Wednesday, May 15, 2013


I spent two fabulous days learning how to do silk painting.  It was a lot easier than I had expected.  I learned a lot about the medium we   were working in as well as something about myself.  The thing I learned about myself is that I am a risk taker.  I jumped into this class knowing that I did not have a background in art and that, in all practicality, I could not draw.  Not to worry, Claire Vassort, the teacher was very thorough and made me understand that it is a creative process and all of us have the tools for creating within ourselves.

The first thing we did was mount our silk onto frames.  Then Claire provided us with some sketches that we could use as guides for drawing our own practice pieces.  I chose to do the tree. 

The first step is to outline the subject matter with a substance called gutta.  It works as a resist and creates the lines of the picture that you paint into.

This is my palette of inks.  These are DuPont inks that flow onto the silk.

My first practice piece is completed.  You can see the little "test swatch" tacked onto the side of the frame so I could audition the inks before application.

After doing two practice pieces we moved on to the first of our large pieces.  We were making silk scarves.
For this project I had to draw my own design.  No pattern from the teacher this time!
After looking through a few of the source books provided I decided I would try my hand at drawing a fish.  I love whimsical fish, dragonflies, frogs, etc.  This fish was going to be my first "original" drawing to work with. 
The fish and bubbles were drawn onto the silk with gutta.  Now I am ready to ink it.

This is the first inking I did.  I filled in all of my bubbles, the fish and the seaweed before I chose the background color.

One of my favorite colors is turquoise blue and I chose to do a light version for the sea water background behind my design.
Here is my finished piece:

When I signed up for this class I had decided that I would do something abstract-looking because I did not think I could do a drawing of anything that I would like to use.   I had some experience in doing washes in water color painting that I thought I could transfer to my silk painting.

After I did my fish scarf, I decided to do my next scarf as an abstract using turquoise, lime green, and yellow inks. A little purple ink was added for depth.  I also decided to consciously use rock salt as a design element.  Here is my piece on the frame still wet with salt sprinkled on top.

 The finish on this scarf stole my heart!
I love the texture effect that gave more dimension to the scene.

Love, love, love my two scarves!

Since we finished our assigned projects a little early, Claire offered us the opportunity to do a bonus piece.  I decided to try doing a very linear piece.
Here is a little gallery of other projects done by my classmates.
Let me note here that these three gals, Maddie, Trudy, and Pam all have a background in art.  Isn't their work amazing??

Credit to Claire Vassort.

Check her website.  She does awesome work at Silk by Claire.



1 comment:

  1. I have eagerly awaited your Silk Painting story ~ ~ absolutely lovely. How fun and satisfying it must have been. So glad you share.