Experiments with printing and painting

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Block printing and relief printing

For this I found some items from around the house to try printing with, this included a milk carton top, a cotton reel, leaves, bubble wrap, carved corks, children’s textured rolling pins and pieces of cardboard. I also made some linocuts and a simple relief block from cardboard and string.

Masks and stencils

To begin with I used masking tape, newspaper and leaves as simple masks whilst splattering paint all over the fabric using a toothbrush, it was fun but very messy. I then tried the same technique with some stencils, as well as dabbing the paint on with paper towel and a paintbrush.

Hand painting on fabric

I tried out both dylon fabric paint and acrylic paint mixed with textile medium whilst handpainting. I discovered that only coloured paints designed to show up on black, or mixed with white, showed up on dark fabrics. I experimented with adding different amounts of water to the paints to see how it changed the results, as well as scrunching the fabric up of printing over it which produced some interesting effects. I also tried out different weights of fabric, the very thin fabrics didn’t hold the paint so well, and the colours looked more washed out after they had dried.

Paintsticks / pens

I didn’t have any paintsticks to experiment with but I do have some sharpie permanent markers so I tried them instead.

Silk painting

I didn’t have the equipment to try silk painting at home, so I booked on to a short 2 hour class to have a go. First of all I had to stretch the silk over a frame and pin it in place, I then traced a design on to the silk using a pen that disappears as it dries before going over it with gutta. Once the gutta had dried I painted the fish design with a brush and sponge, using the paint on both wet and dry silk, as well as mixing the colour both on the palette and on the silk to see what the effects were. Once I had finished I sprinkled fine kitchen salt on the fishes head, and large sea salt crystals in the water area surrounding the fish, they produced very different results, the fine salt gave a gently dappled result, whereas the sea salt left huge white areas.

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