Arts & Crafts Magazine

Thread Painting, Needle Painting

By Nancymccarroll
There is nothing new under the sun.  That Old Testament saying definitely applies to what I though was a "new" technique of painting with thread.  And here I thought that drawing my pup with embroidery stitches was going to be a state of the art gift for my husband.
Several years ago I painted our nine year old shih tzu Mercy, and the husband has been asking for a companion piece of our eight year old dog Libby Sweetpea to hang up in his office over his computer.
Thread Painting, Needle PaintingMercy in Oils, 2006
So I decided to try and embroider the second dog using just threads to make her portrait (as a surprise Christmas present).
Half way through the project of stitching Libby Sweetpea's face in white wool threads, I found all sorts of references to thread painting.  Even an e book is available free from Quilting Arts entitled The Art of Thread Sketching: Free Thread Drawing and Thread Painting Techniques.  Just join Quilting Arts and you can download the book without charge (no charge to join Quilting Arts, either)  Excerpted from that e book:
Think of thread as you would paint: you can make dots, smooth strokes,or long, sinuous curves. Like paint,you can apply thread sparingly or very heavily.  Going over an area with several layers of thread can create wonderful texture, but you need to make sure our surface is sufficiently stabilized to support these layers without puckering. 
Thread Painting, Needle Painting
Pinterest has beautiful images of thread work, but does not allow for copying of their images.  If you log in, you can see stunning needlework pinned by others under the category of "needle painting" or "thread painting."
Here is a half baked version of Libby, and no, it was not completed in time for Christmas.  Still need to work on her eyes, nose and little buck tooth.
Thread Painting, Needle Painting
Wonder if Libby approves so far?
Thread Painting, Needle Painting

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