Hey everyone! You might already know that for my day job, I create online video workshops over at DesignMatters Art & Craft School. Recently we had a great time pouring acrylic paints all over canvasses and boards to create amazing effects.
If you’ve not tried this before do consider checking it out. I’d hesitated thinking, it was a bit of a novelty process, but it looked so fun I gave in and mixed the paints! Turns out it’s pretty compulsive; a bit like fabric dyeing, you want to see what just one more colour combination will look like. The online workshop is available to watch over at DesignMatters.
Pretty soon every surface was covered with wet canvasses and boards, especially as I had the apprentice joining in.
We were really excited by the results. The paint moves as it flows and as it dries meaning the effects change right before you eyes. As I worked I took loads of photos, trying to capture each painting at that perfect moment.
When we do drawing and painting techniques over on DesignMatters, we are often asked if the same media and process will work on fabric too. Well, with this, if you think about it, canvas is fabric, so yes, you’re working on fabric already. The question really should be, “can you do this on fabric in such a way that the fabric retains its drape and is pleasant to stitch into?”
The paint pouring process leaves quite a thickish layer of paint on the surface and for me personally, that’s not something that I’d want to stitch through. The obvious answer is to pour the paint on canvas or board, photograph it and then print those photos to fabric digitally. That provides the added benefit that you can manipulate the photos before you print: crop them, enlarge, alter the colour, modify the contrast, etc..
I started by taking a couple of my favourite photos and enlarging them. The paint pouring creates such intricate patterns that I think there’s plenty of scope for making them bigger so you can really see and enjoy what’s going on. I played with the colour a little, cropped out the choicest bits and made some test prints onto a quilting weight cotton fabric.
These are printed with reactive dyes so the fabric stays super soft. You get the effect of the paint poured visual texture, all the fabulous marks, swirls and spots, but not of the plasticy surface that the real paint has. Got to be best of both worlds!
I’ve enjoyed working with these test prints (I have some projects in the works which I’ll show you soon) and I think they would make a really nice collection for the website. What do you think? Would you be interested in them?