Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor of Love - Silk Painting Process

Hope you had a lovely Labor Day weekend!

In response to the numerous requests from friends, today I want to share with you my basic silk painting process that is used when creating my silk paintings. When you scroll down to the end of this post, there is a flicker link where you can view more photos of each step. Sometimes people wonder why the prices are a bit more expensive, than say, a scarf you would find at Macy's. It depends on many things.. the type of silk (which I will explain in more detail my next entry) , size, and of course, the level of detail and time put into each piece. Each of my scarves truly are one of a kind artworks, and really are a labor of LOVE. Here are the stages:

1. Inspiration - from books, online images, my pictures of the sky, dreams and imagination, I first must come up with a design I'd like to express.

2. Preparing the silk - After learning the hard way, I now always pre-wash my silk before painting, to get rid of any unseen residues.

3. Stretching - I stretch the hand rolled, silk scarf blank with pins on a wooden frame so the silk becomes taught from all angles.

4. Resist - Usually I draw freehand with the water based resist
onto the silk. These lines act as a barrier later when painting, and keep the colors from spreading.

5. Paint - I use water based paints, unlike most professional silk painters who use spirit based dyes. I use a Japanese sumi brush to paint in the colors - my favorite part!

6. Heat set - Once dried, I iron the scarf so that the paint chemically bonds to the silk.

7. Washing/Ironing - I hand wash each scarf about 2 or 3 times with baby shampo, soak the scarf in a water/softener mixture for a while, lightly roll towel dry, and then lightly iron on the backside.

8. Viola! It is finished and ready for photos!

Recently I finished a custom order scarf for a wonderful client of mine and took pictures throughout the entire process. To view this picture gallery, click HERE.

Another earlier custom "Go Broncos" piece also has great step-by-step pictures in the album HER

All together from start to finish, one of my hand painted silk scarves could take anywhere from 3-12 hours! But of course, each minute I spend is a minute I simply cherish, as I have fallen completely love with the artistic medium of silk painting... and this Labor Day, I'll end with this quote, "Love what you do. Do what you love." - Wayne Dyer


Anonymous said...

lovely Angel- denise inmyblueroom

Suzanne said...

Beautiful scarf and nice post!

~ellen~ said...

That is gorgeous! What kind of silk paints and resist do you use?

Lovely. :)

Angel Ray said...

Thanks so much! I use water based paints from Atelier de Paris, however most professionals use Dupont dyes as the colors come out more vividly. I prefer water based because 1) they are toxin free/no fumes, etc.. 2) they are heat set, so no need to go through the extensive and tricky steaming process.

As for the silk types, I use all kinds.. crepe, charmeuse, habotai.. actually stand by.. my next post will be all about SILK types :)

TheEye said...

that's so impressive ... I love that you explained it this way ... one day I will try this :)

sallytrace said...

Thanks for all the info Angel! Your silks are just so gorgeous. I am so tempted to try silk painting!

a Bohemian Market said...

Hi Angel:
I love the white rabbit lil guy.
The end results reminds me of a water color painting; soft, muted and the way it all flows!!!
Thank you for sharing this with me as it is very informative.
I am going to be following you so I can watch the ever evolving art take wings!!!