Friday, 23 May 2014

Total Pollocks tee tutorial

Jackson Pollock - Autumn Rhythmn, 1950
I've always loved the work of Jackson Pollock, so when I saw these rather fab t-shirts in Uniqlo who are doing a Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) NYC collaboration I was inspired.

The Pollock t-shirt design I liked the best was in the men's collection and having tried the smallest size (way too big) figured I would have to make my own version instead.

It's much more fun this way!
Uniqlo MOMA Jackson Pollock Men's t-shirt £12.50
What do you need?

  • Cotton / cotton blend t-shirt
  • Fabric paint
  • Newspaper
  • large plastic bag / sheeting
  • Paintbrushes / toothbrush
  • Iron

I used a range of brushes to create the effects you see on my finished t-shirt. The smaller brushes create a more even splatter; whereas the large brushes can carry a decent amount of paint and you can get the more heavy splash effects with them.

Depending on the consistency of the fabric paint you use, I found the best effect was achieved by making a quite fluid paint by adding water to achieve a 50/50 solution. I used berol fabric paint. 

To vary the types of paint texture I used a small paint brush for the medium splatts, a toothbrush brushed against a scrap of plastic / card to create the very tiny spray and the large paintbrush for the heavy splats. I also used the small paint brush to free-style the larger blocks of paint - which had the added benefit of using up some of the large blobs of fabric paint.

I left the t-shirt out in the sun to dry and then ironed it as per the fabric paint instructions to fix the dye into the t-shirt. So, there you have it - the Pollock tee.

Give it a go - it is liberating!


  1. This looks like a lot of fun! :) The end result is brilliant, what a really effective technique.

    1. Yes it's lots of fun ; ) Although I washed my t-shirt today and despite ironing the fabric paint (a lot) to fix it - my lovely white t-shirt is now a rather sad chewing gum grey. Maybe I should add some coloured fabric paint to layer up the design to be even denser more like Pollocks work... who knows?

  2. Ooo, this looks a lot of fun! I'd like to give fabric paints a try and really like the effect you got here

  3. Thanks Alex. Yes lots of fun was had here. If you have a back garden do it on a sunny day (if even possible) due to the paint splat factor!

  4. Oooo this looks amazing! How long does it take for the fabric paint to dry?

  5. Hi Jo - it doesn't take too long for fabric paint to dry - you could speed up the process by hairdryer-ing it! It was a really sunny day on the day I made the tee so I just laid it out in the sunshine to dry.
    It does depend on how thick a layer of paint you put on the fabric - the less thick areas dried in a matter of minutes whereas the larger splodges took an hour or more.

  6. I love this! We obviously have similar influences. So good to find a new blog to read x

    1. Thanks Mailla! I thought the same thing when I found your blog too - I've added yours to my blogroll ; )

  7. Replies
    1. Cheers Carolee - it certainly was fun to make!

  8. That's brilliant, such a fun idea.
    I always think of the film Mona Lisa's smile when I see Jackson Pollock, didn't they go to see one on a class trip?

    1. Yes, I think they did! It was a lot of fun to make x