Art to Wear Jacket

Happy December! Laura here again.

I began painting clothing back in high school. I created a series of characters doing all sorts of sports and activities that I painted on to t-shirts. (It beat flipping burgers to make spending money!) Back in the late 70’s there was no such thing as “fabric paint”. Liquid acrylics were around and easy to find and that is what I used. By adding a bit of acrylic medium (similar to gel medium I have now) it softened the painted finish and made it easier to paint with. The paint could be heat set with an iron to make it washable. I still use the exact same process now.

For this project, I used a denim jacket. Always make sure to wash your garment before painting to remove any sizing and allow for any shrinkage. It is best to slide a piece of cardboard into the jacket or shirt to project and bleed thru. Begin with prepping your garment by painted a coat of Gel Medium (TCW9011) over the area you are painting. Next create a basic plan/outline of what you want to paint and mark on the dried Gel Medium. Perhaps the toughest part is establishing your palette of colors. I like to have at least two shade of each color I want to use. These paints are inexpensive and easy to find, so I tend not to limit myself! LOL!

To prep you paints, mix in a bit of Gel medium with the paint. I find a 75% paint/25% Medium works well. I began by painting the background with a combination of a large brush and a palette knife. I kept the background “rough” and painterly. Mask off the painted area to prevent getting paint where it is not wanted.

I used TCW876 Screen View to add texture to the darker background. I also created a mask for the circles from a sheet of acetate to help create the circles on the jacket.

I continued adding layers for depth and interest. I used the both the 6″ and 12″ size of TCW876 ScreenView as well as both sizes of TCW838 Floral Spectacle. I also used TCW 829 Heartful Flower. I masked off the stripes of TCW5009 Stripes to create a dashed line.

I kept adding layers and details until I was happy with the result.

On the front of the jacket I added similar elements on a smaller scale. When painting on both front and back, its always a good idea to add one or more details to vital tie things together. I added a single strip of squares in black with white tic marks from TCW876 Screen View along the top edge of the back and repeated it on the front.

Allow the completed garment to dry for 24 hours. Once dry, iron with an iron on cotton setting to heat set paint onto fabrics. I also suggest using a old towel or cloth over the painted section while pressing to prevent any paint transfer to your iron. Enjoy or gift your unique, on-of-a-kind finished garment!

The Crafters Workshop provided me with several products used for this project. the opinions I express about the products are entirely my own.

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