It's Day 9 in my series of Walking in the Winter Wonderland: snowscapes and winter related paintings, for those people who can't get into the Christmas spirit unless the ground is covered in snow.
As we near the end of our 10 days there is nary a drop of snow in the area. In fact it looks more like November here. So instead of looking for snow let's look at a winter sky today.
"Winter Sky" is actually a banner painted on silk. I started with a random tie dye in two shades of blue, a purple and a pink-y magenta. After I completed the tie dye and it was dry I added the dried (dead) vegetation in purple and blue using a more solid layer of color over the the background tie dye.
But before I panted the vegetation I had to do some prep work.
I had sketched the vegetation on a really large piece of paper, covering each pencil line with a black Sharpie pen. The I laid the sketch on the floor and placed the silk over it. Since the silk is transparent I was able to see my Sharpie darkened lines underneath. I then traced over those lines with Gutta masking fluid. When the Gutta dried I painted in the vegetation and the Gutta kept the silk dye from bleeding into the tie-dyed background.
When I had finished with the piece I sewed a rod pocket at the top for hanging the piece. I have recently added some sculptural elements to this piece: leaves made with sculpted polymer clay hanging from decorative yarns at either end of the banner giving it a more finished look.
Painting on silk is very much like painting with watercolor. You can work wet-on-wet, letting your colors run, creating glorious combinations (if you know your color wheel). You can also work in a more controlled manner when you need to. I've only recently begun to really explore this medium but I do plan on painting more of these banners and combining sculptural elements for added texture.
Tomorrow is Day 10! But there might be a bonus day for Christmas! Stayed tuned.