Painting on Silk Without Using Gutta or Resist


The patterns are created by allowing dyes on wet silk to meet with dyes on dry silk plus the use of salt.

Many folk do not even want to commence silk painting because of the difficulty of using gutta (a type of liquid rubber) to hold the colours together and to stop them from running into each other as new colours and shapes are added to the design.

Some artists have overcome this problem and this video shows how Urvashi Gupta manages to produce some beautiful work without using gutta.

The key to how she achieves this is twofold. First of all she uses very little dye on her brush and secondly, she allows her work to dry frequently, before continuing with the next stage of the painting.

In the flowers she is painting, first of all she paints a very simple, basic, circular shape (on wet silk) to represent the flowers. Then she makes the background look like the leaves. This is painted on dry silk. She divides the background section into four area; using a different shade of green for all of them, thus creating a sense of depth and tone to her leaves.

Last of all she returns to her flowers and adds detail in a stronger colour. With her completed work she sews beads into the centre of the flowers to further add dimension and interest to the blossoms.

If you are not keen on using gutta, why not try this method? It still looks lovely and should give you a great deal of pleasure.


27 thoughts on “Painting on Silk Without Using Gutta or Resist

  1. Ana B.

    This is a lovely method. I’d really enjoy learning how to paint without gutta because I want beautiful silk paintings without using a technique that seems really difficult to learn and implement.

  2. Fran

    These look really beautiful. There is something so empowering about creating something with your own hands, especially when you’re creating something beautiful.

  3. Ned Vratski

    Silk painting is hard to do from what I heard but after reading your article I am thinking of giving it another go. Thanks.

  4. Stephen Panter

    A fantastic idea of painting without gutta by Urvashi, painting on silk is very challenging and this technique makes it easy. Her cushion cover painting is fantastic and looks very professional.

  5. Sarah Keating

    I wish I had the patience to make such beautiful things. The video makes it look easy though. Maybe one day I’ll find the discipline to do this.

  6. james

    This is an amazing form of painting. The detail of the flower is stunning and the background looks so life like and real. I’m going to try this form of silk painting as it looks so calm and relaxing to try.

  7. Denise Painter

    What amazing detail! It must be extremely difficult even with gutta to get this type of detail on dry silk, never mind wet. People who can do this are true artists.

  8. jaymopopls

    Thanks for the tip about waiting for the paint to dry before adding more detail. It must be tough to be patient when creating such beauty!

  9. Trudy

    This is so amazing & inspirational. The video is just splendid. I guess it requires lot of pateince but then the end result would be absolutely fantastic!

  10. Chris W.

    Silk painting is so intricate and beautiful! I would love to learn how to do it, but you don’t hear much about it here in America. I am a fan of the fiber arts!

  11. sikudhani

    wow, amazing painting work. i could never have that type of talent, but i could see myself trying to practice the tips. maybe i will get better at it

  12. Chinua

    Have to admit i do not know a lot about painting but the paintings by Urvashi Gupta look amazing and I can only marvel at the talent she has. A method i would recommend to my friends involved in art.

  13. Zach S

    This looks like a very gratifying and wonderful method of painting. This video was great and informative above anything else!

  14. Sandra Harriette

    I always wondered as a kid how those patterns were applied to linens and blankets. I figured they were getting stamped or printed in, never painted. That must be what causes artisan crafts to be a bit more costly–all the love and care that went into them.

  15. Elias Delaney

    I’m amazed as to how you use this craft as a form of therapy and even more with regards to the amazing art quality arising out of silk painting. I’m a person of little artistic merit and reading and seeing about this gives me some hope of success in the painting world 🙂

  16. Joseph Harding

    I can understand why gutta would frustrate some people. This art requires such a delicate hand.

    Very fascinating to see an alternate technique, and one that is executed beautifully.

  17. Gabriella Jackson

    It all looks like magic to me. If you don’t use gutta, does that mean the fabric result is smoother and silkier?

    1. Peter Post author

      Yes it does – the gutta leaves a slightly raised line and sometimes is even a bit sticky. No gutta means that the silk remains it’s normal soft self.

  18. Vitalia De Novelle

    This is really amazing. I always love painting especially those which looks so real and alive. Despite of such deep love, I am not a talented person in painting.

  19. Angel Nelson

    Great tips here! Painting using gutta on silk is not an easy task. This method sounds like it would make it a lot easier. I have to give this a try. Thanks!


Leave a Reply to jaymopopls Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.