A TECHNIQUE DRIVEN Blog dedicated to mastery of surface design techniques. First we dye, overdye, paint, stitch, resist, tie, fold, silk screen, stamp, thermofax, batik, bejewel, stretch, shrink, sprinkle, Smooch, fuse, slice, dice, AND then we set it on fire using a variety of heat tools.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

A month of painting techniques by Beth Berman

Spots and blots

The subject of paint makes me think back to all those years as a young teen filling canvases with oil paint. I could barely breath in my bedroom. I distinctly remember going to the art supply store and being told about a new paint that felt and looked like oil but didn't smell and washed out with water. It was called Acrylic paint. What a game changer that was for me.

Here I am now, over 50 years later still using acrylic paints and fabric paints that contain a medium that keeps the fabric soft to the touch (hand). Some of my best work has included fabric with fabric paint on it. I thought this month, I would show a sample day by day of things I have done with fabric paint.

 There are so many kinds of fabric paints available, there seems no end to what you can do. I don't want to front load this month with products so I will show products as I go along as well as limitations of each.

There are "thick" paints that are the consistency of regular paints and there are liquid paints that are the consistency of water but are highly pigmented for bold color. The are also the new acrylic inks. I had no idea what the difference was between thin paints like Dye-Na-Flow and acrylic inks so I asked Google (smile). Acrylic inks have extremely fine color particles - so fine that they can flow through a pen. Liquid fabric paint is similar but the color pigments are not fine enough to flow through a pen. I have so many materials in my house which I have to use up (yes, there is a contest) that I have hesitated to buy acrylic inks. I "think" they come in some pretty dynamic colors so my reluctance to buy them may change.

I'll start with a very easy technique which I call "dropping". I use liquid acrylics - both Seta-Silk and ProChem's "Decorator colors".

They are pretty much the same to use but there is a big difference in price. ProChem's decorator colors are dead cheap.

I actually put plastic under my work in an attempt, however feeble, to keep my cutting mat clean. I started by spraying down the fabric to make the paint spread out (wick)

This looks like good covereage and I am betting that after all the paint has wicked out, there will be very little white left at all.

I moved the piece to another area to dry and I now I had the opportunity for a great "blotted" print

Love it!! Don't forget to heat set when the fabric dries!!!!


  1. A good idea to use the plastic so that you can get a second print.

  2. This will be interesting to see. Can't wait for the reveal.

    You do use soda ash? right? I have taken a few courses but am still figuring all this out.


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