Saturday, June 26, 2010

Custom Silk Painting of Karo the Dog

The latest silk painting that I was commissioned to paint was picked up yesterday. I had gotten used to having it around the studio and I think I shall miss seeing it. It was a painting of Karo the dog who apparently is a woodsy girl, perhaps even a bit of a tom boy. Her owner tells me that she has a fascination with all things that move and rustle in the leaves of the forest floor.

Here are some photos of the painting as it was created. The first photo is the sketch on paper. I went over the drawing with black marker so I could trace it onto the silk.
In the photo below The drawing has been transferred onto the silk with quilters water soluble pencil.
I use the tiny air compressor below to apply the thick black resist lines to the silk
Once the resist has been added to all of the lines in the drawing I will take the silk off of the stretcher and roll it between sheets of paper and steam it for 2 hours to set the resist lines. Once this resist is steamed it becomes very wax-like in it's ability to hold the dyes.
Here I am adding layers of dye and drying the silk with a heat gun in between layers to get the desired effect
Getting closer, still need to pain Karo!
The photo below shows the painting after all of the dyes have been applied. The painting looks dull and a little muddy before it is steamed but after it is steamed and the dye molecules join with the silk molecules the excess surface dye will rinse away and the silk and colors will be bright and shiny.
Below is the finished silk painting after it has been steamed the second time.
The second steaming is for 3 hours.
The last day of having Karo in the studio. She has been mounted, matted and shrinkwrapped for protection until she gets framed by her new owner.
I will miss having her cute face gazing at me in the studio while I work.


  1. What are you using for resist? I have tried a couple of resists in black, and they didn't hold at all!
    I'm also curious about your stencils. will you do a tutorial on how you make them and how you use them? Do you use them to silk screen your image onto the scarves?

  2. Hi Suzanna, I use Resistad as a resist. Here is a link to an article I wrote a couple of years ago and just re-posted on my blog today. It has tons of info on Resistad.

    If the link dosent work just look for tdays post on Resistad.

    The stencils will be temporarily attached to the silk screens and then screen printed with thickened French dyes onto the silk.