Silk painting with vibrant colour and pattern with Hilary Simon

Ref: S2D31248

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About this course

Discover gutta gum resist and faux batik to decorate silk fabric. Brush vibrant dyes onto silk and utilise resist lines and fluid painting with dyes. Make a colourful wallhanging, sarong, cushion or cards.

Course Description

Discover silk painting, with gutta gum resist and faux batik. This course offers the opportunity to explore several techniques, which can be applied to silk to create exciting effects, using the gutta gum as a resist line to draw the image or approaching the silk with more fluid painting with dyes. The tutor will give demonstrations to explain all the methods, and then the selection of approaches offered with dyes, salt effects, layering and alcohol application to create subtle results.

The vibrant dyes are applied with brushes and water, and they flow on the silk beautifully and mix well together. The effect is immediate and exciting. The mixing of the dyes and the layering of the processes capture a deeper perspective on the silk. Drawing and building images on the silk can be done in figurative and abstract ways.

There are many approaches, and it is important to find the best way to achieve this for each individual. Artists with watercolour backgrounds enjoy this media, as it is similar. It is suitable for all levels, and everyone can create stunning pieces.

You will learn the essential skills, and you will experience the process and methods that can be applied to make successful pieces, which may be used for wall hangings, sarongs, cushions or cards, and more. Take inspiration from the surroundings and gardens at the College or from your own source imagery.

No previous knowledge of silk painting is needed, just enthusiasm and interest are required. It is, above all, very rewarding and stimulating to paint on silk and observe the stages of the pieces created. It is addictive and totally absorbing.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops until 9pm, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials


  • All dyes, pigments, gutta and silk painting equipment to use on the course.

What students need to bring

  • Any images or inspiration you would like to work from
  • An apron to protect your clothes
  • Any sable or good quality watercolour brushes, if you have some

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Fine, lightweight, Habutai fabric and scarves
  • Sable or good quality watercolour brushes

Additional information

Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio. This includes stout covered footwear, i.e. no open-toes or sandals, and safety boots, if specified.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

Courses of interest

Further study options

Take the next step in your creative practice, with foundation level to Masters in Fine Art study. 

Depending on your experience, start with an Online Foundation Certificate in Art and Design (one year, part-time), a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design made up of 10 short courses taken over two years (part-time) or advance your learning with our BA (Hons) Art and Contemporary Craft: Materials, Making, and Place (six years part-time). All will help you develop core skills, find direction in your practice and build an impressive portfolio in preparation for artist opportunities or higher-level study. See all degree and diploma courses.