Drawing on fabric is for those who like subtle work and creativity with a lot of details, color accents and demonstration of not primitive skills. Painting on silk is a real art, a technique with many principles and rules, but also a rewarding activity. The product of creativity can become a highlight of your closet, and successes in painting often make a humble beginner a true artist.
The word batik (batik) is known to all who once admired the amazing works in the technique of painting on silk. Indonesian people are to be thanked for the appearance of this unique art form, this art form was born on Java Island. It is translated as “drop of wax”, because originally the craftsmen applied the wax on the places that should not be affected by paint.
Though, to be historically fair, the Indonesians did not invent painting on silk – they called it batik and this name stuck. But still, a similar technique flourished thousands of years ago in the Chinese Empire. True, over time, it ceased to actively develop and may have been lost. But the inhabitants of Java have made something new out of the old technique, artistically reinterpreted and technically perfected.
In India and Japan painted silk decor also turned out to be popular – painting on fabric was technically related to different countries, but images and patterns were dictated by folk traditions, symbolism and coloring.
Technique of silk painting
Why silk? It is an ideal fabric, perfectly accepting the colors, giving them luster, creating amazing color shimmers. Hand work, good material, bright compositions, and you see living, breathing painting. Even silk painting for beginners is a difficult lesson, requiring a theoretical understanding of the technique, observance of all the rules and principles.
Special silk paints can be fixed in different ways – often it is a long drying, but also ironing the cloth and soaking over steam. Beginners usually just iron the work with an iron, which gives a reliable fixation of the paint. By the way, there are interesting kits for creativity, where the contour-reserve is already applied, the pattern is marked, and the artist has only to paint the work.
Free silk painting
Involves working with liquid colors on primed or clean fabric. But this branch of batik can also include painting with thickened colors. This trend will appeal to those who do not want to make a stamped, template work, who it is important to show the individual handwriting of the artist. There are no restrictions in free painting, which makes it akin to watercolor art.
To work in this technique, you need:
- paints on fabric, which are first tested on a sample;
- brushes (and special ones, too, with a water tank);
- cotton or foam rubber swabs;
- a palette, a cloth for wiping brushes;
- a container of water;
- salt, alcohol, colored outlines;
- drying hair dryer.
To begin painting in this technique is worth for those who have a confident drawing on a usual paper, not a bad school behind shoulders (good artistic training).
Cold and hot batik
Cold batik is a wax-free painting on fabric. On the future of the product master applies the image, on the contours – the reserve compound, which does not allow the paint to go beyond the desired limits. The reserve is applied with a special tube. After the reserve dries, the fabric is painted with liquid paints. So you can hand-paint silk and get an exclusive stole or shawl.
Hot batik is characterized by the application of hot wax, which delimits the areas to be painted. Only when it dries is the piece painted. If you fix the fabric on a stretcher, you can make a gorgeous landscape on silk. Painting on silk – paintings, closet items, all are equally popular, and many artists make such items to order.
The master ties knots on the fabric, twisting the material, which subsequently creates interesting patterns and strokes. It is the knots that help to reserve certain fragments of fabric. At first, a beginner twists them according to a pattern, then experiments.
In this case, experience is important, because initially it is difficult to say what pattern will turn out, but in the process of comprehension of the craft, the artist already clearly sees the future work even at the stage of tying knots.
Practical tips for beginners
There are some artistic directions where concentration, assiduity, repetition are especially important. Painting on silk can be compared to calligraphy, where one uneven letter spoils the overall impression.
Don’t start with complicated drawings: often beginners see works with a bright snowbird on a rowan tree, and this “naryabin snowbird” becomes their first creative experience. Take off the rose-colored glasses, really assess your strengths. Try making a bandana with a simple pattern in the technique of knotty batik. Or stretch fabric on a stretcher and draw a simple plot in the technique of cold batik.
To give your own master class, you need more than just a set of special tools, you need a decent experience and a clear understanding of the details of the process. Try different techniques, materials, and methods, and then the fine art of painting will conquer you. And don’t forget you need to reinforce the theory with practice in time, thankfully step-by-step MK’s contribute to that.
Master class: painting on silk
If you are a beginner, look for the MC for beginners, otherwise you will be confused by the details that acknowledged masters can omit in their presentation of the workflow.
You will need:
- fabric frame + 4 buttons;
- a contouring marker;
- phantom marker or pencil;
- silk paints, 5 colors;
- decorative salt;
- round synthetic brush №3,4.
Make a sketch of the future image on plain paper. It is better to use felt-tip pens or markers, so that the outline of the picture can be seen well under the silk. Put the fabric on the frame, fix it.
Then proceed as follows:
1. Place the pattern under the fabric, it should translucate well. The silk should be stretched tightly, there should be no folds.
2. Drawing should be done with a special phantom marker. It should either be washed out after 24 hours, or easily removed with water paint in the process of painting.
3. Apply a backing outline on the borders of the design. It should lie on the fabric in a straight line, because its function is to prevent colors from flowing, to limit this. The contour should be applied from left to right.
4. Use the contour to draw a concise frame for the image.
5. After an hour and a half the outline will dry, you can paint on silk. Do not forget to use a palette, as if you were working with watercolor. If it spreads, it means you have not applied the outline carefully (in this case reduce the amount of paint on the brush). You can remove it with water and a cotton swab.
6. Once the elements of the drawing have been painted, it’s time to start sketching the background. To decoratively enhance the work, apply special salt to the fabric.
After the silk is colored, no empty spaces are left, the work can be considered finished. Now let the fabric dry, take it off the stretcher, iron it (very delicately), and think of the best way to frame the picture.
The peculiarity of batik is that whether you drew a primitive rose or a fantasy pattern, if the picture itself is laconic and clear, and the work with paint went without mistakes, even the simplest compositions will look bright. Try to get acquainted with silk painting by doing a simple master class. When the first try will be completed, you will want to improve, to take on complex projects.
If the batik will turn from a hobby into a craft, a way to earn money, skills should be developed. Will have to learn the laws of textile graphics, practice taking tone, color, graphic solutions.
Composition artists build according to the principles of integrity of perception, colors and shape contrasts, the expressiveness of volumes and lines. Movement and rest, statics and dynamics, freshness and heat, warm and cold mood – all this sets the work of the artist of painting on fabric. The ground for creativity is the most fruitful!
Is art silk a good material?
Silk is a material that is often used in the art world. It has been used for centuries and it’s still popular today. Silk is a natural material that can be manipulated in many different ways, which makes it a good material for art.
Silk is made from the cocoons of silkworms and spun into threads. The threads are then woven together to make cloths, fabrics, and other materials. Silk has been around for centuries and has been used in many different cultures around the world as an important fabric. In China, silk was worn by royalty as clothing because of its status as a luxury product. In Japan, silk was also an important fabric but was mainly used to make kimonos instead of clothing because they were more durable than clothing made from cotton or wool.
Does art silk look cheap?
The reasons as to why people believe art silk looks cheap are not clear. Some people think that it is because the fabric is stretchy and can’t be ironed, others think it has to do with the weave of the fabric.
There are many reasons as to why some people believe art silk looks cheap, but there is no consensus on which one is accurate.
Which is better art silk or silk blend?
Art silk is a type of fabric made from natural fibres such as cotton, wool, and silk. It is woven in a way that gives it a distinctive pattern and texture. Art silk is often used to make clothing, upholstery, and other textiles.
Silk blend fabric is made from artificial as well as natural fibers such as cotton, wool or silk. Silk blend fabrics are softer than pure silk fabrics. They are also less expensive than pure silks but offer similar qualities in terms of weight and drapeability.
Art silk can be dyed with different colors while the color of the fabric cannot be changed with silk blend fabrics because they are made from artificial fibers only.
Is art silk comfortable to wear?
Silk is a material that is often used in clothing. However, there are some disadvantages to wearing silk. For one, silk can be expensive. The price of silk depends on the quality and the weight of the material. Silk can also be difficult to care for and maintain because it is so delicate.