Painting on Silk for Beginners

This weekend, I experimented with an art technique that was completely new to me- painting on silk! It was something I’ve been wanting to try for a long time. And since I’m comfortably cozy alone at home, watching Pride and Prejudice during the Super Bowl, I thought I’d share a step-by-step tutorial below, if you’d like to see!

pinterest silk.jpg



Silk dyes are luminous and vibrant. When mixed with water and applied with a brush, they spread quickly to cover the surface of the silk. The first step, then, is to lay down the resist. This clear gel penetrates the silk from front to back creating a seal to keep the color where it belongs. Some artists use gutta instead, which comes in many colors and even shimmery metallics. I’d love to try those soon!


Tack the silk tautly to a frame or the back of an artist’s canvas. Squeeze on the resist, making sure that every shape is closed, leaving the dye no room to escape to other areas.

Once the resist is outlined and completely dry, you can begin to mix your dyes and color in the design. You only need to touch the brush to the silk, and the dye will spread out to the edges of the resist. It’s really fun to experiment with shading as you watch the picture appear.


Fill in the areas of the picture one by one. Try adding shading to give a multi-dimensional effect.

I wanted to give the vase a watery, mottled look. While the dye was still wet, I sprinkled kosher salt over the surface and let it dry. Once the salt is swept away, it leaves a beautiful pattern behind. This video demonstration was really helpful for me.


Let it dry before removing the scarf from the frame.

Allow the piece to dry fully before sweeping off the salt and untacking it from the frame. To make the fabric washable and able to be dry cleaned, mix two tablespoons of Dyeset with a gallon of cold tap water and stir for 30-60 seconds. Rinse with cold water and detergent, and hang to dry.

finished scarf.jpg


Here’s my finished scarf! This was such a fun project, and I loved trying something new. Now I want to make silk scarves for all my sisters and friends.

Have you tried any new crafts or projects lately?

And I how could I not leave you with this:


“You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.”

Have a wonderful week!


3 thoughts on “Painting on Silk for Beginners

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