As I mentioned before, I had a couple of hours of instruction to learn how to silk paint and then just went with it… I started with the dyes my friend and mentor Shoshana left me. I had just the primary colors and some black dye, so in learning to silk paint I had to also learn how to mix the dyes.
I learned from Sho to use an ice tray for the colors, mixing small amounts in the little ice sections. It was a wonderful way to get used to and comfortable with mixing colors. I don’t use the ice trays anymore, I am too darn sloppy.
I picked up little cups at the grocery store that had been used by customers to try a new juice or yogurt. They are the perfect size, washable and durable. I have been using the same ones for 10 years.
My daughter, Emily, was a teen when I began silk paintying and became my official color mixer, she has a great eye. I wish she was around now to accompany me, but she is grown an living in New York. Sniff.
In my studio there is a huge collection of colors now between dyes I have purchased in all shades and dyes I have mixed. I use several shades of each color on a silk and mix as I go along. One type of leaf may have as many as 10 colors in it. I never throw any dye away, I always have use for colors on other projects.
Shoshana gave me a book about silk painting when I first began and I did use it and get some ideas and support when I started out. I highly recommend the book for anyone who wants to try their luck at silk painting on their own. I used, not used, changed, disagreed and experimented with things in this book was lucky to have it because at that time I had no internet so I couldn’t google information. Quite frankly though, I much prefer to have the book in front of me.
Silk Painting Book Recommendations
1. Beginner’s Guide to Silk Painting by Mandy Southan
2. Another book I love is Creative Silk Painting by Diane Tuckman and Jan Janas. It deals with using instant set dyes, which I do not use, but the photos are fabulous and demonstrate all the wonderful things that can be created with silk. Definitely worth a look.
3. Beginner’s Guide To Silk Painting by Caroline Earl is yet another book available on the market, however I have not yet had the opportunity to see it.