Painting on silk is an art form that has been practiced for centuries, originally begun in Asia, and now popular worldwide. Painting on silk gives the material a luminescent vibrant colour, and is a fun and beautiful way to create artistic pieces. Silk painting is very easy, however the challenge new artists face with this medium is understanding what materials they need, and how to prepare the silk for painting. This website was created to help blossoming artists explore this wonderful artistic medium, with an overview of silk painting materials and a tutorial on creating a silk painting. If you have any questions or tips for others please let me know through the contact page.
Silk painting is done by stretching silk on a frame, and applying dye or paint to the silk. Paint and dye spread freely on silk, so resists (often referred to as gutta) are used to create outlines and contain colours.
Dyes must be “set”, or fixed, on silk by steaming it after the dye is applied. Setting dye creates the most vibrant colours, however the setup for the steamer is fairly complicated. Using paint on silk has less vibrant colour, but the silk only requires ironing to set the colour. I tend to work with paints more often and will use this method for the tutorial. Most professional silkpainters use dyes and steamers, and for more information on this method Li Newton has a great article that goes more into depth.