[ Jump to: Overview » Kimono » Tunic » Obi » Beading » Painting » Summary ] [ Gallery ]
Stage 5: Painting on the flames
Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicles art still © CLAMP
Hey look! Firey! -_- *mutters*
However, I thought it might cost me $100 and take maybe 6-10 hours to paint. Oh how I was wrong.
I will tell you this: good fabric paint on anything more than a minimal scale is an investment, but quality fabric paint is heat-settable (and thereby washable), soft, wear resistant, and gorgeous stuff. Read instructions, do your research.
By the time I got to a point where I was ready to actually paint I had less than a week until the convention I was hoping to have it done for. I ended up taking up the entire front foyer of my house (the largest non-carpeted area in my house aside from the kitchen) and painting there for 4 days straight. I think it was the second day where I started a bit later, but it was basically starting at 10am in the morning and painting until 2am the next morning, slowly and patiently doing the lines.
This would have gone much faster if I had proper fabric painting brushes. On a whim I had bought one small fabric painting angle brush which was very stiff and really nice to work with. All the other brushes I had (even the larger ones), though as stiff as I could have them with what I had in the house, were far too soft and took a lot of paint and effort to work the paint evenly over the texture of my fabric. I know for next time:
We picked up a massive drop cloth to cover the floor and prevent the fabric paint from staining anything. Thankfully the design of my kimono let the bottom part flare out smoothly so I could actually lie the whole thing out flat when I painted it and not worry about keeping excess fabric out of the way. The sleeves were left unsewn and flat until the painting was finished. Then the two halves were folded and sewn together and then finished with a white lining before being attached. Leaving them unfinished at this point was by far the easiest way to paint them. Once I knew that and all my materials were tested and gathered it was time to start painting. And painting. And painting.
I started Tuesday with the gold outlining on both the flattened sleeves and the kimono. The day before I had done some loose stitches with my extra red thread to mark off the areas I wanted the flame contained in. I figured as long as I freehanded the flames within these marked off areas that were mirrored on each part of the sleeve then the flames themselves would balance in the final product. It really paid off too. I'm also now incredibly good at freehanding stylized flames! ... >_>
Once that was dry I did the deep red outlining on everything. I was hoping that by letting it set for a day it would prevent the paint from bleeding past the gold boundaries, except for two small spots it did.
Then I painted the interior of the flames on both the sleeves on the third day. This was a horrible day. I'd been painting for so long that both my wrist and arm kept cramping up and eventually the nerves were spasming. It was really hard going and several people suggest I just quit. But if you've been reading through this entire process you'll know I've already spent about 3 months working on this and I'm halfway through painting away from it being DONE in time. I had to finish the paint, let it dry, bake it in the oven to set the paint, line the sleeves and attach them to the kimono, and hem the kimono. This was on Thursday. If I could finish painting the sleeves and let them set then I could paint the entire body of the kimono on Friday. It almost didn't happen.
Then I finally painted the entire body of the kimono in one horrible go.
Still carefully folded, post-oven. This costume is not half baked. :P
I did have to line the sleeves at the last minute to prevent the paint bleed through from ruining the otherwise gorgeously clean look of the costume. That lining material was bought at Wal-mart, was more basic than all the other fabrics, and cost me more than the rest of my fabrics combined. That's what happens when you're desperate and don't have time to drive farther to an actual fabric store to get what you need. At least it allowed me to finish in time!
I had lots of time to think while painting this, and lots of time to try not to think while painting this. My MP3 player proved its worth as I only recharged it once at the beginning of the week and it just kept on playing for days of painting without dying on me.
I generally just left it on random. Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy" came up frequently and "I remember, I remember I remember when I lost my mind~" was somehow very fitting for this dang project. It was also the only song I wasn't sick of by the time I finished all my painting.