Saturday, 21 September 2013

Sun Prints!

Last week, the Fibre Optics Group met for our fall kickoff. It was a warm sunny day, so we did sun printing, leaf and object printing as our technique exploration.

First, we started with a warm up exercise looking at the design element - SHAPE. We all know what shapes are, but sometimes we forget to seriously consider the different aspects of shapes when we are designing artwork. Shapes can be categorized as geometric, organic (realistic shapes in nature and man-made), and abstract.  One of the interesting things about abstract shapes is that we all try to interpret them organically. For example, we can interpret a circle as a flower. Also shapes can represent values. We all understand that a square would represent stability or solidity, certainly not fluidity.

Warm Up Collages - SHAPE

The Rule of Thirds was also introduced. The Rule of Thirds is a guideline used for composing visual images. This guideline suggests that you divide your image or background into nine equal parts by two equally spaced horizontal lines and two equally spaced vertical lines ( Making a grid). All your important compositional elements and your focal point should be placed at the intersections of the lines, or along the lines. This will create more interest and energy in your composition.

Our exercise was to use materials from a box of "stuff" on hand to create a 4" X 6" collage in 30 minutes. The collage was to illustrate the element Shape and the Rule of Thirds.

Next, on to SUN PRINTING!!

Everyone did some experimenting with the sun prints, and some of us continued to explore it over the next few days.

Some of the Sun Prints by FOG members
Here are some of the conclusions we have reached:

1.  Sun prints are dependent on the amount of paint on the fabric. The wetter or more saturated the fabric, the better the print.

2.  Objects that stick onto the fabric produce a much better print.

Terri Heinrich's prints on rice paper
3.   Paper with sizing does not seem to work. Paper without (like rice paper) will work really well, as does fabric that has been washed to remove the sizing.

4.   Pebeo Setacolor Transparent Paint is what we used. However, Pebeo Setacolour Opaque paints, and chromacolour acrylic artists colour paint also work. All these paints are available at art supply stores.

5.  The prints need to be set with an iron. One of our group did find that she ironed her prints, left them out in the sun and they faded.  Not sure why that happened, but I plan to see if I can figure it out.

More prints done by Terri the next day

So, we would encourage all of you to try sun printing. You can really create some wonderful unique prints.


  1. What a great blog and resource. I'm thrilled to follow. I am looking at line and later it'll be shape and I use the Law of Thirds lots! Looks like our warm days are gone so I'll save sunprinting for next year. Thanks for sharing your fun with all of us who can't 'be there'! :)

  2. Hi Elle nice to be back in touch! I'm glad that you found the blog. We do seem to have a lot of fun and actually get projects completed as well. The sun printing seems like magic to me still. I need to get some more done and we are having lovely sunny weather right now.