Hand Painting Silk for a Jacket Design

hand painted silk

I am so excited about this jacket!

Planning the jacket, I had printed the silk on the 44″ Epson printer in my studio and laid it out on the worktable. Moving the pattern pieces around, I tried to envision where each section of the jacket might look best. It would be a tight fit, and I wasn’t sure which sections of the painting would look best on the front, back and sleeves.

hand painted silk jacket
winter Solstice Jacket, hand painted silk, See more pics & purchase info

You can see on the video of the full image that the painting has some blue sections, some gold, and some very light aqua. When the colors weren’t going where I wished they would, I decided to try out my new fabric paints on the silk. This, I thought, would enable me to get the colors I wished ~ exactly where I envisioned them.

I am really pleased with the way the silk takes my brush strokes. Iridescent aqua, copper, purple, blue green and gold added sparkle and depth to the silk. From wide strokes of subtle washes to finely detailed grasses and seeds, I am able to control the marks by varying the color saturation and brush.

This is going to be a one-of-a-kind!

hand painting silk for a jacket

You can see the details in this photo, how the gold and copper strokes are subtle, yet vibrant. I used a washy watercolor brush to lay the aqua in between the branch. This added depth and sparkle to the fabric.

Winter Solstice Design

The art for the fabric has a story all its own. It began as a pastel painting ~ forty years ago! Yes, you read that right. I painted it with pastels on rag etching paper, 42″ x 29″. The pastel won me Best in Show at the Virginia Beach Arts Center members show the year my twins were born.

As it turned out, I was able to attend the opening and meet the judge. Long story short, Robert B. Mayo invited me to his gallery in Richmond. The following ten years turned into a mentorship in Painting Masters with Mr. Mayo. His generous critiques and engaged conversations with me enabled me to see my artistry as a gift and continue growing as an artist ~ even when it didn’t always look that way.

hand painting silk for a jacket
Details on the silk utilize watercolor techniques.

The big question to me was ‘why the heck is this image still on my painting table?’

I had come to regard the winter solstice theme as symbolic of ‘frozen creative flow.’ Interpreting my art as if it were my dream, had become a habit. I had gained much inspiration from the practice.

That didn’t mean I could answer the question, however.

It would take another pastel from the same period of time to help with that. See my story about Two Sisters>

painting on silk
Winter Solstice painting on silk

I laid the brush on the silk so you can see the scale of the imagery. I decided this section would be the front of the jacket. And that I would cut front bands from contrasting golds on the other side of the silk.

The jacket is for sale on my website. See more photos of the finished jacket with size and purchase info.

 

 

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Author: Dorothy Fagan

Through the quirky way she interprets dreams, art, and day-to-day stuff ~ Dorothy's dream of painting the lavender fields of Provence became real. Her book about painting in France, Discovering Joy's Garden, transformed into this inspirational website.