Most readers know I am pretty much game
to paint on anything. A little personal, colorful touch
always customizes things I think...why not?
So it is no surprise that I would gussy up a blue jean jacket
sooner or later.
Recently I read an Alisa Burke blog where she painted the back of a jean jacket with her classic flower doodles. I was smitten! As much as I loved her finished "statement jacket" I do not paint in her style and it would be a poor imitation if I tried. But that didn't stop me from giving it a go with my own design. Just in case you want to try I'll outline my general steps here. Read her notes and/or check around on-line for other tips.
I washed my jacket in hot water and dried it partially in the dryer (no dryer sheets)finishing on a hanger. This removes the sizing and here after you should wash it in the cold cycle.
I like to make sketches of what I want so I doodled in my sketchbook with a rough outline of the shape of the jacket back. I even made notes as to possible colors.
I liked this idea so now I laid out the jacket back to scale on a piece of paper and drew the design once again. This sounds like a lot of work but it is really easy and the layout changes a lot when you start gauging it by more exact sizing.
Now I was ready to get serious and transfer these guidelines to my jacket. I pinned in some old cloth just in case the paint came through (it didn't) because I didn't want it to mar the front side. I made my lines with a white sharpie paint pen which may or may not wash out. Making some additional design and placement changes I was now looking at this:
The jar beside the pen is "Fabric Painting Medium" of which there are several brands. I chose to mix it with acrylic paint to 1) help the paint stay wet and spreadable and 2) provide some softness to an otherwise plastic-y paint to make it more comfy to wear and wash. It is not mandatory but advisable. Check Michaels for this brand (Americana) or on-line for Liquetex.
Now the real fun and great experimentation. Keep in mind that your plans will morph and change as color is added....I know mine did and I consider it all for the better.
I knew I wanted a pink sky, blue and green mountains, green trees and a blue river....now to make it all come together. Slowly but surely I began painting the parts I was most color-choice confident of, knowing I would have to make the following colors tie in and repeat as the design took shape. At this stage I began to slow down and make choices more carefully as I desired some "still places" as well as some funky design areas.
Leaving bits of the blue jean material uncovered gave it a real 3D look for some reason. I like also that it ties it together as opposed to looking like the whole back was a different piece. The area at the top, on the neck sash, got a little design element added and I hope the flowers at the bottom waist section give the idea that there is another field of flowers in front of the trees. After 24hours of dry time "heat set" by ironing both sides with a dry (no steam) iron on medium low. Put a sheet over the paint side while ironing.
Not bad for a first (and final) try, huh? But additional ideas for designs come to mind...almost any theme lends itself for a motif; maybe even a mixed-up patchwork of painted designs.
"The Mountains Are Calling..."
blue jean jacket, original, acrylic
We have lots of summer concerts where I live. The kind where you pack up a picnic and chairs and listen to live music on the lawn. They start in daylight but as the sun sets over the mountains there is a little chill in the air that begs for a light jacket....I do think I have the perfect one now. See you outside.
ANSWERING THE CALL,
p.s. if you have any questions just let me know. It was really a lot of fun.