Category Archives: Silk Painting Techniques

Welcome to Painting Tips


This blog is about sharing some wonderful tips I have learned from experience and from other silk painters all over the world. Some tips come from discussions on Silk Painting Gallery Network, SPIN facebook page, my students in class online and in person, my wanderings on the Internet looking for information and of course trial and error experiments.

How Do You Dilute Dyes and Paints?

I am going to post a good question here that I recently received at Online Silk Painting Class.

 Question was: I have Dupont Silk Dyes, but am not sure how to dilute them. They didn’t come with any instructions. Your lesson says you use “your home made dilutant of 3 parts alcohol and 1 part water”.

Is this mixed with an equal ratio of dye? Or does it vary according to how concentrated you want the color?

I also have Dye-Na-Flow paint. Are there any guidelines for these?

Any information would be appreciated.
I am so glad I found your class online. Your instructions are very well written and I am enjoying your class very much. I hope you will consider doing an advanced class sometime in the future.

My answer was: That is great you have both steam set (Dupont) and heat set Dye-Na-Flow paints. Dupont dyes are highly concentrated. Some professional silk painters just dilute 50% water and 50% dye. They usually need some diluting the exception is black. You can dilute with water to the desired tint. I always drop about 1 teaspoon of my home made dilutant into about a third a cup of dye. Dupont also makes a dilutant see this link and has suggested amounts.

It seems to make solid large areas less streaky. I have some but do not really care for it that much. I think I enjoy the unpredictability of just adding water and a little home made dilutant. That is just my taste you may have a different taste. Dye-Na-Flow does not need to be diluted unless you want a lighter tint. That is the only reason to dilute. Again it is a matter of your preference. Regarding advance class in the future…I may do mini courses for certain techniques IE “Plein Air” painting with silks, different experiments in pre-treating silk, and so on. I hope that helps.

Have fun. Francine

Brilliant Way to Copy Your Design

Don Baker

My magic pens just don’t work.  The ink disappears too quickly.  I use a bit of vine charcoal or charcoal pencil to transfer my images to silk.  Used lightly, they wash right out of the silk.  Its great because I can spend a day transferring my work for the week, then just move on to gutta and painting whenever I like.



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