Thank you WYOKrista.
Gallstones I really like yours! I have never painted on silk- is there a specific kind to use? Is it very expensive? I like the idea that you can sew with it after painting on it
I buy bolts of habotai silk. Habotai is the smooth type of silk, It comes in different weights. I use both a sheer weight (5mm) and a medium (8mm). The paint is acrylic. I just cut out swatches small enough to fit in my tray, dampen the silk with a spray bottle and then brush on fluid acrylics. I also experiment with resist, scrunching, blotching, blowing etc. It's really fun to make the swatches. The fabric is not stiff. What happens is that the paint acts much like a sizing does. It also helps keep the cut edges from fraying--depending on how concentrated the paint is.
I may add a wash of color then let dry. Add another wash of color, then let dry. Anyone who has ever done batik already has the method down. Another thing I like to do is place the wet fabric on a textured surface to dry. The down side comes off with the texture in it. I discovered this because I started by using window screen to dry the swatches on. You know for better air circulation and faster drying. Since then I have sought out different textures to dry on. I will place the wet swatch on the "screen" and brush it down into the surface. This makes a more obvious pattern. Sometimes I paint the screen before laying the wet swatch on it so the fabric comes away with the screen pattern in a different color when dry. For this I usually use metallic paint.
Perhaps I could do a pictorial tutorial (a pict tute!) on the technique if anyone is interested? It will take me some time to put it together.