photo of air-brush supplies
Skirmish on Insecurity Hill

7 – Ready, Set, Go!

May 7, 2019 By

My composition is decided, airbrush equipment is in working order, paints and mediums are at the ready. What about the fabric?

Cotton readily absorbs paint, so much so that it greedily sucks the liquid medium carrying the pigment into surrounding fibers, making beautiful amorphous bleeds and blends of color. Stop right there! I want control of the paint edges in this case. The thing about textile painting is that there is no going back – no scraping off the paint or covering with white paint for a fresh start. No un-do button. The fibers grab ahold of pigment and won’t let go. Allow me to be presumptuous, but remember the stains in your clothes?-it’s the same kind of thing.

For better control of paint bleed, I painted my white cotton fabric with a diluted solution of matte medium. Couldn’t say what the exact mix is, but much, much more water than medium, otherwise the hand of the fabric will drastically change. If the material becomes too stiff, it won’t be like the rest of the materials going into the quilt, and it will also hold onto creases. I used a foam brush to paint the solution on, hung it to dry, and gave it a quick iron before lightly tracing my outline onto it.