For today’s blog post, I am sharing with you a workshop I went to, where Dani Ives was teaching how to paint with wool. If you haven’t heard of Dani’s work, I highly recommend you check out her website.
Before we get started, what exactly is “painting with wool?” It is a 2D needle felting process whereby you pick a theme, copy the design onto flat wool sheets or another type of fabric, and then proceed to “paint” it with different colour wools using felting needles.
This term was coined by Dani Ives when she realised she was essentially using wool the same way painters use paint to represent an object.
I was asked to bring an image to reproduce. My main goal with this workshop was to learn how to do 2D pet portraits, so I decided to be ambitious and chose a photo of my cat Marshmallow.
After transferring the image onto the felt fabric with an ordinary pen, it was time to pick the appropriate colours to use. I confess this is the part I have the most trouble with, because you have to think of the colour not only “as is” but also have a little sense of how it will look after it’s been blended with the others around it.
We then proceeded to apply the wool onto the surface and needle felting it in place. You need to keep the reference photo at hand and look at it often, as it’s very easy to get carried away and start using artistic licence – you don’t want to do that when you’re going for a faithful reproduction!
This is a slow, laborious process. Obviously you will get quicker as you become better but I sure took long to reach the above phase.
This is my current progress. It’s slowly coming together. I can’t wait to see this finished.
Finally, I had to share my fangirl moment, a picture of me with Dani Ives herself!
Have you ever done any 2D needle felting? Let me know how it went for you in the comments section. Thanks for reading!