“Tiger” – Using Black Outliner Resist

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I’ve recently thought it was about time I tried out some black outlining on silk and wanted to show it’s use with this tiger project. I usually work with the clear gutta-serti resist for outlining in the Center Parcs sessions as this dries quickly enabling work to be folded in a bag and taken home, after just 2 hours! The coloured outliners often come in tubes which can deliver the resist quite thickly so needs an overnight dry before painting, but if you have the time then it’s results can give a very satisfying look to your silkpainting.
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Starting with a paper template of the  tiger I begin by tracing the image on to the stretched silk, using the autofade pen.These lines will fade when we start to paint, but are handy to deliver the image boldly on the silk.
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The tiger is fun to do as he has some controlled areas of design in the eyes and stripes, but also a lot of areas for more “free style” painting.
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Introducing the “Marabu” black outliner! There are a few different makes, but my local art supplier had this one and I thought it was worth testing out. The nib on the bottle looked mighty big compared with my usual 0.07mm nib, but after a short practise you can control how much to squeeze the bottle.
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It’s always a good idea to test the flow on a spare bit of silk or tissue, wiping the excess of the nib regularly. It can come out a bit too thick at the start, but with practice you can get the right thickness.
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So it’s a straightforward outline on top of your tracings, taking care to connect all your lines together to prevent any leaks. I’m being careful to make sure the outline stays uniform, as a thin line of this outliner has let me down in the past.
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Outlining complete!
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Oops! I forgot to do his whiskers and as I wanted them white, I’m reverting to the clear gutta resist.
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Inspiration! It always helps to surround yourself with some sort of visual images to refer to whilst painting, it can aid colour choices and ideas for textures.
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I’m using the Pebeo Setasilk iron-fix paints, same as in the sessions I teach. They are easy to use, provide concentrate or pastel shades,all intermixable and great with salt. The silk will feel soft to the touch when washed which is important.
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Using a small chinese, natural haired brush, I’m painting concentrate black carefully in between the black lines of resist. It helps to hold the brush almost vertically for better control in narrow spaces. Aim for the middle of a space and allow the dye to do the work for you!
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After looking at the photos of tigers, I realised they all have a black area under the eyes which is very distinctive, so just allow the paint to flow and stop of it’s own accord here, to give a more natural effect.
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Next I’ve decided to paint the ears a light grey, so I just add water to a small amount of concentrate black, which dries quite silvery.
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To add a bit of depth just add the concentrate black on top of the grey whilst damp and blend in with the brush.
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Finally add fine table salt for that hairy ear effect!
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So at this stage all the black and grey is complete, but I’ve seen many different colours used at this stage, so feel free to enjoy a less traditional approach.
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Introducing Magenta and Buttercup Yellow. I dilute the magenta to make a soft pink and add a tiny drop of yellow to make the tiger’s nose a bit more fleshy.
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Nose complete! Also you can see the whiskers in clear resist. Try to avoid painting across these later as they need to be kept white.
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This is my new colour, called Old Gold. It’s a great addition to my range of Setasilks and I painted the eyes using it concentrated.
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I’m not sure if I’ve said already, but leave the black resist overnight to dry completely as it may let the dye through. It does dry quite flat, even if you have used it a bit thick.
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Right, on with the orange tigery fur. I do a bit of mixing here using Tangerine, Cinnamon and Buttercup to create the different shades.
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Here I’m applying a darker brown/orange mix at each side of the nose to give the effect of shading.
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A small amount of fine salt sprinkled lightly is just perfect for a short fur effect.
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Dilute Black for these areas.
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The salt takes a few minutes to react with the dyes, then removed later using a hairdryer.
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More grey on his chin.
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Concentrate Black is added on top of the damp grey for a bit of shading.
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More salt for more hairy texture
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Finally I like to add water to the silk as this enables me to blend colours easily and achieve a dark to light effect
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A base colour is spread on the wet silk and then I work on top with darker shades.
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This larger area gets water first and then more Tangerine/ Gold /Cinnamon mixtures, I often like using large sea salt here to give the larger fur effect.
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Using Meadow and Moss Setasilk and Buttercup I’m painting a grassy background for the tiger to peak out of.
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Applying the darker green on top in grass like brush strokes, painting slightly across the tiger’s fur.
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All finished!
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Just a quick dry with a hairdryer, brush any salt off and take your silk pins off. When you iron fix using any coloured gutta resists, always iron on the back of the fabric well and then a gentle soak in warm water, no harsh rubbing.
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Just to be on the safe side, I’m using a tissue to protect the iron. There was no trace of black from the silk at this stage, everything seems well fixed. Unlike the clear gutta which gets washed out of the fabric, the black and coloured outliners remain.
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I rather like the bubble effect! I just wanted to show that all seems secure – no colour changes or loss of black.
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Iron the silk damp on the reverse when using black outliner. My iron is on a cotton setting with no problems.
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All done! Ready to be made into a simple hanging, framed picture or fun cushion for a child’s room.
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 Here are a few tigers painted by students on the workshops I teach at Center Parcs, we start with the same template but produce wonderfully individual works of art !  I love the way this was painted with a  rainbow paint theme and dark background really work well. There were 6 colours in the eyes alone,  if I remember rightly,  Fab! 

 

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Another Tiger, I just love seeing how everyone interprets the same template so individually.
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This one has a wonderful soft fur effect!
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He’s definitely snug in his fur!

I hope you have enjoyed this project, your comments always appreciated.

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