Monday, May 09, 2011

Yarn Painting Tutorial ~ Heavenly Pug

Happy Monday everyone!

I just finished another yarn painting!

I cannot tell you how fun and easy this is to do!

You do not need to know how to draw, knit or crochet to make these!

All you need is your ...

  • favorite photo printed on inkjet or similar weight paper,

  • a wood board,

  • some glue,

  • yarn scraps,

  • sharp scissors and

  • a bone folder , butter knife, pointy nail file or envelope opener to help place & lightly push down the cut yarn into the glue.

(Please follow the links above to see the glue and tools I use, but any will do.)

I made this one from a photograph of Emmitt in his Sweater Vest!

I feel like Emmitt came down from heaven and was sitting next to me during this whole project.

It made me so happy!

I think this yarn painting came out extra special!

I am truly thrilled with it! :)

I took lots of photographs to show you how I made it...

Here is my photo of Emmitt printed on inkjet paper to fit a 8 x 10 piece of wood.

I suggest making your photo big enough that the shapes are large enough to fill with your yarn scraps.

I use mostly worsted weight acrylic yarn to fill in my paintings, but do have some thinner DK or sport weight pieces in my yarn stash that I use for outlining or filling in finer shapes.

There are no rules about what you can use. If you love embroidery thread and like to work in small details that would make a beautiful painting too!

Use the materials that you love to work with. It will make your project truly yours!

* Important Note: Before you start working on the painting, make sure you do not have any loose edges or air bubbles in your photograph's bond to your wood.
Once we get started, there is no good way to reglue the photo and you do not want it lifting from your board. :)

Here we go!

I usually start at the top and work my way to the bottom of the design.

I cut about 16" piece of yarn from the ball and work with it until it is too short to use.

I put a light bead of glue (choose one that will dry clear) where I want to place my yarn.

Then I put the yarn on the glue and snip the end of the piece of yarn with sharp scissors to the correct length to fit the glue line.

Finally, I lightly press the yarn into the glue with my flat pointy tool of choice (like the bone folder or envelope opener) and that is it!

Just keep doing that, pressing each row lightly into the one above to make a nice tight painting.

Have fun with yarn, textures, outlining, swirling yarn, horizontal filling in, vertical filling in.

The sky is the limit!

As you can see...

I added a tongue for Emmitt.

I also looked for lines I wanted to make sure I outlined with darker yarn so I glued them in on his legs and tail to give them time to dry.

I also decided to change his sweater from green to orange :)

The toes and feet are outlined and now I will fill them in with lighter and darker shades of fawn yarn to give it a little depth.

I just follow the shapes in the photo to figure out when I want to change yarn colors.

There is no right or wrong.

It is just fun!

See the swirled & curved yarn to make the bobbles and add interest to the shape of his leg?

Emmitt cast a nice shadow on the deck that I will fill in with a medium blue to be just a little darker than the light blue background I plan to lay down.

See how I just let the photo tell me what to do.

It is very fun and relaxing to create yarn paintings.

You can stop and start at any time. It is there for you anytime you feel like working on it.

One piece of yarn at a time, your painting will emerge.

Emmitt is now all filled in!

Now it is time for the background.

Again I start from the top and work my way to the bottom.

I like to use horizontal and vertical lines to add interest and fill in the curves tightly.

The shadow is next!

See how I used some swirly yarn placement for fun in the shadow?

Here is a close up to see it more clearly.

Ta Da!

For the final touch, I added two little white circles that I cut from craft felt and added them to his eyes to bring them to life.

I LOVE it!

It is my Angel Emmitt in an Orange Crush Sweater Vest!

Here are all of my yarn paintings as of May 2011!

They are all available as signed prints and note cards in my Etsy Shop for you to enjoy.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions about this tutorial.

I am always happy to answer them!

Do not worry about not knowing exactly what to do when you start. It will become clear as you go and you will develop your own style and techniques.

There is no right or wrong... Just FUN!

I would love to see what you make when you are done!

Please email me a photo and I will blog about it!

Here are some yarn paintings other people have created and shared with me. :)

They make my heart sing!

I cannot wait to see yours!




tubby3pug said...

That is very cute! I will have to try it over my summer vacation.

Meredith LeBlanc said...

I just love this and it's so nice to have a have a visit from Emmitt Angel.

Meredith & Scarlet

Anonymous said...

This is really great. You make it look so easy. Thank you for the tutorial.

Molly the Airedale said...

Your yarn paintings are so beautiful and so inspiring, Melissa! Mom would love to try one out some day!

Love ya lots
Maggie and Mitch

Tweedles -- that's me said...

Hi Auntie Missy
The yarn painting of angel emmitt is spectacular!
Thank you for sharing all the steps with us,,, mommy wants to get better and better at it,, and I know all your tips will help.
nitey nite

Vito and Gina said...

Melissa this is so beautiful and you can TOTALLY tell that it is Emmitt! Love it!

Gina (and Vito too!)

Sketching with Dogs said...

So beautiful, your yarn paintings really are works of art, I love them all!
Lynne xx