Basic Painting with Thread

(This demonstration was previously published in The Art of Mistakes by Melanie Rothschild, copyright 2014; it is republished here courtesy of CreateMixedMedia.com and North Light Books.)

Thread is another material that can be a load of fun. I like to use it as a conduit for getting paint onto a surface. Here I demonstrate some basic techniques on sample boards, but the idea of applying paint with thread can be used on all sorts of surfaces.

Materials List
painted wooden board
all-purpose thread
acrylic paint
stick of your choice—chopstick, paintbrush handle, etc.
craft paper or paper bag

acrylic painting techniques with thread 1

1. Begin with a painted board. Make sure the thread is plenty long enough based on the size of your board and be sure to give yourself extra length for wrapping around your fingers.

TIP

Allow yourself plenty of practice using cheap materials so you don’t worry about your supplies being too precious while you’re getting used to the feel of things.

acrylic painting techniques with thread 2

2. Wrap the thread around your finger about three times to anchor it. Then wet it by running it through your mouth. Paint will stick better to thread that is slightly damp rather than bone-dry.

acrylic painting techniques with thread 3

acrylic painting techniques with thread 3b

3. Dip a stick (I used half a chopstick) in a cup of acrylic paint. Run the thread through the paint on the stick, pulling the thread along the painted stick. You may need to do this a few times to get the paint fully loaded on the thread.

acrylic painting techniques with thread 4

4. Lay the thread on the painted panel (this panel was painted with latex semigloss house paint). Hold the thread with both hands and gently lay it down on the surface. You may feel more comfortable using one hand as an anchor on one end and laying down the rest of the painted thread with your other hand.

acrylic painting techniques with thread 5

5. Peel the thread off the panel immediately, starting with the unanchored hand. The thread is used as a tool to get paint on the surface; the thread itself does not remain on the piece.

TIP

After you put the thread down on the surface, you really want to relax your arms and shoulders and let the thread rest on the board. It doesn’t need to be laid down taut.

BONUS!

Visit The Art of Mistakes bonus content page for a video demonstration of an alternative way of using paint with thread!

(This demonstration was previously published in The Art of Mistakes by Melanie Rothschild, copyright 2014; it is republished here courtesy of CreateMixedMedia.com and North Light Books.)

U5666_ArtOfMistakes_finalC.inddFind out more or order a copy of The Art of Mistakes by Melanie Rothschild here.

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