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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 also mix our own paints -- the old historical way - using pigments with natural binders -- like egg yolks - and different oils and vegetable oils.
The colors are lovely this way.
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 ...
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.
THE REVELER ( EL PREGONERO )
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 ... ) >>
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 >>
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.
Jan Voich Designs
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