How to Paint With a Needle

by Jody Hanson
Painting with a needle can be innovative.

Painting with a needle can be innovative.

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Artists have used a variety of instruments --- brushes, hands, sticks, spatulas --- to get the paint from the tube to the canvas, so there is no reason you can't do the same with a needle. One drawback to using a needle, however, is that it will take longer to paint with it because the surface is much smaller. The best way to deal with this is to make needle paintings minature works of art.

Items you will need

  • Needles
  • Paint
  • Paper, canvas or silk
  • Sketching pencils
Step 1

Draw an outline of what you want to paint on your paper, canvas or silk fabric. It is easier to work from a sketch than to paint free-style, although you may want to do that if you are doing an abstract piece.

Step 2

Dip the needle into the paint. Gauge how wide a stroke you want and insert the needle accordingly.

Step 3

Roll the needle across the canvas with a back-and-forth motion. This stroke will transfer the paint on the area you want to cover. Use a different needle for each color, rather than wiping the needle clean.

Tips & Warnings

  • Experiment with different designs and techniques for painting with a needle. Just as a new brush needs to be broken in, the best way to use a needle requires some trial tests.
  • You might also try dipping the needle in paint and poking it through paper to create dot art. When you get the technique mastered, move on to working with light silk fabric. Study Australian Aboriginal art for some design ideas.

About the Author

Jody Hanson began writing professionally in 1992 to help finance her second around-the-world trip. In addition to her academic books, she has written for "International Living," the "Sydney Courier" and the "Australian Woman's Forum." Hanson holds a Ph.D. in adult education from Greenwich University.

Photo Credits

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