The other week we looked at the frisket resist. If you don't know what frisket is, check out here: I Can't Even Resist! I happened to mention that it wouldn't work on raw canvas or fabric, and then made this drippy example of what to use for these situations.
A fabric based resist is different than a paper resist. On paper, the frisket seals the surface preventing the pigment from reaching the paper but fabric is so much more porous, the pigment can easily leach through the edges and underneath, ruining your resist (plus I think frisket would absorb into the canvas causing chaos. Or at least you won't be able to remove it again.)
So on fabric, you would have to seal in the porous layers using a removable resist like wax batik or a non removable like a clear drying acrylic gel.
The batik process enables you to draw and write in melted wax, creating wonderful textures, and after you dye it, you can repeat it again to make extravagant patterns. The wax is easy to remove: *home tip* wax is removable by ironing the fabric between newspaper, transferring it to fresh paper until the wax is mostly gone (the heat of the wash will soften out any remaining stiffness) Fake batik is done in classrooms using washable glue so it can be kid friendly too if you are afraid if the wax.
Done by Melissa of Brooklyn to Berlin
I would rather use a permanent resist because I am building acrylic layers of a painting rather than creating a dye pattern. So I use an acrylic gel that dries clear. I wanted a lot so I went for an economy brand which is thin but works for my purposes.
I'm also using a piece of garbage as a scraper. Cuz I'm a classy artist.
I begin with painting on the unprimed canvas which, though unprimed, has sizing on it from its production, so it has a very slight waterproof nature for an instant. You can see in my first image that I have built up some areas with lots of paint, which I use a spray bottle to remove the sizing and allows me to lay down colour quickly. However where I have left the sizing intact, the paint runs as drips that soak in only on their path downwards.
The bottom of the painting was wet with the spray bottle (just water) and the drips coloured it when they reached it.
Next, once it is dry I can scrape on the gel to cover the canvas to the point where it will be longer be soluble to more paint. I've done half of the canvas here: you can see that the gel goes on white but I'm not putting it on too thick, you can still see through it a bit.
Once that is dry, which takes a day unless you do it too thick (I've had paintings stay white for 4 years and they dry yellowish at that point, which was an intentional experiment and successful I would say), you can paint right on top and it will resist soaking into the raw canvas. You can also wipe wet paint off of it so it gives you many options to play and layer your colour on top or erase mistakes. I've done a wash of blue to finish it off, which you can see here:
Look at that sexy outer edge where the raw canvas looks like it was painted on! The new layer soaked into the parts I left raw (around the cloud) and didn't anywhere else, leaving the colour of the raw canvas.
Also, the gel adds a new texture so in the next two pictures you can (sort of) see the texture of the dry gel being highlighted by the paint, (the straight lines from applying the gel with a trowel) and the new shape of the drips which are wider and smoother sliding down the gel instead of the sizing.
You can tell some of the newest layers are still wet.
This process isn't quite as exciting of a reveal or as strong of contrast as the frisket resist. This is because it lacks the detail you can achieve on a smooth surface, because you have to lay the gel on and work it into the canvas which eliminates the ability to create small dots and detail. But it is definitely as important to the final result of my paintings as the frisket is in my drawings.
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