Note from Vivika: Today I've asked mixed-media fiber artist Jane Dávila, who is also editor of the eMags Quilting Arts In Stitches and the new Surface Explorations to share fabric painting tips she learned from Linda and Laura Kemshall. Take it away, Jane!
The mother and daughter team of Linda and Laura Kemshall are two of my favorite rock stars of the surface design world! I consider their book, The Painted Quilt, to be essential to anyone who is interested in applying paint to fabric.
|Detail of 'Golden Tulips' by Linda Kemshall, in Surface Explorations.
Their creative style and sense of design shows through everything they create, whether it's a collaborative or solo effort. In Surface Explorations I, they share with us thoughts on their working processes, collaborations, favorite techniques and much more.
Here are some fabric painting tips from this dynamic duo.
Linda and Laura's Tips for Painting on Fabric
1. Sample on a scrap of the fabric you intend to use before launching into a major project.
2. Use a decent paintbrush and look after it―you need one that will hold a good point and it is better to have one good paintbrush than any number of poor ones!
3. Test the fabric paint to see how much it spreads on the surface of the cloth. You need to have control of the edges of the wet paint―if it is too thick and dry it will drag and if it is too thin and fluid it will bleed.
4. After testing, you may decide you need to add a little water or perhaps none at all.
In order to successfully use a rolling of paint to pick up on stitched surface texture, there are a couple of key points to bear in mind.
|'Sound of Your Guitar,' detail,
by Laura Kemshall.
1. The first, and probably the most important, is not to be heavy handed. Once the paint has been applied it is there for good.
2. It is best to build up the layers gradually until you get a feel for it. Rolled paint effects work much better on densely quilted surfaces, so don't skimp on the stitch!
3. Be sure to load the roller evenly with paint before applying to the quilt surface. After you've invested all that time in the stitching you don't want to go spoiling things with a big blob of paint.
4. I have found that as a general rule this type of effect works best with pale colors applied to a dark fabric base. The light paint will add a frosted feel whereas a dark paint applied to a pale fabric can just look dirty.
For more surface design tips from Linda and Laura, plus insight into their creative process, download the interactive digital eMag Surface Explorations I for your PC or for your Mac.
P.S. What's your favorite fabric painting tip? Or, if you haven't tried fabric painting, what's holding you back? Share your experiences in the comments section below.