Washington State Flag, 12: Prepping Flag Blanks


We left off with my final finished draft on silk, above.

I wished I’d take a photo of the room with the green silk along one wall —
Beautiful color to work in for the next two months of painting!

I went from my intimate small studio with many references around,
to the expansive one above, an open space with lots of light.
The original George Washington State Flag at one end is now my main reference.

Know that the subtle shadings of colors from one blank to the next is due
to the artificial versus natural light in the room when photographed.


Three new templates were created for the three blanks,
because over the next few weeks they will be traced upon repeatedly.

Those tracings were pinned into place and a white chalk transfer was created,
labeled #1-#3.  Only one, the best one, will be chosen for the flag.
The other two are insurance in case paints are dripped or a brush is dropped.

Painting upright like this under these conditions is not easy.
Painters slop paint, drip paint, and most of the time it is correctable.
But not if it drips on this silk!
Further protocol is washing my hands two dozen times a day,
because if I touch my skin I might get oils on the silk.
All paints and liquids are stored across the room or below the spill line,
so that if they get knocked they hit the floor, not the silk.
Our blue ®Sterilite storage bins are doing double duty now as lifts to level the blanks
at the right height for comfort painting, and as a place to set a reference.


The transfers at this stage were difficult to trace,
because the darker green line of the PVA was hard to see through the layers.
In a few areas the edges of the transfer was too close to the PVA edge, shown below.
If any oils came into contact with the silk, a stain of oil will spread onto the silk —
again, think grease stains as the paint oils separated.


See the wonky edges on panel #3, directly above?

With a textile vacuum we removed both chalky droppings from the surface of the image so that they did not drop onto the silk itself, and also removed as much of the chalk outline at the edges that were problematic, in image one, above.  Using PVA, I balanced the primed areas so that edge was not in danger of oil paint coming into contact with silk, below.


The first and trickiest area was to establish the outer edge with the
first layer of warm grey paint using the faster drying medium.
On the rest of the medallion, if I fudge I can correct it, but not on the border.
Three days later I added the second layer, and the difference is shown above.


Painting upright like this under these stressful conditions is not easy. Painters slop paint, drip paint, and most of the time it is correctable, but not if it drips on this silk!
Further protocol: I washed my hands two dozen times a day, because if I touch my skin (brush a hair out of my eyes, scratch my face) I might get body oils on the silk.
All paints and liquids are stored across the room or below the spill line,
the bottom of the blank, so that if they get knocked over they hit the floor, not the silk.

Eyes added, I simply had to, and George begins to come alive!
All three panels are a bit different in their sketches.

We discuss Oiling Out next.

To begin at the beginning, visit Washington State Flag, 1.

©MPF Conservation.  May be printed for your own use.
May be reposted if our url + copyright is used as reference.

About dkatiepowellart

hollywood baby turned beach gurl turned steel&glass city gurl turned cowgurl turned herb gurl turned green city gurl. . . artist writer photographer. . . cat lover but misses our big dogs, gone to heaven. . . buddhist and interested in the study of spiritual traditions. . . foodie, organic, lover of all things mik, partner in conservation business mpfconservation, consummate blogger, making a dream happen, insomniac who is either reading buddhist teachings or not-so-bloody mysteries or autobio journal thangs early in the morning when i can't sleep
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