Skip to main content
Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

Save up to 9% on the price of your tickets!

It's easy... Become a member today! If you are already a member, log in to get your member rate.

Silk Painting

2-Session Weekend Workshop

Saturday, June 6 and Sunday, June 7, 2020 – 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Code: 1K00BP
$195 - Member
$215 - Non-Member
Reserving your tickets...

By Diane Tuckman

Thought to date as far back as the late 5th-century BC in China, it wasn’t until the Industrial Revolution made silk cloth more available that silk painting as an art form spread to France and Great Britain in the early 1900s, and to the United States in the 1970s.  

This 2-day introduction offers the rare opportunity of working in the home studio of artist Diane Tuckman, who helped introduce silk painting to America, to learn basic techniques and vocabulary while creating seven 12-inch-square painted silk pieces.

The workshop begins with an overview of the history and art of silk painting, after which Tuckman offers instruction on how to set up a painting workspace and pour colored dyes. Following a demonstration by the artist, students paint two small samples that are examined in a group critique.

Participants then learn to pour the resist into applicators, how to stretch silk, and how to apply resist to a grid for colors on a small frame. Proper brushstroke technique to fill in the spaces is taught, and students are given a design to paint. They are then taught the steaming process, as well as how to wash and rinse the silk before drying and ironing.

During the lunch break each day, a large assortment of painted samples completed by the artist are displayed and discussed in detail. (Participants bring their own lunch.)

Over the course of the workshop, students progress to choosing and creating their own designs to paint. Additional techniques covered include diluting, spotting, salting, double-loading, wet-on-wet, fabric setting, as well as product knowledge, how to rip silk, detecting the weight of the fabric, and how to clean brushes.

All supplies are included in tuition and include silk, dyes, a stretching frame, resists and applicators, designs, assorted brushes, and various fabric products for applying techniques.

Limited to 9 participants.

2 sessions, 6 hours each

There is ample street parking available at the instructor's studio.

Please note: Access to the lower-level studio requires two outdoor steps and a flight of 12 interior steps. Participants with accessibility concerns should contact Customer Service at 202-633-3030 (Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) prior to registering.

Diane Tuckman Home Studio
6806 Trexler Rd, Lanham, MD 20706