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Technique Thursday – Faux Pointillism with a Stitchery Pattern

Pointillism was a style of painting in the late 1800’s.  Artists would paint entire scenes using precision dots of just primary colors and when you’d then look at the painting, you could see a larger range of color based because of the way your eyes would blend the colors (the same basis as CMYK color today in computers and print technology).  The one painting everyone knows, of course, would be George Seurat’s “Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grand Jatte” which is located in the Art Institute of Chicago.  As a side note – this is an incredible piece (think back to Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, lol, if you’re in my age range) – worth the trip to Chicago just to see this! Once you see this piece in person you can appreciate the magnitude of how BIG it is and the work and genius put into where to put all those teeny tiny dots!!

But I’m not going to teach you how to do that, lol!  Instead, I want to show you a fun way to take the basic concept of dots making up a picture and use that to convert a stitchery pattern into something…non-stitched.  This will work with any pattern – cross stitch, bead weaving, etc.  Try to find one that’s small or that you can take a small section of, and you’re going to want one without a lot of colors.  You CAN do a more complicated piece, but it will probably make you crazy.

In order to show you the technique, I’m going to use the adorable giraffe baby sweater pattern (so it’s a knit pattern – these are ideal because they’re usually not super detailed) to make a little window hanging.  For a base I’m going to use a page from an acrylic album (don’t forget to remove the plastic film over it first!  Yea…ask me how I know that…).  You can do this in any medium – paint, ink, etc.  This can be done on any surface though, just use a paint/ink made for whatever you choose.  You can also convert the size depending on what you use to make your dots.  Try using a small hole punch and using bits of patterned paper!  It’s an adorable look but for this, since I wanted the transluscent quality to be retained (so it can hang in the window), I used Staz On ink.  To apply my dots, I used pencil erasers.  Yup – head on over to Staples for their penny boxes of plain old wood pencils during the BTS sales!  You will need a separate applicator for each color so cheap is good!  This pattern is ideal also because it only uses 3 colors (it’s on page 101 of the October 2008 issue of Crafts ‘n Things magazine) – perfect for a starter project.  I’m actually only going to use two of the colors as the third is the background.  PLUS, it just so happens that the pattern is sized to almost the same size as a pencil eraser so you can cheat and just work right on top of the pattern if you’re using something clear!  Otherwise what you would do is line up your first row and do lots and lots of counting .

So, the first thing I did was to use a temporary adhesive to attach my acrylic to the pattern.  Normally you’d REALLY want to remove it from the magazine first, but a, I’m lazy, and b, I hate taking apart my magazines!  Try printing patterns from the internet – there are TONS of them in all different skill levels and of all kinds of images.  Then I just went at it!

The colors I used are Saddle Brown and Rusty Brown Staz On. I ended up not liking the Saddle Brown so I went over it a second time with Versamagic Jumbo Java.  It smeared a bit going over the color a second time (I probably should have waited a bit longer for the Staz On to totally dry), but the color works much better.


Using an eraser as a “stamp”

Going in with the second color

See how the dark brown looks kind of yellow?  I didn’t like it.

Better after the color correction.

I’ll show you the final project once I finish it!

Tune in next week – I’ll show you a really fun variation of this!


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