A Quick and Easy Guide to Diamond Painting

We have a nasty habit of assuming art is something that is necessarily obtuse and only accessible and understandable to the monied, educated, and those who have pretensions to be counted as both.

Nevertheless, art has always been a means of expression for everyone, no matter their race, sex, gender, or class. Set aside all other defining features, and art can come to define you.

That’s what makes something like diamond painting so appealing. It harkens back to grand artistic traditions such as mosaics as well as folk art, making it incredibly accessible.

It is in that spirit that we create this quick and easy introductory guide for those looking to unleash their innate creativity.

Things to Know Before You Start

For those not in the know, diamond painting is like a cross between cross-stitching and mosaics. You simply take some gems, attach them to a canvas, and voila!

We’ll go over the step by step process behind that later, but for now, let’s answer an even more basic question – why try diamond painting?

For one thing, it’s incredibly accessible to learners young and old. Introducing kids to art can yield lifelong dividends, but even if your kid’s the next Pablo Picasso or Georgia O’Keeffe, you probably won’t appreciate any “masterpieces” they decide to make on your walls or carpeting with fresh paint. Conversely, the older you get, seeing and holding the brushes and needles needed for painting and needlework can become quite difficult.

By contrast, diamond painting is accessible, mess-free, and the tools are easy to grasp and use for artists of all ages.

A Quick Overview of the Diamond Painting Process

On the most basic level, diamond painting involves taking the “diamond” gemstones – typically beads, crystals, rhinestones, and similar materials – and attaching them to a canvas. The whole package is called a diamond painting kit, or a diamond canvas kit as coined by Dreamer Designs.

These surfaces can be pre-coded for paint-by-numbers style painting, or you can try attaching gems in your own freeform artistic fashion.

The basic diamond painting process follows like so:

  1. Remove and lay out all of the items from the package
  2. Spread out your canvas on a flat surface
  3. Review your colored gems and decide which color you want to lead with
  4. Use the tip of an applicator included to pick up the gems, apply the application fluid so it sticks in place, and then press it against the canvas in the textured grooves
  5. Peel back the plastic film
  6. Make sure the gem is set firmly into place
  7. Repeat for the rest of your gems until your diamond painting is complete

It is an exact, meticulous process that can be great for getting you into a “Zen” headspace, making diamond painting a fantastic stress-reducing hobby.

Different Painting Techniques

One of the best things about the world of art is that it allows for all manner of different techniques to flourish in the same field. Look at a work by Rembrandt, Monet, Seurat, and Warhol, and you’ll see incredibly different masters making use of wholly different techniques to create time-tested masterpieces. Diamond painting embraces this in a more craftsman way.

There are several diamond painting techniques for assembling your work, including:

  • Assembling them from the bottom of the canvas upward
  • Following a checkerboard pattern of putting in every other gem and then filling in the gaps
  • Doing certain colors first
  • Setting up little “plots” and completing each area in turn like a “farmer” tending to their crops

Each of these works well in their own way, and some work better than others for different approaches. For example, if you are following a pre-coded pattern, similar to paint-by-numbers, doing the background before you get to the colors or shapes that are most prominent can provide you with a helpful outline by the time you get to the good stuff. On the other hand, if you’re creating your own work of art, you may enjoy the freedom of sketching it out ahead of time and then assembling it on the canvas from the bottom up.

Dealing with Canvas Creases

Has your canvas creased? No problem. This is a common issue and can be easily dealt with placing creased canvases under a flat weighted surface overnight. This can be anything from your mattress to a stack of books to very light weights.

Unleash Your Creativity

One of the best things about diamond painting is that it allows you to unleash your creativity by giving you a wealth of artistic freedom to suit your desires.

You can follow along with preset patterns for animals, places, buildings, and even famous paintings.
You can choose to arrange the gems freeform to create masterpieces of your own.

With a wealth of colors from which to choose, a blank canvas at your disposal, and an easy application process, diamond painting is an accessible way to unleash your creativity.

And isn’t that what art is supposed to be?

Photo source: https://pixabay.com/photos/resin-flower-diamond-round-4411965/

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