Saturday, December 10, 2011

Trashed painting

Carol here.

I never meant to trash this painting...but you know, sometimes things just happen.

My husband and I were hiking in the woods the other day and we kept seeing these tiny little birds in the trees
just fluttering about - so cute!
When I got home I began a search for the tiny bird, finally settling on the Red-breasted Nuthatch.

I was amazed at just how cute they are, how social they can be and how popular they are.

I sketched one out in my sketchbook but really wanted to paint one onto fabric.
I'm working on a really cool class project and wanted to add a hand painted element to the cover.
I decided to sketch one out onto to a scrap piece of PFD (prepared for dyeing) fabric that I have.
I sketched out the bird with a 2H pencil. The pencil lines are dark enough to see but light enough for the paint to cover them.
I ironed a piece of freezer paper to the back of it to make the fabric more stable while I was working with it.
After this, I used acrylic paint to apply color.
I did use a paint extender to slow the paint drying time and allow extra time to blend the colors.

When I was pleased with the painting, I decided to hurry up the drying process (yep, after I used paint extender to slow it down...) by ironing it.
(the acrylic paints will set without applying heat)
As I ironed it, I started to notice a little bit of (what I thought was) steam coming up from the fabric.
Well, it wasn't steam but smoke! I had forgotten that this was a scrap of fabric that I had soaked in soda ash during a day of fabric dyeing a few months ago...
The soda ash is very sensitive to heat. 
Now my cute little painted bird was trashed!

Not all was lost!
It hit me that I could use the trashed painting as an example of this months theme.
And as an example of how to make lemonaide from lemons.

Here's the trashed painting.

See the burned fabric around the edges of the bird?

All was not lost however. I cut around the bird and was able to use the painting as I planned on in the first place.

Well, I could have if I hadn't of changed my mind about which bird to use...


  1. Amazing! Doesn't look trashed to me!

  2. Yes I thought it was shaded like that on purpose, I couldn't figure out what was burned until I looked at the cutout photo.

  3. I thought the brown was really pretty - great job on salvaging your bird!

  4. I don't know Carol - I kind of liked the scorched effect :)