Friday, 15 April 2011
Another one begins.
In truth, as it evolves, the new piece bears little resemblance, as the subject matter is so different. I have used the idea of a moon though, and the format of strongly divided areas with horizontal lines.
So, I have soda soaked my cotton, and have waxed some lines on the surface for texture. I've used soy wax...a new thing for me. I'd heard it's a lot easier to wash out than batik wax so have my fingers crossed. I hate that waxy residue you get with batik even when you take great care to get it out.
The cloth when dry, was put onto the easel, and I used pencils and marker pens to decide on the lines and broad areas of colour.
This photo shows how many times I changed my mind.
You don't need heaps of photos of someone dyeing, but I will tell you my problems and errors this time around.
I use bin bags as sheeting under my soda soaked cloth so that it's easy to wrap for curing. One goes on the top as I paint to stop the dye mix drying out. It stops working if it does.
I then thickened this with manutex (seaweed) Now, I should have looked up the recipe for mixing manutex but didn't. I went by the proportions on the label, and ended up with something far far too thick for use. It was then a real pain to thin down.
In the end I mixed my dye powders with water and then combined this with the manutex. What a palava and a mess.
I'm using just 3 colours. A warm yellow, like orange, a dark clear blue, and black.
I want the top section with the moon to be fairly light, so the dye mix has a lot of manutex in it to lighten the colour (less dye, more manutex = lighter colours)
And so on down the cloth, changing the amount of dye according to how I felt.
The bottom section was to be almost black. I decided to use a ruler and make marks on the cloth before screen printing over them with black.
The colour always takes immediately, so the first colour you use is hard to alter, which can be useful as in this case, or a problem if you make a mistake!
Everything is wrapped in plastic, curing, for 24 hours. I'll let you know how I get on. If it's not very good (who can say at the moment) then it will be a great opportunity to add other things to it to make it better.
For this portrait I'm starting off by using some stencils and stamps to make a background. I especially like the stencil with the jumble...
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