Monday, 19 November 2012


Something which may help with my layout issues from the previous post is that I finally have the beginnings of a design board - although my main priority is actually a photographing surface. The foam insulation that's so readily available in the US simply isn't used much here, and therefore difficult to obtain. I did manage to find a supplier across the other side of town, and my phone call was very positive, so I went out on Friday with high hopes.

(two roughly FQ-size pieces drying on the foam)

To start with, I do have several large sheets of very cheap ($5 for 3cm-thick, 2450 x 1200mm)  foam. I cut one of these to use with fabric painting, and that's been a real success. I got Mickey Lawler's DVD on painting landscape fabrics and watched it last week, and have been all inspired. I can't recommend her highly enough. Anyway, she pins her fabric to a foam board, and it not only keeps it in place for painting, but it holds it in position while it's outside drying in the sunshine (and possibly wind).

(one of the above pieces, all dry;
the 'dust' on the dark sky is actually shimmery paint I added, and looks like stars in person)

I completely covered the cut-down pieces (I got four pieces from the 2450 x 1200mm sheets, each big enough for a full half-metre (generous half-yard) cut) with thin plastic (also cheap - a $2, 2.6 x 3.6m drop sheet from the local hardware store did all four easily). This stops bits of foam from ending up everywhere, and seals it from the paint. Yes, I do pin through it, and eventually they'll need re-wrapping, but I think it'll work well.

(easy way to keep her clothes clean - remove them!; she had help with the small sunset)

Eleanor and I did some fabric painting this afternoon, and found the foam boards made things much easier. I wanted to try out something I'll use in Eleanor's bed quilt, and I've long been planning a quilt which needs a sunset, and want to practice to get the colours and effect I have in mind (it's a rather serendipitous process; the finished product changes significantly between painting and being dry).

(Eleanor's larger pieces (FQs); no assistance from me)

The verdict; the sunsets weren't bad, but do need a little more practice, but I didn't get the gradient I wanted for Eleanor's quilt, so will try it differently next time, and will use the small sample for something else - possibly further painted or embellished. It was definitely worth the practice.

(1/2y cut; sea drying before adding the sunset sky)

I'll probably cut up another of these for painting use eventually, but will leave them large for now, esepcially as the piece I need for Eleanor's quilt is big (I estimate in the vicinity of 1.3 x 1.7m).

(same piece; sky added and all dry - sea colour not quite right)

I'll probably cover two of the cheap ones for a design board, but as I don't have a free wall, or much space left, I'm not sure where I'll keep them. (In fact, the whole lot of foam takes an enormous amount of space, and will probably mostly live in the rapidly filling shed!)

QUESTION: What's the best fabric to use for a design board? I want it clingy, but don't want something which will leave fibres on every piece of fabric it touches.

(using up some leftover paints - bottom half painted in streaks; top spattered)

I'll talk about my photographing foam another time, once I've tried it out.


Vicki W said...

Your painting looks like a lot of fun! I like acrylic felt for my design wall. I have also used, and like, flannel sheets.

M-R said...

Very cool!

Stephanie Pettengell said...

I use a fine weave cotton poplin for this method and find it works very well.