Back in the Studio

Deborah Younglao silk painting in progressIt feels like forever since I've painted! Thought I'd start the year off with something relatively easy, just to get the gears going again. Something nature-inspired but not quite representational, that focuses on shapes and colors while still being recognizable.

So what's the easiest natural shape to draw? Why leaves of course! I'm doing this in batik technique, which will build up layers of leaves, and a rainbow palette. I'm using hot soy wax as a resist. Any shape that is covered with wax, will remain that color through successive layers of dyeings.

The top photo shows my first layer of color, with leaf shapes painted over it with wax.
Deborah Younglao silk painting in progress
What's disconcerting about this technique is that the wax darkens the fabric. This makes it hard to guage what the true color and value is underneath the wax as you paint successive layers of dye. In the second photo, in which I've painted the second layer of dye, my leaf shapes seem to be the same value as the surrounding dye and have almost disappeared - but they'll lighten up once the wax is removed. So right now this doesn't look like anything, but bear with me!