Read on to see how I created this heavenly Guardian Angel Jacket using paint and a little imagination?
This blog will take you step-by-step through the creative process of painting on denim or fabric.
I offer this exact process in a very affordable course where you can watch me every step of the way with a full explanation and demonstration. Check it out here.
It really is so helpful to invest in a complete lesson before your first project. I just recently had someone reach out to me that has painted many jackets for her store, and is concerned about the paint cracking. After speaking with her, we discovered she had not been using water to paint which is a must! For what it cost to take a class with really good information is worth having your project turn out successfully the FIRST time!
Also, check this week’s YouTube video and you’ll get some tips while I’m painting St. Michael, the Archangel.
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First up, you need a design idea.
This Guardian Angel Jacket is a custom order that came with a full set of specific instructions.
My client asked for:
-Archangel Michael (Saint Michael) to be painted on the back.
-The phrase “Defend us in Battle” across the top of the back.
-The phrase “Hold the Line” down one sleeve.
This process I’m about to share with you can be used on any denim, canvas, or cotton fabric, but in this instance, she mailed me her favorite camo jacket to use.
Start by laying the surface you intend to paint as flat as possible. I usually button my jackets and stuff them with a folded beach towel. If I’m painting overall, I usually line the leg that I’m painting with butcher paper, wax paper, or even a folded trash bag.
I almost always paint a background before I begin my actual design. This serves to create a canvas, as well as primes the fabric for more detail paint to come! This time I chose Drop Cloth, Rusty Nail, Terracotta, Collard Green, and Evergreen. I usually use an old fluffy premium chip brush and plenty of water to lay down and create an abstract pattern. I let this fully dry before moving on. The design on this jacket is a fairly advanced drawing, but yours doesn’t have to be.
No matter what design you choose, it helps to have an inspiration photo to draw from.
I use chalk to lay down my design which takes the pressure off of making a mistake.
When I have my drawing just the way I want it, I go over my chalk drawing with a Sharpie marker which locks in my design.
It is now time to begin laying down your color. It helps to have colors that are slightly contrasting or stronger in pigment than the background that you created. I chose the same color families as my background here but went with brighter tones. Instead of Rusty Nail and Terracotta, I now painted with Honky Tonk Red (bright) and Flamingo (a bright coral). I also used an aqua and teal (The Gulf and Peacock) instead of the earthy greens!
Lay down your design base colors lightly and with plenty of water. You want to “dye” the fabric threads, not just pile paint on top of the threads. Start with your darker colors, and continue to add layers until you are highlighting with your lighter colors. This keeps your painting from looking too one dimensional and flat. The highlights and shadows give it life!
It’s important to take your time during this process.
Step away from your painting or leave it overnight and come back to it with fresh eyes the next day! You will see more clearly where your art needs more, or even maybe that you’ve completed it without realizing it! I stepped away from Michael the Archangel many times before I felt he was finished!
I LOVED adding the words to this jacket! The back of a jacket as wall as the sleeves are a GREAT place to share a message! For this, I just prepped the area with water first before lightly brushing over the fabric with very watered down white paint. For this, I chose to use Fluff for this space before using small art brushes and Caviar black paint to free hand the letters in a very raw and UN-fancy way!
This Guardian Angel Jacket is amazing because it has a very utilitarian vibe to the message and I absolutely love it!
When you have completed your artwork, let it dry fully!
You need to sand back the art ever so gently with a sanding sponge. I am using a Rad Pad here. Just rub in a single direction just enough to knock back the rough feel of the dried chalk paint. Remove the dust with a brush or micro fiber cloth.
You now need to seal your paint. For the Guardian Angel Jacket, I decided to use Easy Peasy Spray Wax. I realize it is a spray bottle but I have more control of the delivery by brushing it on. I just pour it into a cup or bowl and brush it over my art. It dries very quickly.
The painted fabric can be worn as soon as its dry. However, I recommend not washing for 30 days. When you wash, it is best to use cold water on the gentle cycle and hang to dry.
I really stretched my capabilities with this project but OH MY GOSH I enjoyed it so very much!!!
I’m practicing what I preach over here. Don’t be afraid to push yourself!!!! There is always more to learn!
I hope you feel inspired to give this a try!
I have many blogs about this same type of work as well as free YouTube videos and very detailed tutorials that you can purchase!