Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Paint Job

I decided today was as good as any day to throw around a little paint. Up first - trying to create the look of a fog bank. I used Liquitex acrylic paint mixed with textile medium, adding just a touch of black and a little water to basic white. I wanted to see if I could get a swirly effect by applying the paint with a toothbrush.

I started with this batik. I mixed a small amount of paint and started applying it in circular motions. The first batch was too grey and didn't do much to alter the batik. Subsequent batches got lighter and I just kept working away until it looked like this.

I expected to get more texture from the toothbrush, but the paint seemed to go on thick for about 2 inches, then taper to nothing. I experimented with loading less on the brush and taking lighter strokes that gave me thin arced lines, but still only for a few inches.

Next I lightly painted sun streaks on the Chinese poem challenge piece. I dipped a rounded flat brush in slightly diluted gold Versatex paint and used a light touch as I moved across the fabric. Not sure it looks quite like I envisioned, but I do think it adds to the piece.

As long as I had paint out, I grabbed that square of fabric that's been squiggled with paint, stamped and over-painted and applied yet more paint. I taped it over the crepe wrapping paper I saved from Christmas, and used a chip brush to apply blue Versatex paint straight from the jar. Not a good plan - it was too heavy at the beginning of the stroke and petered out before I made it all the way down the square. It might have been picking up some of the texture from the crepe, but it was hard to tell. I dipped the brush in a little water and tried spreading a thin layer of paint while hopefully thinning out some of the heavier spots, but oops! Too much water! Not sure what happened there in the middle - it turned pretty purple. By now I figured I didn't have much to lose, so I used a q-tip to dab rubbing alcohol and eventually just shook drops off it. I think I can see a few spots where the top layer of paint moved away from the alcohol. Finally, I took a bamboo skewer and ran it across the fabric in wavy lines both directions. I could see the faint impression initially, but as the piece has dried, I'm not sure it's visible anymore. But I do think some of the stamping and original squiggles of paint faintly show through this new layer here and there.

Finally, I took a small piece of muslin, taped it to the crepe and rubbed the chip brush over it to use up the remainder of the paint in the brush. You can just barely see how it picked up the texture of the crepe.

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