Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Silk painting with complementary colors of dye: blue and orange

I'm still working with the silk scarves, and having great fun playing with the color combinations. I've done a bunch so far where the dye colors I choose are right next to each other on the color wheel. That makes for a lovely scarf, and is a pretty safe bet.

But I took color theory class awhile ago, and I recalled that if you use colors that are across from each other on the color wheel you can get some neat earth tones. I decided to give it a try, and picked out the two blues I had, and the orange to go with it.

I used the two blues full strength, and then mixed each of them half and half with the orange. Then I painted swirls of color. I dripped a couple of times by mistake...so I dripped all over the scarf and called it on purpose. Then I put salt on the scarf, and let it dry. The salt pulled the dye into intricate, organic shapes. And as the dye was pulled, it separated in interesting ways.

As I was taking the salt off the dry scarf, I dripped water on it. Since the dye isn't steam set yet, that changed the pattern. Oops. So, once again I turned a mistake into a design feature, and spritzed the whole thing with water droplets.

The result of my experimentation? A very intricate patterning, that reminds me of an deep sea wonderland.

These are such fun to do! I think that completes the dozen I was working on. Now I need to let the dye set up for a day, and then I can steam set them. And then get them up in the shop, so hopefully folks will buy them. That would mean that I could get some more scarf blanks, and play some more! (I can only wear so many scarves myself, after all...)


  1. Beautiful!

    I've always wanted to do silk painting. I even bought some silk and paint years ago, but never got around to it.

  2. following you from etsy! Love the scarf!

    please check out my blog, too!


  3. FabricFascination, silk painting is easier than I thought it would be, and gets such lovely results! It is hard to go wrong with the free-form water color techniques. On the to-learn list is using gutta to create barriers for the silk dye, to separate out the colors. But I'm loving this so far. If you give it a try, I'd love to see pictures.

    Jewelry By J, you have some lovely earrings in your blog. Cute stuff!