Dog

Dog

Friday, 15 October 2021

Blog-free Week

 

Nature’s Mirror, wool, 11” x 8.5”, CAN $400


I hope you enjoyed the lovely mild fall days that we experienced for the past weeks. I took many pictures of the beautiful fall colours during my daily walks. The Ottawa region can expect a wet weekend, perfect for sitting down with a needle felting project while listening to the rain. I will examine how the different vegan-friendly fibres work for needle felting and share my experiences next week.

 

If you want to buy the above artwork that reminds you of the bright fall colours all year round, send me an email to info@KerstinPeters.ca.
 

Have a great weekend!

Friday, 8 October 2021

Needle Felted Paintings

Pink flowers, wool, demo project, 6" x 6"

Blog 31



What is a needle felted painting? Needle felted paintings are two-dimensional artworks created by needle felting, even though you don’t use any brush or paint to create them.


If you are new to needle felting, I want to give you a short overview of my process to create a simple needle felted painting. I am sure there are different ways, and I always encourage students to learn from various instructors to learn different techniques.


Here are my steps to create a needle felted painting:


1) Look for a reference photo or create a design from imagination 

For this project, I created a flower from my imagination.



2) Collect all the materials you need:

  • wool rovings and battings or vegan-friendly fibres (I will examine some in the upcoming weeks.) in the colours of your project

  • felting needles (I usually use one medium and one fine one

  • an old cushion or foam pad thick enough so that the needle cannot poke through

  • felt fabric in the size of your intended artwork



3) Draw the image onto your felt: I usually don’t draw the image on my felt fabric, especially if the artwork will be about the size of my reference photo. However, for larger pieces, I suggest drawing the composition. You can use a pencil, marker or marking pencil for fabric to draw the basic shapes without too much detail (see No. 4). Make sure to pick a light colour when your image has mainly light colours. You want to avoid that the marks are showing through your finished painting.



4) Blocking in of colours: I start with blocking in my colours – like in a regular painting. The purpose of the blocking in of colours is to cover the background by adding colour to the different spaces of the design. At this point, I don’t worry about values but mark the specific shapes with an approximate colour of that shape. For example, in this demo piece, I used one pink hue for all the pedals and one green one for the leaves without looking at any differences in value. I will add details in the next layer.

In the case of my flower, I create five loosely shaped petals that have about the same size. Then, I stab the wool with my felting needle through the felt backing. When you stab the needle through the roving or batting, the barbs catch on the fibre scales. This process pushes them together so that the fibres cling together. Make sure to hold the needle in the direction you are stabbing to prevent breakage of the needle. For big pieces, you can also use a needle holder that can hold several needles at a time. Pay close attention to what you are doing because the needles are very sharp, and you can easily stab yourself. You can buy finger guards or put bandages on in advance if you are worried. 

 

three felted petals, right a similar flower


adding leaves


 

fully blocked in artwork

 

5) Once I have covered my background, I start building up layers of fibres to add more details by studying the petals and leaves to see the darker and lighter areas. You want to add the illusion of space with darks and lights. However, needle felting offers you the opportunity to add material to create a three-dimensional shape. I sometimes use this technique for some areas in the foreground, but I keep most sections two-dimensional (see picture at the top).



6) Finishing the Artwork

Because I only create pieces displayed in a frame, I only have them mounted on a mat and put in a frame. If you decide to hang your painting without glass protection, you can carefully clean it with compressed air or a damp cloth. There is a risk that some dyes might start bleeding, so use cold water to avoid ruining your artwork.


If you want to shrink the needle holes and help interlock the fibres further, you can also use a steam iron on the back of your image. Avoid moving the iron back and forth on your fabric, but preferably press it down and lift. You could also do it from the front by putting a cotton tea towel between the artwork and the iron. Using the iron will flatten your artwork. I have never ironed my felted pieces because I prefer slight differences in texture and height in my paintings.


If you want to read about the health benefits of needle felting, check out the following blog https://kerstinpeterspaintingblog.blogspot.com/2019/04/the-positive-effects-of-needle-felting



You can also experience these benefits by joining during my November workshop. For more information and to register to https://www.kerstinpeters.ca/product/felting-experience/.

In two weeks, I will talk more about the differences in fibres that you can use for needle felting.








Friday, 1 October 2021

Blog-free Week

 

Fall Splendor, wool and embroidery thread, 11.75” x 9”, CAN $400


I wish you a wonderful start to October. In the Ottawa region, the trees are turning more colourful every day. However, the nights are cold, and while the sun is still warm, the air feels cool. It is the perfect weather for hiking, sightseeing and painting en plein air.

As the days are getting shorter, it is time to think about fall activities. I extend my invitation to you to learn needle felting in my four-week virtual workshop that starts on November 6, 2021.
To take advantage of the early bird price, register by October 1, 2021, at midnight. 

 



To help you make your decision, here are some answers to questions that I received during the past weeks.


1) Do I need any felting or other needlework experience?


The workshop is for beginners. If you have already needle felted, you can still join us. I will give you some options to challenge you.

During each session, you will :

- learn needle felting basics

- be guided in the creation of the projects

This workshop is for you if you:

- want to learn how to needle felt

- enjoy learning in a small group



2) Are you intrigued but are allergic to wool?


I have ordered some new materials that I will test over the next couple of weeks. However, for most people, an acrylic or nylon blend with a small percentage of wool does work well. 



3) Creating three projects seems a lot. Will I be able to finish the projects by myself if I cannot finish them in class?

 
The technique for all three projects is the same. You can ask questions in the private Facebook group or by email if you need help. As a bonus, you will also receive a 30-minute private Zoom session at any point during or after the workshop.



Do you have any other questions? You can reach me by email at info@KerstinPeters.ca

 

Are you ready to register? Here is the link: https://www.kerstinpeters.ca/product/felting-experience/.

Friday, 24 September 2021

What is Needle Felting?

 

Blog 30



If you have followed my career, my focus has shifted during the last couple of months. I still love painting in my studio and outside. However, at the moment, I concentrate on creating needle felted paintings. I will also simplify my teaching schedule to offer more workshops to teach others how to create their own. Felting is a slow process and requires patience. It is a reflection of a change of pace that I wanted for my life that was very busy and hectic. I am drawn to the softness of the material and love the challenge of creating my vision in wool. I can sit down and felt for a couple of minutes or hours without worrying about drying paints or cleanup of brushes.


You might be wondering what needle felting is and how you can use it to create artworks. In the next couple of blogs, I will provide more information about felting. I will focus on needle felting.


Before I describe the process of needle felting to you, here is a list of basic materials you need for getting started:


To create a felted artwork, most people use wool rovings and battings. You can also find many vegan-friendly materials that I will examine in the upcoming weeks because some of my clients have an allergy to wool but would still like to participate in my felting workshops.


Felting needles have tiny barbs at the end. When you stab the needle through the wool roving or batting, the barbs catch on the fibre scales and push them together so that the fibres cling together, turning into solid felt in the process.


Felting needles come in different gauges and differences in the location and number of barbs. The gauge number refers to the diameter of the needle. The higher the number, the finer the needle. For most projects, a medium (36 gauge) and a fine (40 gauge) needle are sufficient. The number of barbs influences the speed of felting. A higher number helps you to felt quicker. However, needles with fewer barbs are more suitable for fine detail work. For big pieces, you can also use a needle holder that can hold several needles at a time.


To avoid poking yourself, you need an old cushion or foam pad that should be a couple of inches thick so that the needle cannot poke through.


Needle felting makes it possible to create two- and three-dimensional artworks. Three-dimensional pieces are sculptures of various subjects. Two-dimensional artworks are called needle felted paintings, even though you don’t use any brush or paint to create them. If you would like to learn more, join me again in two weeks. I will show you the step-by-step process for a little felted painting.





If you are interested in registering for the November workshop, you will receive a CAN $40 discount if you register by October 1, 2021. Here is the link for more information and registration: https://www.kerstinpeters.ca/product/felting-experience/.