Completing a Silk Scarf
In Module 2 (two) we discussed in detail ways of developing a strong design. I hope you have been continuously working with your drawing skills so that your design is something that people will really enjoy looking at.
Consider patterns for your first design – The first thing you need to decide on, is what subject matter you want to cover, when starting your first painting. It may be flowers, animals or even just an abstract of patterns, line and shape. I guess patterns are easier to begin with. You will remember the Fashion Research book I showed you in Module 4…in it was an abstract pattern for a man’s shirt and tie. If you decide on a pattern, it is easier to do an organic pattern that flows and moves. Doing a drawing in gutta with straight lines or circles etc is pretty difficult.
Drawing your design – work out exactly what you want your design to look like on white paper. It is probably best to use a lead pencil at first (B4 is best). Do not show any tone in your drawing, keep it a line drawing. If you really want to indicate tone then just use some cross hatching with your pencil. Once you are happy with your design, use a black roller point pen (not too fine) and go over your pencil drawing. You need the strong black line so that you can see it under the silk (when using Paj or Pongee).
You may choose to draw your design exactly as you want it, like this one of the Angel.
Or you may decide to be a lot looser and make the sketch simply an ‘idea’ that you can move around in different directions or only use a part of it. This design is the one I used for the video (see end of this Module) of a silk painting that went to Spain. This drawing has had a fair bit of ‘ware and tear’ but I love to use it on a number of different sized scarves.
Placing your design onto the silk – you should have your Paj or Pongee silk stretched on your frame. Next, place a flat object (I use a perspex riser) under the silk, making sure that it does not touch your silk – it needs about a 2cm clearance. Now place the drawing on the object and make sure you have it positioned as you want it to appear on the silk. If the paper is too large to allow you to position it correctly, cut the edge off the paper until it does fit, as shown in the two drawings above.
Using Gutta – now comes the difficult part. If you have been practicing as shown in Module 4 (four), you will know that you need to have a steady hand when using gutta. You will also have decided which direction is best for you when moving the metal tip – either away from you or towards you. This is often dependent on whether you are left or right handed. If you have purchased gutta in a plastic bottle with a plastic nozzle built into it (usually only water based gutta comes in these types of containers) – then you can use this. BUT it will not give you a fine line and you will not be able to get a small, detailed drawing working for you. However, it can be quite suitable for a pattern type design. Make sure the gutta is completely dry before painting (it is a good idea to use a blower heater).
This illustration is of a pattern type design and even though I designed it as a square scarf, I have decided to frame it as a painting.