String art: master classes for beginners
“String art” or the art of creating a picture of nails and threads is a graphic technique that appeared in the 17th century. A kind of "embroidery" on cardboard or wood is not too expensive in terms of materials, tools, but it perfectly develops fine motor skills in children, perseverance, accuracy. The use of colored threads in such needlework raises the mood, being one of the most popular hobbies in many countries of the world.
What is string art
The art of string art originated in the 16-17th century in England. Then weaving on looms, frames was a very popular occupation. Once, one of the masters came up with a lot of nails to be put on a plank, and the threads were pulled so that a certain pattern came out. Later, the technique became more complicated, became multi-layered, multi-color. Such original products adorned the walls of houses, art workshops, public buildings.
The most popular this interesting technique, also called "thread", was gained thanks to the English mathematician researcher Mary Bull, who came up with how to teach the geometry of children using carnations and threads. At that time, with her "easy-to-hand", string art almost all segments of the population began to practice, whole clubs of fans of this technique began to be created, training classes were held for people of different ages.
In the art of string art, watches, key holders, mirrors, the spaces around the lamps, drawers and other elements are made.
Tools, materials for creativity
To start “embroidery” with threading, you will need to purchase a piece of plywood or thick cardboard, a couple of small cloves of small cloves, any strong colored thread (floss, iris, knitting, sewing), a hammer, an awl and pliers. The latter will come in handy if the carnations are driven in the wrong direction. For marking, you need a pencil to beautifully build complex shapes, use a square, a pair of compasses, various patterns, rulers with circles, rhombuses, numbers, etc.
In order to make an additional emphasis on one or another part of the image, use paint - acrylic, gouache, any other. It is also advisable to find or come up with a suitable picture in advance. Many craftswomen use a thin hollow tube, a handle without a rod through which the thread is passed, to conveniently wind the thread on the carnations. Separate needlework stores sell entire sets of materials and tools for String Art.
Instead of plywood, professionals use a cork base - it is softer and has a beautiful texture. Styrofoam is suitable for teaching string art to children.
Basic techniques, filling schemes
To learn the String Art technique, it is better for a beginner not to tackle overly complex products right away, but to try to make simple plain monochrome drawings. Schemes where numbers, arrows indicate the sequence, direction of weaving will help beginners. At first, it is desirable to master the principle of filling an angle, circle, arc, since all the figures are derivatives of these elements. Even the most intricate picture depicting flowers, animals, insects, a portrait or a landscape is made up of small and large geometric elements. The volume is obtained using carnations of various lengths, several shades of each color.
For training purposes, such an “exercise” is proposed. An angle with sides of five and ten cm is drawn on paper, each side is divided into 10 segments, the points are numbered. Lines run back and forth, wrapping around studs, intersecting in many places. The denser, darker the area to be formed, the more intersections in different directions are made.
A circle is filled a little more complicated - at first, using a compass, make a drawing of a circle, the contour is divided into equal parts, about a centimeter long. The threads stretch at an acute, very sharp or right angle to each other. In each case, a different pattern is obtained. The arc is filled in approximately the same way as the corners - both symmetrical and arbitrary winding are allowed.
Features of creating paintings
First you need to decide what kind of drawing you want to create, think over dimensions, number of colors, other parameters. Ready-made schemes from magazines are often used - these are inscriptions, silhouettes, plot drawings. Beginners will find useful pictures with "tips." The most important point in creating a thread pattern is pulling the threads. It is advisable to do this not too much so that the cloves do not bend, but not very weak. Only strong threads are used - if the material is torn, it is bound, and the resulting nodules spoil the appearance of the product.
If you want to get a saturated color, a greater number of threads are wound in a certain area. When using several shades of the same color, the threads intersect each other, forming soft gradient transitions.
To what depth should nails be driven
All cloves are driven to the same depth, at an equal distance from each other. The height of the part protruding above the surface is five to nine mm. When driving in cloves, small tongs are used, pliers are less likely to damage your fingers. After the painting is completed, it is permissible to drive the cloves deeper, although this is not at all necessary.
How to change thread color
When winding the thread, its beginning is fixed on the first nail with a bundle. When it ends or if you want to change the color, a neat knot is also made. A new thread starts again with a knot. After finishing work, all “tails” are trimmed, glued inside out to become inconspicuous.
According to the same pattern, using different colors, options for the location of the threads, it is easy to create completely different pictures.
Figure fill options
When the cloves are already packed along a certain contour and perimeter of the board, there are two options for filling. In the first, the inner part is filled, in the second - the background. There is a third option, when the middle is framed with threads of one color, the edges with others. Threads do not necessarily intersect in many places. For example, if the contour is square (round), and the middle is in the form of a heart (circle), the lines pass in opposite directions nearby, like rays from the sun. The use of several colors of the thread, located "overlap", allows you to create beautiful shades. To create a light, delicate pattern, thin sewing threads are used, woolen yarn is used for more voluminous work.
Fringing is a dense, usually contrasting outline of a pattern. It is performed by braiding cloves with a “snake”. Contours are often made thicker, denser, while filling is thinner. Sometimes the edging is done only two or three tones darker (lighter) than the figure itself, which looks especially beautiful when creating realistic paintings.
How to create layered compositions
Complex, two-three-color, multi-color compositions can also be created in this technique. If we take an image of an animal, a bird as an example, then first the main color of the creature’s body is woven into the picture, then the contours, paws, specks on the “wool” are executed, and lastly, eyes and noses are made. To give the tint an interesting shade, strings of similar tones of the same color are used.
Selection, preparation of a wooden base
It is permissible to use even coarse, non-sanded boards as the basis, but most often the surface is carefully sanded with sandpaper. The most commonly used materials are decorative cork panels, plywood, laminated cardboard, and foam. If desired, the surface is painted in a light or bright color, carefully pasted over with paper.
When the canvas is prepared, a drawing is placed on it, holes are pierced with an awl along the contours - nails are driven into them later. It is important to perform punctures strictly at right angles - so the cloves will hold tight. Before you begin to drive them, the board is placed on a small elevation, so as not to accidentally nail it to the table. After drawing up the marking, the scheme is removed, if pieces of paper remain, they are removed with tweezers, and they begin to fill in the picture with the help of threads of a suitable color.
Master classes for beginners and not only - sketches, schemes
The basic schemes for performing circles, angles, arcs in the String Art technique are quite simple, but their competent combination makes it possible to create almost any image. But it is important to stretch each thread correctly, otherwise the picture will be spoiled. Each thread is pulled tight enough so that it does not sag over time.
Most popular image options:
- flowers, snowflakes;
- hearts, stars;
- leaves, trees;
- letters, words, inscriptions;
- animals, birds, fish;
- still lifes with fruits, bouquets;
- portraits of people;
- Map of the world, starry sky.
When working with nails and a foam base, the thread is not excessively tightened - the details may fall out, the picture will deteriorate.
Snowflake - the most popular decoration for the New Year and Christmas. In the String Art technique, it is done like this:
- an elegant six-pointed snowflake is drawn on a square or round piece of paper;
- drawing is applied to plywood;
- nails are driven into the board, creating a suitable contour;
- white or pale blue threads are used, sometimes two colors at the same time;
- wrapping is done starting from the middle;
the more often cloves are stuffed, and the strings are thinner, the more interesting the picture will be seen.
As a Christmas decoration, such a technique involves the implementation of snowmen, the most striking detail of the image of which will be an orange nose-carrot.
Flowers are the most popular idea of any art. This is an intricate, rich in shades of roses, lilies, violets, almost "baby" daisies, sunflowers.
How to step by step perform fluffy dandelions:
- for work you will need about a hundred nails, a skein of white and light green threads, a wide board, a simple pencil;
- three circles of approximately the same size are drawn on paper - these are flowers;
- then leaves, stems of plants are drawn, points are marked where carnations will subsequently be driven;
- the drawing is applied to the board, the required number of elements is driven in, the paper is removed;
- dandelion inflorescences are “embroidered” with a white thread in a circle; it is permissible to use a scheme with an overlap;
- stalks and leaflets are green, as is framing the board, if necessary.
The most “profitable” light outlines look on a dark background, and vice versa.
To make a maple leaf from strings and carnations, you need to find a real, better large and whole maple leaf, circle it on paper or immediately on the board. Almost any natural tones are used to fill the contour - spring-green, emerald, brown, tan, crimson, orange-yellow, etc. Leaf contours are drawn with a darker sheath, but preferably with a tone that matches the main one. In the same way the main "streaks" are worked out. If desired, it is easy to create a whole "autumn bouquet" of colorful leaves.
Trees using the string art technique are made sketchy or more believable. To the trees, in this case, include both individual branches and a whole filament forest. A similar panel is made in black and white or multicolor. This is an oak or baobab on a greenish-brown background, a green tree among the snowy forests, a sketchy eucalyptus "stuffed" right on the wall. It looks interesting tree with a dense crown, made on a board covered with a dark stain, where the wood texture is clearly visible. Here the background is filled with thin threads, and the main element is made out of paper leaves, apples, cherries, acorns.
The heart is one of the simplest parts, after a circle, square, arc. The finished product will be a great gift for Valentine's Day, decorate the bedroom, living room, nursery, made in a romantic style. A heart is accurately drawn on paper or on the board itself, dots are drawn on the line, with a step of about one cm. Carnations are driven into the last, the line is erased with an eraser. Work with threads begins with tying a knot in the lower part of the heart. The winding is made at an acute angle. There is another option for the implementation of the idea - the background is filled with a filamentous "web", the heart itself is painted red, made out with a textile or paper sticker.
To create inscriptions you will need stencils of letters of Russian, English, any other alphabet you like. They are made uppercase or printed, and the distance between the parts is sufficient so that the words are well read, do not merge when viewed from a distance of several meters. This decor was invented and the first to be used by the Americans.
Here is one way to create a word:
- To work, you need a large board, furniture panel;
- on the entire surface of the object, at a distance of a centimeter from each other in height and width, cloves are stuffed - to make it smooth, markup is applied directly to the board, using a ruler, a square. If it is decided to make the external contour round, an additional compass is used;
- first, the outline denotes the letters, after the background is formed - in one or more colors;
- filling is done in random order - most often strongly broken lines are executed, but smooth transitions are also acceptable;
- the letters themselves are overlapped with a contrasting color or are left without filling;
- the finished inscription is decorated with paints, bows, paper roses, etc.
It is very difficult to “draw” with a thresh of realistic animals, especially when it comes to multi-color paintings. Before starting execution, a pencil sketch is made on paper to understand what exactly should result in it. Further, the figure is simplified - the contours of individual large parts are indicated, the template is superimposed on the surface being formed, pierced with an awl in the places where the nails are driven in.
The figure of the beast, bird, fish or the background around it is filled directly. The most interesting picture ideas:
- silhouettes of different birds on the perch;
- colored fish in a round "aquarium";
- horse figure with a harness made of stripes of leather;
- horns of deer, elk;
- a wolf howling at the moon - dark in a white circle;
- black and white zebra - a whole or just a head with a mane;
- an elephant in tones of terracotta and reddish-gray, stylized as an African mask;
- a pensive monkey;
- roe deer with calf;
- cartoon chanterelles, raccoons;
- vertical triptych with a giraffe;
- fluffy kittens, puppies, rabbits made in pastel smoky colors.
Unique portraits in the art of string art are created for a long time, but they look very impressive. Such a product will be an interesting, memorable gift. The basis here is a photo of a famous person, an acquaintance, a beautiful pencil drawing from the Internet. The creation of such a picture does not start from the center, with filling the entire background - the threads are first stretched in the darkest places (shadows, clothing details), after which light spots (face, hands) are worked out. The main difficulty here is the use of a large number of colors, halftones, shades, which allows you to perform a magnificent portrait or a full-length image.
Staining in one or another color of individual fragments of the background will allow to give the picture volume, using no more than four to five colors of the threads.
How to decorate a picture
In the role of additional decor in crafts made of threads with nails, paints are used that form the substrate, decorative nozzles on the head of cloves, beads, rhinestones, sparkles in the form of a spray. The finished picture is placed in a frame of wood, metal, plastic, cardboard, other material. Additional parts made of paper, textile, leather are fixed with glue. Hats of nails are sometimes painted in tone of thread, less often - sharply contrasting color. Often jute “tassels” are used, satin ribbon bows, paper, dried (varnished) or polymer clay flowers, all kinds of rivets, “forest gifts” such as acorns, pine cones, dry hawthorn, mountain ash, etc.
Self-made paintings of threads and nails will perfectly decorate the interior and will become the pride of the master. It is easy to make a panel at home, having only a few nails, yarn, a flat piece of wood. Detailed master classes on this type of art are easy to find on the Internet, on sites devoted to needlework. The product will decorate the interior of almost any interior style - it is only important to choose the right colors. Having mastered the art of String Art to perfection, many masters earn a lot of money by turning their favorite hobby into a real business.