Okay, for those who do not know (what rock have you been living under? - No seriously, I am looking for a new vacation spot), Shiva Paintstiks are an oil paint in a crayon type form. They come in both matte and iridescent colors, and can be used on a multitude of surfaces, including fabric! Here is a picture of the Paintstiks:
I am still collecting colors, I think I have about 1/4 of the available colors, and you know that is not sufficient for me. One very important thing that i have learned while playing with these that no one bothered to mention is that when you first start using them you have to peel a thin film off the top that seals the paint so it doesn't all dry out. The film is generally fairly easy to just scrap off on a paper towel, most of the time. What they failed to mention is that sometimes the whole top of the crayon comes off! If you prepared for that possibility in advance you can put that piece onto a palette and use the paint from inside it by applying it with a brush. I was not prepared and just lost all that paint for no damn reason! Now I am very careful in removing that film, I usually use a paring knife to peel it off, a vegetable peeler would also work well, but I didn't have a spare one of those lying around.
One of the neat things you can do with these Paintstiks is rubbings. You remember in grade school, when we rubbed a crayon on a piece of paper over some textured surface, same process. They make specialty rubbing plates to go with the Paintstiks, but there are other manufacturers for those as well, and pretty much anything with a textured surface will work. Here are a few of my rubbing plates (I think I have close to a hundred of them in different patterns):
There are also some rubber stamps (mounted and unmounted) in the picture, they work great too, both as a surface stamp and as a texture underneath. The foam stamps also work as a texture plate, but the impression is not as clear. I learned yesterday that you can actually spray the rubbing plates with a temporary spray adhesive to anchor the fabric directly to the plate so the impressions will be much more precise than what I did. It seems like a pretty obvious solution now, but I didn't think of it on my own. Mostly because I don't like the spray adhesives very much so I rarely think about using them.
One of the other great things about these paints is that you can use them straight from the stick, but you don't have to. You can mix the colors directly on the fabric, or on a palette, however you want to play with them, they will generally play along. They also can be mushed onto a palette and then spread with a stencil brush, other brushes don't work as well due to the dry consistency of the paint, but the stencil brushes are awesome. I don't have any examples of using these with stencils (because I don't have the soap to wash out the brushes yet, and I didn't want to trash my brand new brushes). It is an oil paint, so you have to use turpentine, or a turpentine based product to clean the brushes, they make a special soap just for these paints, but I haven't tried it yet so I have no information on that.
Enough talking about them, how about I show you some of the things they can do? Now that sounds like a plan!
|These cone flowers are from a rubbing plate, I used 4-5 different colors on each one to create the shading and depth. I REALLY like this one!|
|This one was done first with an unmounted rubber stamp of a fern leaf used as a rubbing plate with a lime green Paintstik, and then I went over it again with a darker green and a larger fern leaf rubbing plate.|
|This piece I used a copper Paintstik over a rubbing plate, and then I just put down a thin layer of the paint over one half of the piece and left the other half alone.|
I did let the paint dry and cured for three days in between the first and second coats of paint because I didn't want the first colors smearing. They will all need to be heat set before they are washed, but I will do that later when I can take them outside to do it. The fumes are not too strong when using the paints, its there, but not obnoxiously so. But when you heat set, they stink! At least they do to me, so I do it outside.
Well I hope you all enjoyed my little adventure with the Paintstiks, I know I did! Hopefully I will have more techniques and products to share with you going forward. I have been learning all kinds of new things lately and I am eager to give them a try and share them with all of you!
Until next time :