Silk Painting- The Experience

Hello Everybody!
Before I begin, I would like to say that I am not a professional silk painter, this is purely about my first time using silk paint;) Enjoy!
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A few months ago I was given the opportunity to paint a nature scene for my very first time on a silk hoop. When I first was given this assignment, I for some reason had developed the idea that this would be quite a simple task. And of course I had underestimated the hard work that was about to come my way.

The process of silk painting goes as follows:
1. You sketch out what you want to go onto the silk on a piece of paper.
2. Lay down the silk over the sketch (in my case I laid down a silk hoop)
3. Trace the sketch onto the silk with a thick, paint-like substance called “gutta”. “Gutta” is used for when you put the paint on the silk it does not run.
4. Paint inside the lines of “gutta” with a silk paint (which is pretty much water, heavily saturated with food coloring).
5. Paint your background (I used lime green silk paint, then applied blotches of dark green, and then added salt to the blotches)

The process seems simple right? Well, yes, it is. That is if you do everything with extreme precision and impeccable eyesight.

The “gutta” I had used for this assignment had been colorless. Colorless “gutta” is little bit trickier than colored “gutta” because even though you can still see it when laying it down, it is difficult to see whether all your lines are connected and closed off so the paint does not run. Also, a lot of the time, colorless “gutta” is not as thick as the colored ones, so even if all your lines are connected, the paint could still run over the “gutta”. This is where things went downhill for me.

As you can see from the picture at the top of this post, I had painted butterflies on my silk hoop. I had chosen to do butterflies since silk paints often blend nicely together when done correctly for a beautifully realistic effect. I, being a first timer, did not really know how to correctly blend the paint, resulting in me adding way too much. The more paint you add, the more of a chance you will have of it running over the “gutta”. As the painting process went on, I soon learned how to control my blending. But I do have to admit, I have A LOT of room for improvement. I hope by the end of this year I will try my hand again at silk painting and this time take into account my previous mistakes;) I highly suggest silk painting to anyone who likes a little challenge (I believe you can order supplies from some craft catalogs.) Let me know down below if any of you have tried or will try silk painting!
–Callie

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