Workshops » Fun With Paintstiks

Fun With Paintstiks

Experiment with Paintstiks on a variety of fabrics with assorted stamps, stencils and rubbing surfaces

With: Daphne Greig
Skill Level: All Levels

Experiment with Paintstiks on a variety of fabrics with assorted stamps, stencils and rubbing surfaces

Fun With Paintstiks calendar image

4 Lessons
Type: Ebook Workshop
Price: $42.00 or $67.00
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Tags: Paintstiks, surface design, stencils, rubbing plates, layered imagery, colour blending, painting quilts, painting with found objects


Daphne Greig will show you how to use Shiva Paintstiks to add color, pattern and texture to your fabrics. You will learn several ways to apply the paint, how to put it just where you want it and how to blend paint to create a rainbow of rich colors. You will fill a sketchbook for future reference as part of each exercise. The final lesson includes using the paint to highlight and color quilted projects and appliqué designs. The illustration shows corrugated cardboard and a stamp used to create a layered design. All Levels.

Supplies Required for Workshop

This is a process class to teach students how to use Shiva® Artist’s Paintstiks to add color to paper and fabrics.  You will use direct application techniques on a range of fabrics and values.  You will learn how to combine two or more colors to make other colors, including using special blender Paintstiks and how to place the paint in specific spots with masking tape, commercial stencils and your own stencils made from freezer paper. 



Paintstiks can be applied to any fabric: cotton, rayon, silk, linen and synthetics.  Fabrics with a nap like velvet and Ultrasuede will give interesting results.  Sheer fabrics can also be colored with Paintstiks.  Your fabric should not have any sort of finish** on it.  If the fabric is washable, please pre-wash it to remove sizing.  Use plain detergent and do not use fabric softener or bleach additives. 

** A finish might include stain resistance (tablecloths, napkins, upholstery remnants) or be permanent press (polyester/cotton blends you might find in clothing). On a ready-made item, the label may indicate these finishes are applied to the fabric. If in doubt, test a small area before working on a large project.

You will be making samples for reference in this class.  Try to include some non-cotton fabrics.  Your pieces should be a minimum of 8" square but larger pieces will be helpful for the exercises that add visual texture to the fabric. 

Paintstik colors will look different on light and dark fabrics.  You should have light, medium and dark fabrics.  You can use fabrics that have been hand-dyed or painted with fabric paint as long as the colors have been permanently set.  Commercial fabrics with subtle prints can also be used.  You will want to experiment with many different options as you create your samples, so be open to trying any fabrics you have in your stash. 

In Lesson Four, you will apply Paintstiks to machine stitched quilt and appliqué samples.  I will provide instructions for creating these sewn samples at the end of Lesson One and you will have three weeks to complete them before you need them in class.  For those exercises, you will need the following materials.

  • top, batting and backing for FOUR or FIVE 8" square quilt sandwiches
    • vary the value of your fabric
    • try to add one non-cotton choice as a top fabric
  • marking pen or pencil to mark a grid
  • FIVE 4" x 6" rectangles each of paper backed fusible web and fabric
  • 12" square of fabric (background for fused leaves)
  • sewing machine for straight line quilting and free motion quilting, if this is a skill you have

Fabrics painted with Paintstiks will need to be heat set with an iron after they have dried.  It is helpful to have pieces of old fabric or muslin to absorb any excess paint and oil when you iron the fabric. 


Single Full Size Paintstik

Mini Paintstiks - 3 colors

Full Size Set -  available in
6 colors or 12 colors

This class uses Shiva® Artist's Paintstiks®.  To achieve my results, this is the brand you must use.  Outside the US and Canada, the brand name for the same product is Markal Paintstiks. 

Paintstiks are available in quilt shops that specialize in art supplies for quilters.  They are distributed by the manufacturer, Cedar Canyon Textiles, which has a Store Finder on its website:  They list online stores, quilt show vendors and shops in most parts of the world. 

There are two types of Shiva Paintstiks: matte and iridescent.  There is also a colorless blender for both types.  There are 51 matte colors and 15 iridescent colors and you can combine colors to make many more colors.

Paintstiks are available as full size (about 7" long) and minis (about 1 1/2" long).  The large ones are available individually and in sets of 6 or 12.  The minis are available in sets of 3 colors (matte or iridescent) and as assortments with 15 colors and a full size blender (either a matte assortment or an iridescent assortment). 

For this class, you will need a MINIMUM of THREE iridescent colors and THREE matte colors.  Either size will be fine.  I also recommend you have one or both of the blender Paintstiks. 

Special Equipment

  • stencil brushes.  Choose brushes with short, stiff bristles.  A variety of sizes are helpful. 
  • toothbrushes, new unused ones, small to medium size.  You can usually find very inexpensive ones at a Dollar Store. 

Stencil brushes, toothbrushes, plastic stencils

  • plastic stencils, any designs.  These are not quilting stencils; they have open shapes.
  • plastic rubbing plates.  These are available from the same sources as Shiva® Paintstiks.  There are a range of themes including flowers, leaves and geometrics and come as a set of plates in a particular theme.  One or more sets are recommended. 

Plastic rubbing plates

Basic Tools

  •  smooth work surface.  If you have any dips or dents in your table, these will show through as you apply your paint to fabric.  I recommend a piece of foam core board when working on fabrics.  You may also want to cover your work surface with plastic to protect it from stray paint. 


  • flat surface to lay out your fabric samples for drying.  This may take 1-5 days, so do not choose a place you will need for another purpose during this length of time.  A piece of plastic or wax paper under your samples will protect the surface.
  •  artist's sketchbook, minimum size 8 1/2" x 11".  You will use the pages for many exercises, use it as a place to record notes about your results and will attach fabric samples.  The book will become your personal Paintstik reference.   I recommend using a sketchbook with smooth paper.

  • one roll of wax paper or other grease-proof paper.  You will use this with your Paintstik exercises in your sketchbook and it can be used under your fabric samples while they dry. 
  • masking tape in a variety of widths, if possible, from 1/4" to 1 1/2".  Also have some Low-Tack masking tape, the type house painters use to cover moldings.  You will find this at a hardware store in the paint section.  The one I use is green.  It is usually blue in the US.
  • Citrus-based solvent to clean brushes and tools such as Cedar Canyon Brush Soap and Grime Eater™ hand cleanser (without pumice or other grit).  Murphy's Oil Soap also does a good job.  Other options include baby wipes.  Soap and water can be used, but it is more work. 

Products for Cleaning Up

  • garbage can.  I line a small garbage can with a plastic bag to stop stray bits of paint from getting to other surfaces.
  • old kitchen knife.  Choose one that will not be used again for food
  • Q-tips, also called cotton swabs. 
  • roll of freezer paper
  • roll of paper towels
  • scissors for cutting fabric and paper
  • iron and ironing surface
  • Teflon pressing sheet or parchment paper to protect your iron and ironing surface
  • old clothes or an apron to protect your clothing.

Optional Tools and Supplies

  • paper plates or disposable Styrofoam trays   
  • glue stick to attach fabric samples to your sketchbook 
  • latex gloves, if you like to keep your hands clean, but it is easy to remove paint from your hands with soap and water. 
  • metal washers, any size
  • elastic bands, a variety of widths
  • hole punch and thin cardboard or heavy paper
  • rubber stamps
  • fun foam, sheets or shapes (available in craft or Dollar Stores) Adhesive is helpful.
  • textured cardboard (you may find this inside a box of chocolates)
  • double-sided tape
  • Grip-n-Grip No-slip mat by Cedar Canyon.  This will hold rubbing plates or fabric in place while you paint.


Lesson One

  • the basic characteristics of Shiva Paintstiks
  • how to set up your workspace
  • what materials you can paint
  • preparing Paintstiks for use
  • drying time and heat setting to make Paintstiks permanent
  • how to care for fabrics painted with Paintstiks
  • how to clean your tools
  • several ways to apply Paintstiks
  • how to create a sketchbook for reference throughout class
  • how to blend Paintstiks to create more colors

Lesson Two

  • use masking tape to help you put the paint where you want it
  • create organic lines and ripples
  • use commercial stencils with Paintstiks
  • create your own stencils from freezer paper
  • achieve depth by layering painted images

Lesson Three

  • apply Paintstiks over a variety of textured surfaces to create visual texture on fabrics 
    • use commercial rubbing plates
    • make rubbing plates and
    • use multiple textures and colors together 
    • combine masking and rubbing plates to create patterns 

Lesson Four

  • apply Paintstiks to existing work
    • quilted projects to highlight quilted areas 
    • to color appliqué designs 
  • discussion of further development ideas 

Student's projects