Sunday, 3 February 2013

Decisions, decisions

I've been doing various experiments this week, most of which have left me with more questions than answers.

First up was filling in the design I marked with outliner last week. This didn't leave any questions. The thickness and general unevenness of my outlining is painfully obvious.

The painted sample

It's clear that I'm going to have to use a finer nib when applying the outliner, or at the very least, apply it to the outer edge of the area I want to paint. Even though applying beads along the original pencil lines fills some of the void, it's not enough.

Beading doesn't hide the gaps

The sample also made me wonder about my colour choices. Although the red, blue and green are very appropriate for an Egyptian design, I wonder if they are too bold against the cream fabric and the gold beads.

Inspired by the long fringing on the pink dress in the Palazzo Mocenigo, I want to use several shades of gold beading on the dress, and this also affects the palette I might use.

Light, medium and dark gold beads

Another problem I'd discovered was that the hot iron needed to set the fabric paints has caused the fabric to pucker slightly, possibly due to the stretch element in the thread. So, I did samples of some of the fabric paints I have, and experimented with various iron temperatures to find a compromise between saving the fabric and setting the colour.

First colour sample

I have always intended to use the satin crepe fabric matte side up, but also experimented with painting the fabric on both the satin and the crepe side, to see what effect was achieved by the paint soaking through from the 'wrong' side. Unfortunately, the colours look so lustrous on the shiny side that I'm now wondering whether to risk another tussle with satin, and make the dress that side out instead.

Satin or matte?

Still pondering possible colour schemes, I went through my bookcase looking for ideas. In Art Deco Fashion I found this jacket covered in Egyptian motifs. This in turn led to experiments with a few more fabric paints, some of which are a thicker texture, so may not require outlining. (The colour at the bottom left should have been metallic, but has now clearly separated beyond repair.)

Purples and another blue, full strength and diluted

All in all, I'm now spoiled for choice.

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