Friday, November 1, 2013

Puddle painting with Setacolor transparent paints

With almost all of the Setacolor painted fabrics I have been doing lately, instead of applying paint to the fabric with a brush, I have been doing what I call "puddle painting".

I keep my paints pre-mixed in containers with a screw-on lid. (they are concentrated paints, and I usually mix it 50/50 with water).

First, I soak my fabrics in water.  I have a large plastic lid from a storage container that I use as my palette. I just pour a couple different paints on my "palette". (Please note the paint will stain the lid, it will never be white again).

I wring the extra water out of my fabric, then scrunch it up and smoosh it in the paint puddles. I just press the fabric into the paint and try to absorb as much paint as possible. I do not swish the fabric around because that will cause the paint colors to become muddy, I just press (hard). By the way, this is very messy and I recommend wearing gloves and old clothes, and maybe an apron. I usually do, but for some reason I don't in this picture.

Here I've flipped the fabric over and you can see that from the three primary colors, I now have a rainbow (greens and purples have appeared). Typically, I will move the fabric to the corner of the palette, pour more puddles of the same colors, and smoosh the other side of the fabric into the new puddle.  Then, I will gently look into the folds of the fabric to see if there are a lot of white spots remaining. If there are large white spots, I will make a new puddle and just try to put the white sections in it (I may just do a one color puddle for this). If there is not a lot of white, I will gather the fabric in a ball and give it a gentle squish to try to get paint into the white spots. Again, I try to be gentle as I don't want my paint to get muddy.

I lay them flat to dry. This is a "sun printing" paint so any wrinkles will get sun printed into the fabric. It is best to get them as flat as possible. Or you could add stencils or found objects on top to get a sun printed pattern.


It's nice to get this random (almost tie dye) affect, without messing with powdered dyes or soda ash soaks like when using Procion MX type dyes. I will typically do as many will fit in my small backyard, which is about six pieces that are one yard. The painting process for six pieces only takes me about thirty minutes, which is way faster than painting with a brush.  That's why I've been doing a lot of Setacolor painting lately, I can paint the fabrics in mid-morning and if it's a warm enough day, they will be dry by dinner time. (In the summer, the backyard gets sun, and the fabrics can dry in just thirty minutes. These cool shadowy fall days really slow down the drying). It's going to be in the 60's tomorrow and I think it's time for some more Setacolor Shibori painting! I just got my order of Fushia paint, which is my new favorite, so I can't wait to play with it. I am also working on a carnival theme assemblage, and want to get back to some more "painting" or color-altering of felted wool this weekend.


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