I had the pleasure of taking an introductory needle felting class from Christy Binoniemi last night. She’s a master at portraiture needle felting, and one of her lines of work is commissioned pet portraiture. This class was for beginners, and she imparted all sorts of tips on how to blend colors, make lines, and making pictures into needle felted art. We started with samples:
I started on the left, just getting a feel. The pretty orange is a bamboo fiber, less grabby than wool, but she had a couple of suggestions on how to incorporate the slippery fibers. I assumed it was silk, it felt lovely. Also, how to make small spots, the little white tip on the orange line. The center circle is blending by layering colors. On the right, blending by mixing colors and then felting. And, more on making lines. There’s a tiny bright green line to the right of the darker green line in the center. I kept missing the line!
Finally, the start of a chickadee:
This is lightly felted, it needs details and firming up. Right now it’s more of an impressionist chickadee.
Christy recommends Watercolor Felt Workbook by Patricia Spark as an introductory book, if you’re so inclined! Better yet, take a class from Christy — this class was done through the Textile Center of Minnesota, held at the American Craft Council, where I work.