Monday, August 12, 2013

Painting with Alcohol and Sharpies

A friend of mine is directing a local theater company's Mikado and has asked me to help him with props. I'm painting fans for the players.

I'd never painted on fabric before, and I pulled on what I'd learned from a colored pencil class in college when I learned how to use washes with colored pencils using fabric brushes and denatured alcohol. Since the fans are made out of nylon, and all the dyes and fabric markers suggest cotton, natural fibers, or a poly blend, I figured why not try it with marker. It's just as permanent as paint, right?

First I colored in the border with a pink crayola marker. Does that look pink to you?? Me either. I didn't like the look at all.

Then I began scrubbing alcohol over it with my fabric brush to create the bleed effect that the director specifically requested.

I had no idea how it was going to work for the flowers. So I drew some outlines.

And I drew some splotchy lines to try to blur.

Then I added some branches and leaves

Top fan was first attempt with outlined flowers. I think they look like petunias more than anything. Lower fan w/o the border I think turned out much better.

For the record, the Bic brand of marker blends much better than Sharpie brand. Once the Sharpie is on, it'll give you a teensy bit of hue for a bleed, but not much. Your original lines will be obvious. Bic will run wherever you want it to. Or even wherever you don't. Bic brand gave me a much more painterly feel, and for this project, I like that much better. Crayola acts almost just like watercolor in this environment. I can 'erase' with the alcohol and blend it so easily. I'm sticking with the crayola for the borders and the Bic markers for the flowers, and sharpie for branches and stems.

I'll update when I get the mens fans done. Those will be all samurai warriors on black fans.

I have a total of 11 White women's fans to do, 10 Black men's fans, and 1 red fan that will have a japanese demon on it. I have to figure out how to work with the black plastic spokes on the red fan, since they show through the red fabric. Will be fun! I'm feeling like an Aarrteeeeest today.

No comments:

Post a Comment