Needlepoint Tutorials - How to Paint a Needlepoint Canvas

Painting Needlepoint Canvases ››

We made a short video for you to watch below, a quicky - a one-night stand ...

Painting Needlepoint Canvases

Hand Painting Needlepoint Canvases

PLEASE NOTE: The images on our site take a while to load because they are huge - yet we feel it is nicer to see them as large as your device allows - and we actually pay extra bandwidth - or transfer - or whatever the techy guru people call this ... for your enjoyment. Funny world we live in today.

How to Hand Paint Needlepoint Canvases

There are several ways to put your design onto the canvas - before painting it.

We often - just put our original painting under the canvas on a sheet of transparent material - glass - and then back-light the three ( any lamp or light behind the three taped together ) - and draw the design by hand. A sketched outline in pencil - then a first thin coat of paint.

We do have a special table we made for this purpose and hope to add photographs soon.

This first coat - seen above - in the photograph illustrates the pigments - when they are not properly ground into a powder. Not smooth. This first painting was to test the design - and not for sale to other people.

You may view the pigments below - before we grind them into a very fine powder. Masks and gloves are used while grinding - as some of these minerals could cause terrible damage to our insides and outsides.

There are glass grinders for this - called mullers (seen below ) - yet any flat heavy non-porous object will do.

Below these lines - is a finished - properly painted canvas in our studio - with the final paint surface using the mineral pigments ground into a very fine powder. We stencil in the texts after painting the designs - letting it dry slowly - and then polymerize the canvas for durability through the future hundreds of years.

All a very time consuming process - yet ... we love hand painting and stitch painting to music -- with no outside disruptions - it is fantastic.

Give it a try !!

*Thinking* - above - evolved from an original oil painting from 1973.

Jan Voich painted the original using a Polaroid self portrait ( remember the Polaroid days ! ) - as an inspiration - idea ... or however you name it ... we just enjoy reproducing the Thinking Needlepoint Canvases ... very much.

We made a small video for you to watch - below - music for painting ...

... a bit of blues ... we especially love - choosing the colors - mixing pigments into paints ... listening to music ...

We especially love - choosing the colors ... pigments ...

Below are more canvases - stitch painted - from the Trades Figures Collection.

The image above shows a small section of a stitch-painted needlepoint canvas.

We only paint on Zweigart mono and interlock canvases exclusively - of course.

It is extremely important to use this premium quality canvas - and as you know - the counts vary from very tiny to large.

Above and below - photographs are of canvases painted on ten holes per inch interlock canvas. Carefully -- dot by dot - the paint required is actually a very small amount - so we only prepare the pigments - grinding an estimate of the quantity needed - and save extra paint in tiny - little jars - for reference and future mixings of the similar colors.

These canvases are from the Trades of Talavera Collection needlepoint figures. This figure ( The Reveler ) - is seen stitch below - we use nineteen different colors for this painting.


There are many commercially made paints available

We can only recommend that you try and purchase top qualities ( at specialty art supply shops ) - and that the paint you choose is water-proof. Otherwise the paint will ruin your stitched needlepoint tapestries - by running into the fibers if receiving any moisture at all.

Oil based paints dry slowly - we prefer these - yet -- if you are in a rush ( no reason to be ) - use high quality waterproof acrylics. Small amounts suffice - as the canvases do not use a great amount of paints.

Acrylic paints dry very quickly - so decide on the quality of materials you want to use - timing and the rest of those important things in your life.

Long ago - paint did not come in little metal tubes. People created paints from minerals - herbs - teas and other natural sources. Water evaporated - not a good binder - so other natural binders were experimented with - each giving a different luminosity to the colors.

Animal intestines were used to save / store the unused paints - until the little metal tubes were invented.

We enjoy seeing cave paintings from prehistoric times - and think about what materials were used then - and also - the eternal need to paint - to express. The Altamira Caves we visited before access was closed off to all spectators - look >> Bison - we were in awe.

In 2008, researchers using uranium-thorium dating found that the Altamira paintings were completed over a period of up to 20,000 years. The first works in Altamira belonged to the Aurignacian culture, 35,600 years old. Way before people began to click away their time on hi-tech apparatuses.

Egg yolk is a fantastic binder - for watercolors - not for water-proof needs though. Since you are going to cover the painting with fibers - it is not important - we just enjoy the pure beauty of colors that use natural ingredients - as we spend many - many hours painting.

If you have time - read throughout the internet - or even the good old fashioned books - are full of information about paints. We do enjoy Wikipedia - and try to donate to their sites - when possible.

If there are no shops nearby ( or you do not like to go out ) - many internet sites also sell excellent art materials - prime materials and tubes.

Below - well - more photographs to view hand painted and stitch painted canvases.

Depending on the design - stitch painting is not always necessary - and we use a careful continuous line ( almost more tricky than the dot by dot painting ).

Below - a very simple initial - is photographed in detail to show you what the painted canvases look like up close.

Some people need exact definitions - and cannot interpret continuous line paintings on the needlepoint canvases ( see below ) - in which case - we recommend that you ask the designer or merchant who is selling the canvas - especially on the internet - before you purchase it and find out - that in some far away hidden *link* buried within endless internet page - after page of reading hogwash about what *we do not do* -- you cannot return it.

The continuous line painted canvas above is painted on eighteen holes per inch - mono deluxe canvases. Another favorite in our studio - and people also enjoy this painting enough to purchase it and do wonderful things with different fibers and stitches !!

Sometimes - in our quiet studio - we hear from stitching artists - like this wonderful person who stitched for nine months - and suddenly - one day - - BLOOP - she emailed this photograph of her absolutely incredible masterpiece.

Yes -- our mouths dropped open when we received the photograph below.

Look - great fun to open these emails - ( instead of bills ... ) >>

San Sebastian Canvas

Silk Screening is another - older method

The older technique of silk screens has a problem. The process is extremely expensive - and the designs often dance around - as the cotton canvas is not always perfectly square.

We will be adding more information and illustrations for you - as we find the time ... in the meantime - a fun video >>

Silk Screening is another - older method

The older technique of silk screens has a problem. The process is extremely expensive - and the designs often dance around - as the cotton canvas is not always perfectly square.

We will be adding more information and illustrations for you - as we find the time ...


This is an ongoing section of our websites - where we propose to offer complete articles and photographs - about the multiple needlepoint *hidden secrets*

Please check frequently - as we add more information.

About Needlepoint

Select a Topic Below


Feel free to email or phone us - with any questions - to provide some feedback on our products - give us suggestions for new ideas and themes - or to just say hello !

TOLL FREE - 1.888.606.9222