Baturday 12: Painted Bat Threads

Well, I’ve had a crazy couple of weeks. This Baturday should’ve taken a week, but the first one was almost done the first week and I was determined to make two (I wanted to see how they different fabrics and colours looked). After the black-out weekend, the usual house-hunt mayhem (we still managed to spend our Sunday inspecting houses, as we’ve been doing for weeks now), my ongoing exhaustion and generally being a bit busy, I decided that I wasn’t going to pressure myself to get another Baturday done this week. I’d originally planned to post this one as soon as it was done and get another posted today, but posting Baturday during the week just felt weird and I wouldn’t have had time to come up with a second project that wasn’t obviously rushed.

Black shirt with a Blue bat, front.

So this week’s Baturday is fabric paint on t-shirts. 😀
I’m really happy with how it turned out. It was more work than I’d expected, but I think that has more to do with my determination to make it look the way I wanted. The image style I had in my head was bright, opaque colours, somewhat like screen printing or digital printing.
I originally decided to tackle this medium when I found t-shirts for $4 each at BigW, and I came across some fabric paint pens on special at Spotlight; it was almost too perfect. I wasn’t afraid to ruin the shirts, given how cheap they were, and I feel like I have more control with drawing than painting so the markers were an excellent option. I knew the markers would possibly be poor quality, but should’ve decided against them when I shook the packet and didn’t hear a ball-bearing inside. I was thinking paint pens, where you shake them up, pump the tip and a nice, thick paint flows out… No. These were like normal markers, terrible for trying to print on fabric. Determined to try to use them I drained the first marker simply trying to do an outline of my bat.. I also discovered while testing them that to get the colours to be bright, even on the light grey shirt, I’d have to either draw a white base or go over the colour with white..
JJ suggested I try to do the markers and then do another shirt with proper fabric paint to compare the quality, But I quickly accepted that to try to use the markers would involve buying and using so many of them that it’d simply be a waste of money and time.

Black shirt, back.

But I had my image sketched up and the idea set in my head, so I just had to go back and buy some proper paint. I wanted to tackle this medium and be happy with it. I’m so happy that I did.

I sketched out my image and words on the shirts using my tailor’s chalk, which you can still see in some of the pictures, but it’ll wash-out just fine when I get up the courage to try washing them. I’m really scared about that part, even though I’ve tried to heat-set them as best I can.
I used quite a bit of the paint, doing 3-4 layers to get a clear block of colour with minimal spotting. During the black-out I continued to try to paint using a torch head-lamp, but once I saw the shirt in day-light I realised I’d mixed-up my blue and purple and done my colours wrong. I really couldn’t distinguish colour or see much of anything in general by torchlight and gave myself a headache trying to work that way. But it wasn’t a total waste of time as the paint layers provided a good base without effecting the colour going over the top.

Grey shirt with purple bat, front.

I knew I wanted something behind the bat to make him leap into the foreground, as opposed to being sunk back into the shirt. I initially intended for it to just be a circle, but in my mind it’s a blue moon. I even sponged some white paint to give it a light halo which is pretty obvious on the black shirt, but very subtle on they grey.
I’m also really happy with the placement of the writing on the back. I wanted it to be around the shoulder blades but really just had to guess without a model to check on.

Grey shirt, back.

So there you go, shameless self-promotion, not that that was my original intention. 😛 JJ’s a little offended I didn’t make one for him, but I figured if it turned out looking crap then I wouldn’t mind wearing it. He said he’d wear it no matter what, so I guess I’d better make time to make him one as well.

Finally, I’m very happy to say that we’ve been approved to rent a house. It’s not quite what we’d hoped for, but I’m really just over the moon that we’ll have our own space, and I’ll have my very own craft desk! Our moving date s in a week so it’s highly likely that I won’t get a chance to post next weekend as we’ll be busy packing during the week and doing the move on the weekend. Fingers crossed I manage to get something up.

Happy Baturday everyone. 🙂

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2 responses to “Baturday 12: Painted Bat Threads

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