Silk Painting Techniques - Silk Painting with Patterns

Published: 18th February 2010
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The first thing you need to know about silk painting is that everyone can do it. Some people do it better than others of course, but you do not need to be a gifted artist to be able to create a beautiful picture.

Sitting with a piece of stretched silk and paintbrush in hand can be a daunting moment for many silk painters. Dyes and paints have a life of their own once they have been let loose on the silk which is part of the silk painting magic and why it is so popular and exciting. But this is also the reason so many silk painters become disillusioned and are disappointed with the results of all their effort.

So What is the Answer to Successful Silk Painting?

If you want to be a confident silk painter and feel more assured of the results then you really should try using silk painting patterns. It really is as simple as that.

Silk painting patterns are hand drawn designs that you can trace onto the silk using a pencil. They are so easy to use and can be repeated over a long piece of silk to make large wall hangings or just used for simple projects such as sun catchers and cushions. Once you have your pattern you can use it over and over again for many projects.

If you have the confidence and skill draw the pattern yourself. Copy pictures from books or photographs, draw a still life, find something that inspires you. Perhaps you want a picture or wall hanging for a room in your house. Is there something in that room that you want the silk painting to reflect or do you want to theme a room around your painting? Use your imagination and find something that excites you.

Alternatively you can get ready made silk painting patterns that you can print off your computer and start work on straight away.

What Can I Do with these Patterns?

Once you have your silk painting design drawn out on a piece of paper you will need to stretch your piece of silk onto a frame and tape the pattern to the back. Using a soft pencil trace the pattern onto the silk. Remove the pattern and trace over the pencil lines using your outliner/gutta/resist. It is very important that there are no gaps in your outliner. Check the front and back of the silk very closely and fill any gaps as necessary. Now you are ready to paint your silk and this is where it gets really exciting. Your simple white silk will be transformed with a few brush strokes. Be careful though and watch for the paint bleeding through the lines. Make sure you do not overload your brush, a tiny amount of paint on your brush will normally do the job better.

There are many different techniques offering very different results for painting on silk and these can be used together with the patterns. Once your piece is finished you will need to fix your silk using the instructions on your paint or dye.

It really is the simplest way to silk paint and the results are fabulous and very professional. I sell my work through several shops using this technique and I can use the designs over and over again.

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