Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Painting with the sun

I love the look of hand-dyed fabric, and have been tempted to buy oodles of dyes and supplies time and again. But realistically, until I have a better setup, I'm restricted to smaller efforts.

So yesterday I pulled out the Setacolor transparent paints, some unbleached muslin and the bag of seashells I'd picked up on the beach a couple of weeks ago. I thought the shells would make a great resist for sun painting.

What I like about this process is that you can do it on a small scale. I prepped a backing board (heavy cardboard from a large picture frame) by slipping it into a kitchen trash bag then taping it closed. I cut the half-yard of fabric into thirds for a manageable size. The only other things I needed were the jars of paint, small pill bottles to dilute paint, a water spray bottle and a couple of brushes. That makes it do-able in my tiny kitchen.

I think the results are worth the effort. I finished two pieces last night (drying the second under a lamp) and have another sitting in the sun now. For the one shown I used three colors of paint, green, blue and teal, diluted at about half paint, half water. After painting I placed the seashells, let it dry completely, then ironed to heat set.

These two pieces will be backgrounds for my next sea turtles.

That's not all I'm working on, of course. I've been rotating through projects, piecing a background for one, painting a section on another, fusing fabric for a section of another. I'll have more later.

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