Posted in painting

Painting Hydrangea Leaves

Beside the patio lives a beautiful oakleaf hydrangea. Every morning, I drink my coffee in its shadow and admire the sunlight shining through the leaves. I have been wanting to incorporate these wonderful leaves into my fiber art all summer long.

If you look carefully at the photo, you will notice that there is a variety of leaf shapes presented by this plant. There can be three, four or five lobes on a leaf. It seems that the baby leaves start out almost round and the lobes develop as the leaf matures. I have decided to do a mosaic of the leaf shapes with fabric paint and resist on cloth.

Here are two of the drawings I made of these shapes. I will be using the shape outlined in black ink for today’s paintings.

There are two experiments today. In one, I use the water based resist on the leaf shape, paint the background, then remove the resist and paint the leaf. In the second experiment, I paint the entire piece, add resist to the leaf shape and over-paint the background. Here is a photo of both experiments in the first stage. The lines are traced and a yellow tinted resist is applied to both swatches. The left swatch has the whole leaf covered in resist.

Experiment one. I used a violet background.

Wet painting
This photo show the fabric after the resist is washed away. The yellow leaf veins didn’t stick, but some of the yellow outline is still visible.
in this photo I applied resist all around the leaf shape before painting the leaf itself.
Paint on leaf still wet. Only a little green leaked out on the lower right side.

Experiment two. I started by applying yellow tinted resist to the veins and outline, then covered the entire fabric with yellow-green paint.

Paint is still wet.
Paint has dried. I applied additional resist over the leaf area before painting the background.
Finished leaf, still wet.

I am happy with today’s experiments. I like the dark velvety color of experiment two. But experiment one has potential. Both are now ready for additional paint effects.

Author:

One of six children, I was raised by a busy mom, who instilled in me a love of fabric. Though I learned to sew and knit at a young age, it was the arrival of my first grandchild that pushed me into action. A long-time knitter, I am now ready to explore all things fiber.

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