drawing, fabric collage and painting of computer keyboard
Creative Chrysalis

106 – Steps of Instruction

February 21, 2021 By

My imagery of a funhouse with a rolling barrel entrance perfectly represents the inviting rabbit hole of the internet, but this amusement park attraction needs some corresponding steps to lead up to it. I envision stepping up onto a giant computer keyboard so I drew one out and shaded it to know what color values of fabric to look for.

A trial collage revealed this was not the right method for the look I wanted. The cut fabrics were not aligning perfectly, and a wonky keyboard would not do.  Also, it was not the textural look of cement or computer hard plastic. Moving on to fabric paints then. I became so absorbed in the process that I forgot to take photos.

A desire for soft texture and smooth color transitions led me to silk charmeuse as fabric to paint on. Color spreads wildly on the very slippery silk, so first I ironed freezer paper onto the material for stability and then painted on a solution of water mixed with matte medium to lessen absorbency.

I like Pro Chem Textile paints mixed with their Extender, for creating subtle build-up of color. Andrea Brokenshire teaches workshops using these paints, demonstrating how she creates her amazing floral artquilts.

Quick Steps for the stairs:

  • Draw an outline of image. Plan where color transitions should happen and make some boundary reminders on your drawing.
  • Flip the drawing upside down.
  • Trace the upside down (flopped) image onto the paper side of grocery store freezer paper with dark sharpie.
  • Iron the shiny side of freezer paper onto silk. You can see your un-flopped image through the silk!
  • Using a wide brush, paint on a mix of water and matte medium (about 3 parts water and 1 of medium – no guarantees here, because I eyeball it – too much medium will make fabric too stiff!). Dry completely.
  • Patiently paint using the freezer paper outline as a guide. Extender is colorless and does not dilute color intensity like water does. It changes the transparency of paint, allowing color to be built up gradually.

Umm, did I mention patience?