Creative Process: Hand-Painted Silk

Detail of altarcloth – stylized seven-pointed star. Francesca De Grandis

Hand-Painted Silk Art Altar Cloth for Warrior Poet

PG, you said on my Facebook page link you like to see the process. Hence this post. Click pics to see em full size.

Folks, skip process to get to Product and Purchase Info.

First I dyed white silk, with low-immersion dyeing, which leaves a mottled effect (interesting texture). I dye a very small number of pieces at a time, usually 3-4. This was a huge batch for me—seven altar cloths. To the right is a pic of all seven hanging on my shower curtain rod to dry.

Next day I start trance-painting. I love doing this. See pic of altar cloth ready to paint.

Basic lines done. They are my first inkling that this piece will be for a fey warrior poet.

Trance deepened, detailing started.

Trance deepened, detailing started.

The basic design and its intial ornamentation were painted in red, green, and purple. Then I applied purple and red metallics, which are subtle because I mostly applied red metallic to the red that I’d already laid down, and they were a close color match. Ditto purple metallic. But the point was not whether they screamed metallic; they add dimensionality to the paint they were applied over.

Last step of painting was adding more ornamentation to the basic design. I used a soft green metallic that has a subtle rich glimmer. I was not sure I liked the altarcloths until I added this final touch, but it made all the difference. The metallics are by Jacquard, as is most of what I used for this altar cloth.

Detail, Hand Painted Silk Altarcloth, Francesca De Grandis

Hand-Painted Art Silk, Francesca De Grandis

Next are parts of the process artist don’t show pictures of, LOL. Heh, maybe these steps aren’t graaahhhhnd enough to seem arteeeestic.

I wash the hoops so they’re all clean for the next piece I paint. Here is a pic of washed hoops hanging to dry. My home is filled with dyed silk hanging on a shower curtain rod, hoops drying on door knobs,…

Next day, painting is ready to set. I got very excited when I learned vinegar and baking soda would remove the gunky build-up on my iron. It took time but then I could use the iron to set the painting!

And here are brushes soaking til I have time to clean them for next piece.

Think I’m going overboard? I refrained from posting a pic of dirty rags after cleanup! You crafters know there are many parts of creative process that folks don’t usually show. I liked posting a few; it feels nice to have camaraderie re the not-so-high-and-falutin work that takes a zillion times more hours than the actual art does.

Big thanks to everyone who encouraged me during this project!!!

Product and Purchase Info: Sorry, this item has been sold. But for the record, here is the info: Painted freehand, initialed and dated by artist. This altar cloth for a warrior poet will lend beauty, grace, and Faerie magic to any spell. Hand wash. $99, free S & H. 

This item is no longer available. 

This piece is not in everyone’s budget (it would not be in mine. Which is why, for those who have never been to my Etsy shop, I have a wide price range, and it’s all good stuff!).

Hugs to whoever reads this, FDG

Putting one last blessing on the piece

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