Project 4 – Experiments with Printing and Painting


I have gathered together a selection of fabric paints. Colourcraft “Opaques” fabric paint appears to be quite thick and although called “Opaques” doesn’t perform at all well on darker fabrics.

Dylon fabric paint is a bit more liquid but performs well and I have used it mixed with the Colourcraft paint successfully.

Derwent “Inktense blocks” are good for printing if you sponge on the colour and recommended for fabric painting although I found it difficult to get a consistent cover.

I also found a couple of very old Stencilitis stencil sticks in scarlet and yellow, which are very old and I think came from a home decorating magazine in the 1980s but being oil based they are still soft under the crust and work well with a simple cardboard stencil.  They blend well with a brush.  I have no idea if these are colour fast.  Also, even though they look like Markal I have decided not to use them for any of the further work as I only have the two colours.

These samples using the stencil sticks are drawn on to a beige cotton canvas.

I made myself a printing surface which works very well.  I made printing blocks using what I had around the house, kids craft foam, stiff card, plywood and polystyrene.  Some of these have been more successful than others.  I also made stencils from card and transparent sticky backed plastic and both these materials worked very well.

To apply the colours I have mostly used a sponge directly on to the block.  This allows for variation of density of colour and applying different colours to the block to print at the same time.  I looked at the instructions on making a printing pad but I was not sure how to use it so I did not take that any further at this time.

I tried some hand painting directly on to silk fabric and I felt this was not successful for various reasons.  I found it difficult to get a good consistency of colour that did not bleed and make the whole design wet.  I have painted on silk in the past but with a wax resist which makes the whole thing a lot easier to manage.

Due to time constraints I have had to experiment whilst working on Project 5.  I know this means that I won’t have produced nearly enough samples but I need to press on with this now.


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