you have worked so long and hard on this you need to step back and take a good look later. It's not what you wanted or planned, but not a swrew up just a happy accident or surprise. I have done some silk painting and the background is hard to do, you get the back washes,but as never being a watercolorist, it always bothered me. Then I found out water color people love these effects. You did a great job. Iona

jacki
06-16-2004, 01:33 PM
Oh Li--It's beautiful! :clap: :clap: :clap:

lorna12
06-16-2004, 05:02 PM
I see I'm not alone in thinking that is gorgeous! I am in awe of the intricate detail that you have in this....the leaves, the grasses, the little tiny people.....just in awe!! And the colors!!! So rich and beautiful!!

It may not be quite what you envisioned but it is stunning, nonetheless!
:clap: :clap: :clap:

beclectic
06-16-2004, 06:29 PM
Oh Li, that darker sky gives it an uneartly feel. It looks like an illustration for a F&SF story. Who is to say that the sky of Farie is the same as the sky of Earth? It is very striking and rich. I'm sure a S&SF fan would snatch it up right away.

Thanks for showing us this WIP.

lisilk
06-16-2004, 06:55 PM
Bill, Lynne, Jean, Nancy, cath, Mary, Claudia, Iona, Jacki, Lorna, Barbara ( and all who followed this earlier ) - You gals/ guys rock !! Thanks for the encouragement. I often feel a sort of let down when I finish a piece esp. when it doesn't live up to my own expectations or vision for it. Still learning to let go of that.

On a happier note, that ( sea)Turtle scarf I did sold before I even got it to a show.( To some Sci- fi collector's Barbara ! LOL.)

Thanks everyone for following along and being so supportive.

Cheers !

P.S. Claudia- no great memory here- I write down the names so I make sure I respond to everyone.

Hiway
06-16-2004, 08:26 PM
P.S. Claudia- no great memory here- I write down the names so I make sure I respond to everyone.

Ah ha! I had actually thought of doing that; with a memory like mine, it's best to write everything down!

By the way, didn't you love Barbara's comment: "Who is to say that the sky of Farie is the same as the sky of Earth?" Something to think about! I can appreciate the bit of a let down that happens when you finish a piece such as this one..... a post partum feeling. ;)

Claudia :)

Charlie's Mum
06-19-2004, 12:04 PM
I'm so glad Lorna posted the link to this thread - thank you Lorna! :)
Li, this is one terrific piece - it's beautiful and a super idea. I so admire your dedication to carry a piece of work through so many intricate stages.
Thank you for sharing and inspiring the rest of us! :D
:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: