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Saturday, 11 February 2012

Silk Painting Techniques

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 in front of a piece of stretched white silk with paintbrush in hand can be a daunting prospect for many silk painters. Paint and dyes 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. However this is also the reason so many silk painters become disillusioned and are disappointed with the results of all their effort.

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.

Now What?

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 plain simple 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. If you want to try these I would suggest you search for silk painting techniques on the internet or buy a book.

Once your piece is finished you will need to fix your silk using the instructions on your paint or dye.

visit www.silkpaintingpatterns.com/ which offers silk painting patterns that you can print.

I hope this article has given you some good ideas and maybe even inspired you. 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 method and I can use the designs over and over again.

How To Make Hand Painted Silk Scarf

Wouldn't you like to be able to create your own artistic silk scarf? Well, you can. With a few tools from the arts & crafts supply store and a little imagination, you can have a beautiful silk scarf in a few hours!

Begin by using whatever supplies you might have at home already. Paint brushes, plastic pans and buckets, styrofoam cups and plates, sponges, rubber gloves, paper towels, white vinegar and salt crystals.

Now go to the arts & crafts store and find three acrylic paints that you like, plus one or two metallic ones such as gold and silver. Then go to the fabric store and find ready silk scarves or silk fabric suitable for scarves, such as an 8-10 mm habotai silk.

Prepare a well-ventilated area at home with a small table covered with plastic. Take the silk fabric or scarf and soak it in the half white vinegar, half water mixture in a pan or bucket. While the silk is soaking, take out your paints and styrofoam cups, mix about a tablespoon of acrylic paint with a tablespoon of water, stir with a brush until the mixture is even and no pigments are floating around. Do this with each color you've selected, even the metallics.

Take the soaked silk fabric, wring it out under running water quickly, and take it to the table where you're working. At this point you can take paper towels and spread them out to cover the table or the area where you will be placing the silk scarf. Lay the fabric piece on top of the paper towels.

Now take one of your acrylic colors and make broad brush strokes in any pattern on the scarf. Take another color and do the same, overlapping here and there with the first color. Follow this with the third color by dripping the paint from the brush all over the scarf. Notice how the various colors will run into each other and make interesting abstract patterns, sometimes taking the texture from the underlying paper towels.

Have another silk scarf soaking in the vinegar-water mixture while you're painting the first piece. While it is drying slightly to the point the colors aren't running any longer, think about your next color combination for the scarf soaking in the bucket. You might want to add some metallic gold or silver this time with a finer brush. You might also sprinkle some salt crystals onto the fabric at this point and see what happens.

As soon as the first scarf is no longer wet and you can lift it off the papertowels, place it gently onto a styrofoam plate and put it into the microwave oven for 1-1.5 min. on medium. This will heatset the paints nicely and dry the silk scarf more. Take it out and hang it to air dry outside if you can or in the laundry room near an open window. Sometimes the vinegar odor lingers a while but most of the time it's gone by the time the scarf is dry.

Keep this procedure going for as many silk scarves as you want to make. Change out the paper towels in between, but save them for another painting session. The paper towels will dry in pretty color patterns and can be used again. The brushes can be used again, just clean them in soap and water. The cups and plates can be reused as well, just run water over them and make sure any paint residue is gone. I use thin rubber gloves to protect my hands but you can do this if you're neat and careful about rinsing your hands in between things.

Try scrunching the fabric, try twisting it into a long sausage, try folding it into pleats and see what happens when you drip the paints over these. Have some paints in applicator tip bottles and spray bottles if you like for added effects. Don't be afraid to experiment with color combinations and techniques, that's the whole idea here. Have fun!

After the silk scarves have dried, I then iron them with a medium iron and I sometimes sprinkle water on them if they're really wrinkled from the process. Then sign your creations with a permanent fabric ink pen and give them away as gifts to friends and family!

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

How To Tie Scarves For Chemo Patients

How To Tie Scarves For Chemo Patients
image source: www.lifescript.com

Female cancer patients will never be embarrassed when they start losing their hair if they live in countries where women traditionally wear veils or scarves as a sign of purity, decency, or respect to God. Thanks to the creativity of international fashion designers that incorporate scarves to their masterpieces as clothing accessories, the cancer patient has hope. It is important then to learn how to tie head scarves for cancer patients to be ready when the situation calls for it.

It’s already tough to be diagnosed with cancer. Keeping oneself presentable will be a challenge after a series of treatments are done. However, this is essential for cancer patients to be motivated always in beautifying themselves so that they won’t get too devastated when they see their reflection in the mirror. You can be a savior to a loved one who’s already feeling down when affected with the disease. Here’s how to help:
  • Purchase a large square scarf that will coordinate with any colors. Neutral colors will be more flexible. Choose the ones with simple but elegant patterns. Lay the scarf on a surface following the shape of a diamond. Hold the upper tip then bring it to a fold halfway reaching the opposite tip. You have folded it correctly if the scarf is now formed into a triangle.
  • Hold both ends up with the pointed side on the back of the head and the flattened portion lining up with the forehead. The two corners should already be hanging one on the right and the other one on the left over the shoulders. Balance the placement of the scarf properly before proceeding to the next step.
  • Bring the two tips together underneath the head and secure with a knot. Double the knot to make it more secure. Adjust the fitting to make it securely fixed but still comfortable. Get a hold of the tip at the back corner and tuck it under the knot. The knot can be hidden also by tucking the bulging part underneath it.
  • There will be new protruding corners on the right and left upper part of the head, but they will be too short to tuck underneath the knot. So tie them together at the back of the head. The scarf should be neatly in place now. This style of wearing a scarf will not be easily blown off by the wind.
If you are in the mood to recreate the look of the late Princess of Monaco who was also a famous American actress, Grace Kelly, modify the method slightly for a glamorous look. This can fit all occasions during the day and can also boost the confidence while traveling or having a walk in the neighborhood park. The folding procedures are more or less the same. But after gathering the folded corners and you have tied them together already, leave the ends loose.

Do not forget to make Princess Grace’s signature sunglasses handy. A pair of tortoise shell sunglasses will do just fine. You can alternate rectangular and oblong scarves for the other days to make this fashion sense of yours more fun. How to tie head scarves for cancer patients should be easy. Scarves are comfortable and nice to wear. How much more relaxing if they look really attractive? This is definitely something that a cancer patient can be happy about.

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