The art adventures of Delia and Leslie, two friends from South Florida who enjoy being Virgos... and drive everyone else crazy along the way.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Shiva Paintstiks

Posted by Leslie:

On Sunday, we met at Delia's house to play with Shiva Paintstiks on fabric. We both own quite a few colors and while Delia hadn't yet used them, I had tried them a little and didn't find my results to be so great. So, this was a perfect opportunity for us to put them to the test. First, we tried stenciling.

Delia's flower stencil...

My alphabets and some stencils from Cedar Canyon...

Neither of us was thrilled with the results. There's a lot of rubbing involved with stencil brushes to get a dark color down and the Paintstik still gets under the stencil if you're not careful enough. It's also very messy, with all the scrapings of the "skin" coming off. We wondered why this product would be any better than regular paint. (The alphabet on the upper right resulted from just rubbing the remains of paint on the stencil!  Messy!!!)

So, we thought, maybe the magic of Paintstiks is in rubbings.  We tried a variety of different items under our fabric. Rubbing plates of various depths and materials..

Above are plastic leaf rubbing plates from the teacher's supply store.  Below is a rubber stamp.

After watching some online video tutorials, we learned that the rubbings work best when you use the side of the Paintstik (a larger surface), rather than the point. In the swirl above, the turquoise was done this way, compared to the point of the black sample.  In the turquoise leaf samples above, the sharpest image (lower right side) also resulted from the side of the Paintstik.

We also found we liked the look of the iridescent colors best when they're on a dark background, like this stenciled alphabet on a black tone-on-tone fabric I had unsuccessfully stamped previously with bleach pen.

Finally, we tried to see what plain old oil pastels could do for us.  Delia had a set of inexpensive Reeves oil pastels. Here are my results with stencils and rubbings.  A little lighter, but sharp and MUCH less messy!!!

And here's a comparison of rubbings on hard plastic embossing plates for metal.  You can see the sharper image of the oil pastel versus the Shiva Paintstik.

We were glad we had taken the time to experiment with the Paintstiks, but concluded:
1.  You need too many extra supplies (spray adhesives to keep the rubbing plates from moving around)
2.  They take too much effort to get a dark color when stenciling
3.  They are messy, messy, messy!  (We had paint scrapings everywhere!  Good thing for baby wipes!)
4.  They are expensive.

Bottom line... we think there must be some specific use for Paintstiks - why they're any better in certain situations than other materials - and we're open to it.  At the moment, we like the oil pastels better.

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