Painting the Sky

After many postponements, a friend and I finally got together to paint fabric using Mickey Lawler’s techniques. Following Mickey’s book and DVD on Skydyes, we covered damp white cotton fabric with Setacolor fabric paint. Here’s our paint mixing table and our sponges and brushes.

Setacolor paint mixingOne lesson I learned was that colors really lighten up as the fabric dries. You’d think I would know this from dyeing, but I’m a slow learner.

Painted landscape wetPainted landscape dryThe sky is actually more nuanced than the photo shows, but I had expected a less pastel result.

Here’s another example, this time using Mickey’s scrunching technique. The fabric on the left is my mop up cloth.

Scrunched fabric and mop cloth wetScrunched fabric dryOne easy technique I enjoyed was sponging paint on with light taps. I made a winter sky that didn’t seem to lighten as much as the pieces above.

Winter sky landscape wetWet

Winter sky landscape dryDry

We did learn we could use a bit more practice, as what seemed effortless on the DVD wasn’t so easy. What a surprise!


Filed under Fabric Printing, Techniques

10 responses to “Painting the Sky

  1. Pingback: Paint or Dye | Fiber Designs by Ann

  2. Well, I guess there really is nothing new under the sun. I learned this technique in a workshop with Michele Scott 15 years ago, and it is still one of my favorites. I’ve tried the fiber-reactive dyes but returned to Setacolor–so much easier to use, and less toxic! Thanks for a reminder of a fun activity!

    • Yes, painting is so much easier than dyeing. No masks, much easier cleanup, more flexibility. Of course, the colors are more brilliant with dyeing and you don’t get that double sided effect. Setacolor is wonderful for transparent water color effects. Other paints are more opaque, and often leave a bit of stiffness in the cloth.

  3. I really like how subtle the colors turn out and it seems the possibilities are endless! Do you have a plan for these pieces or was it experimentation only? FUN!

    • It was a surprise to find out how much lighter the colors were when the cloth dried. The winter sky fabric is for a landscape series featuring the 4 seasons. Everything else was learning the technique. I decided to learn more about painting cloth for quilting when I reflected that painters who use oils are working on cloth, too.

  4. I, too am thinking and procrastinating about painting on fabric. I have the mordanted silk, the paints, and the time, but everything is still in time out. Maybe today is the day. Thanks for the inspiration, and your beautiful fabric finishes.

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