This is a brand new Blog and I am a brand new Blogger! To begin with I will be documenting my progress, and sometimes lack thereof, of my latest needlepoint project: Book of Ink Circles. I should mention that this design is a cross stitch design, but I am doing it in needlepoint. You can see it at www.inkcircles.com.
I began last week when I painted the canvas using a variation of a technique published by Gay Ann Rogers. I used a sea sponge and acrylic paints.
First I marked the perimeter of the design area, and the center, on the canvas with a Sharpee fine point marker. Then I fastened my canvas to stretcher bars, nice & tight. I put the "right side" on top as I didn't want to risk getting paint on my stretcher bars. This way I only need to paint the area I will be stitching. I mixed my paint to just a little darker than the desired color. I added water till it was about the consistency of thin syrup or cream, maybe a little thinner. Then I wet and wrung out my sponge (a small one I got at Aaron Bros. for about $5). I gingerly dipped the sponge in the paint and *wiped* it across the canvas (if you daub, you may just get spots) and generally smeared it around. If you get a thick spot or a too dark spot, just wipe it with the clean side of the sponge and it'll clear it right up. It is easy to do swirls, almost solid, corners, whatever. I found that, as a non-painter, the small sponge is much easier to control than a brush.
I am thrilled with the results! It is exactly what I wanted and so easy! There are no ripples in the canvas - I think putting it on the frame first is the key! Of course, my paint wasn't real watery either, so that might make a difference too. If you decide to try it, be sure to experiment first on scrap canvas so you can find out what the right consistency is for the paint and check the color. I will always do this, every time I paint a canvas. And I'm sure I'll do this again!!!!
Next I decided I didn't like the Cat design at the corners of the pattern, so I worked up a knot pattern that would coordinate with the ones at the centers of each side.
Finally, time to start stitching. I have completed part of one side and am pleased with the results: