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Painting with Washing Technique

It's easy and it's fast.

The main technique that I have been using this year is "washing" in the backgrounds and using water to just generally change the look of what I'm painting. I've been using the Brushes a lot with this technique - but it can be done to a certain degree with the tip or using material scraps.

Wash Tech

With this first one I just wet the material with water - then dotted the paint on straight from the tip (pointillism). I used two (2) different colors - then waited to see what would happen. As the paint spread through the water it softened the colors and spread them out from the point of impact. Using the same wet material I put the same two (2) colors on and blended them with my Fiber Blender - then waited to see how the water affected them. It became an interesting spread and blend of colors.

Wash Tech

When Rene, in Florida, was telling me about this technique she was talking about working on skies. It's a way to do cloud formations, sunrises and sunsets in particular. When you wash in the background color of the sky, while the wash is still wet -you can streak in other colors using the corner of a piece of material or a brush. Those colors will fade out and meld into the sky background.

I can see this part of the technique being used for water like rivers, oceans, lakes and ponds. I think it has possibilities for dirt, dessert, mountains, just about any kind of design that uses multiple tones of color to make a whole.

If you were going to use this on a scene with other components, you can outline the other components, let them dry, and then put in the wash. The paint that is dry will stop the wash from going where you don't want it.

Wash Tech

In this swatch (Left), you can see that Metallics and Sparkles will not meld as completely as the regular paints. I used a dark color for the wash background and little parts that I did not mix in well gives a totally different look to the background. The background is just one wash in one color and yet you can see different layers where I started to stroke over different parts of the wash giving it lighter and darker areas.

Wash Tech

On this one (Right) I put in the wash - then streaked in a couple colors of Sparkles. I wanted to see what would happen if I just dripped in some water over the wash. It kind of looks like with a little practice I could make a pile of rocks using this technique. On the left I used a brush that I had dipped in water to see what would happen. Interesting! It looks like I put in layers of the wash background. Maybe it turns into layers of storm clouds. What do you think? As the whole thing dried - the colors from the two (2) colors that I streaked in - spread out and added to the design.

Ginger's Dragon Quilt Block for September 2010

Play with it and see what you come up with. I think that this is something that we will have to use over and over again to get it to consistently do what we want it to do.

I'm thinking of putting a wide and soft brush in the Line specifically to do 'washes' with. When you are doing washes, the paint is thinned down so far that it soaks right into the material and you don't have to have the regular stiff Fabric Brushes to make sure of the penetration of the paint. Once the 'washes' are dry - they are totally washable.

This is the first time that I tried this technique. I wanted veins of colorful gems in the wall of the mother dragon's cave. I need more practice - but I like the effect.