Monday, October 24, 2011

Wrought Iron Bougainvillea - Silk Painting

Last week I taught my niece how to paint on silk and that made me miss silk painting so I decided to paint one this week.  I have some photos of bougainvillea against an orange building and am working on painting it in watercolor so I thought I would try painting it using silk dyes on silk also.  It has a completely different look than the watercolor painting.

I was planning to put shadows from the bougainvillea on the wall but felt that this design was already too busy and the shadows  probably wouldn't read right in a silk painting.  I am going to make the shadows fairly important in the watercolor painting.  That painting doesn't have the wrought iron so it's busy in a different way.

In this painting, I used salt to give a suggestion of stucco in the wall but the color I used didn't react very much with the salt.  I probably had the color too light.  I also experimented with using colored resists for parts of the details but need to go darker next time.  It's all a learning experience, right?

By the way, my niece is a natural at the silk painting.  Her painting is turning out great and she's already planning her next project.  Silk painting is VERY addictive but it's a pretty healthy addiction.

Wrought Iron Bougainvillea
Image Size 15.5" x 23.25"
Silk dyes on silk
Stretched but unframed


  1. Une très belle pièce... Des nuances de roses sublimes...
    Gros bisous

  2. Gorgeous work, Nancy! I love the soft edges of the leaves, especially as they go further back behind the flowers. Can't wait to see the watercolor too.

  3. Lovely!!! I guess it runs in the family. Your work is beautiful!

  4. I've just been scrolling through your recent work & posts and you're doing some wonderful work. But it's your silk paintings that capture my eye, again & again. This piece is wonderful!!!

  5. Merci Martinealison.

    Thanks Sherry. It's always interesting to work without the resist for the background leaves and flowers. You never really know what the dyes will do. This time they behaved themselves.

    Thanks Kimberly.

    Thank you Nancie. The silk paintings do have a very unique look because of the graphic lines and contained colors - much like a stained glass window.

  6. Beautiful work, Nancy! You amaze me how you work with so many mediums..I applause you. The dark wrought iron works as a frame around these delicate flowers!! Again, excellent!

  7. Lovely!!! I've done a bit of silk painting so I understand how you did the flowers. How did you do the wrought iron???

  8. Thank you HIlda. I really enjoy switching from one medium to another. It keeps me from getting bored.
    I'm framing this in a black frame so the wrought iron compliments that and makes sense.

    Thanks Joan. The wrought iron was outlined with black resist and then just painted with the black dye.

  9. Your paintings of flowers are so lovely and this is another beauty!

  10. aha - silk painting claims another victim! Glad your niece got into it.

    You're right, shadows would have been overkill in this painting. The fuzzy background flowers do a great job of making the main flowers stand out. It'll be interesting to see your watercolor interpretation.

  11. Thanks Theresa. I love painting flowers, especially on silk.

    Oh Deborah, you are so right. Once a person tries silk painting it's very hard to stop. I'm not sure if my niece will thank me for this or curse me. I think the former, don't you?
    I'm working on the watercolor version of this right now and hopefully will finish it by Monday - my self-imposed posting day.


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