What is Diamond Painting? A complete beginners guide for 2021

What is Diamond Painting?

You may not have come across diamond painting yet, but this new diy art kits hobby is taking the craft world by storm. In essence this craft is a cross between paint by numbers and cross stitch, but is faster and arguably more therapeutic than the latter! There are any number of stunning pictures you can create from scenes such as an amazing aurora borealis to animals and fantasy pictures, and a whole range of colours and shades are available to help you create something that looks incredible. Diamond painting entails affixing miniscule ‘diamonds’ to an adhesive canvas to create a mosaic type of painting with a vibrant look. The technique is easy to learn and appeals to all types of people and age groups. Kits come with everything you need to get started including canvas, diamonds and tools and all you will need is a work surface to complete the painting and to lay out your equipment.

Benefits of diamond painting

There are a number of benefits to this 5D diamond painting art form, and these range from the fact that you can order everything in one easy kit and that the technique is easy to learn even if you have never done anything of this nature previously. Not only that but the focus you need is ideal for relaxation and mindfulness as well as a bonding experience if you and friends or loved ones come together to work on your projects. In addition, you can create an innovative piece of art for your house or as a gift. Whether you choose to undertake a small painting that can be quickly finished but looks stunning, or a much larger artwork that takes more time and effort, you can use a range of ideas and colours, and paintings can even be modelled on photos, favourite pets or a whole range of subjects. For a fantastic selection of categories Meridian Fine Arts have everything you need whether you are just getting started or want to create a more ambitious and unique picture: https://meridianfinearts.com/collections/meridian-diamond-art-kit

Types of diamond painting

There are a range of choices you can make at the outset - for instance the diamonds come in different shapes such as round, square or sometimes special shaped gems depending on what type of effect you want. In addition, there are two main types of technique which use a full drill or partial drill technique. In the full drill technique the whole picture is composed of the faceted ‘diamonds,’ whereas in the partial technique it is only certain highlights that have the diamonds applied, you can browse the kits and materials to see which ones you prefer for your individual artwork. Both full and partial drill paintings look amazing in their own right and each technique has benefits depending on the look you are aiming for.

Canvas and drills

In terms of canvas size the world is your oyster, and you can go from tiny, cute variations at 3” x 3” to super-sized canvases of over 30, and the latter will obviously take more time to complete and use a wider range of diamonds. As with computer images the larger the size of canvas the wider blending of colours that can be applied and hence more detail. The term ‘drill’ refers to the small gems that are the component parts of the painting as mentioned above. The round drills have a glimmery surface and can be easier for beginners as there is not the need to line them up quite so precisely as some other types of drill, and the effect is a little more abstract with some of the printed background showing through. Square drills need more precision to get them lined up perfectly, and with no printed background showing through the overall effect is akin to a mosaic and is very fulfilling to complete. In terms of the size of the diamonds they are definitely on the tiny scale being approximately 2.5 x 2.5 mm, and they are made from a high gloss resin.

What does each kit include?

When you order a kit you are guaranteed a full set of tools and resources to create that perfect painting. This includes: specified picture size; adhesive canvas with the outline of the picture and the numbered areas to follow; environmentally friendly resin diamonds of 2.5mm; easy to follow instructions; stylus; glue slab; tweezers and tray. Everything is there to ensure you can get started straight away on your design and there are instructions about how to keep your canvas safe and clean and how to store small parts when you are not working on it. As with most creative art you can choose to work freestyle or in a more methodical top to bottom way if you prefer a systematic approach.

Instructions for diamond painting

The joy of diamond painting is that you can create a beautiful piece of art but are also following a formulaic approach to do this. For instance, each drill space on the canvas has a number or symbol that corresponds to a particular colour and a guide along the side indicates the colour to use. Therefore, by careful matching up of the gemstones to the correct spaces you will start to see your painting take shape. Due to the large amount of diamonds used on big pictures it can occasionally be tricky to tell the difference between them, so it is important to be systematic – often diamond painters use one colour at a time to make sure they get it right. In terms of gems supplied there will be quantities listed on the canvas; usually up to 30% extra gems are supplied although it is easy to order more if any go missing or in cases where a certain colour effect is required.

Can I use my photos for diamond painting?

One of the many exciting possibilities of this craft is custom diamond painting, which means that you can use a photo of a pet or loved one, or perhaps a favourite character from a movie or cartoon and model a picture to suit! There is nothing easier than deciding to use a photo or a picture and it is simply a question of deciding on the size of canvas and type of drill, uploading the picture and waiting for your delivery. 

Use our photo to canvas size calculator to help you choose the right canvas size based on the dimensions of your photo. You can order your custom kit here.  

What could be more meaningful than a photo or picture of your favourite figure for your room or to present as a gift - and one that you have completed yourself! 

Does size really matter?

In this case it does! In terms of complexity and depth, a bigger canvas will demand more attention to detail and obviously more hours to complete, but you will be rewarded with a diamond art picture with more perspective and impact. Of course, a small canvas is equally skilful in it’s own way but will not take as long to complete but just by it’s compact size it will be a source of joy and is great for nooks and crannies. Therefore, take into account your skill level, time and patience and where the artwork is likely to be placed when considering size. A smaller canvas is better for beginners until they become more accustomed to the technique and then it may be good to move on to a larger canvas.

How do I deal with creases in my canvas?

One issue to be aware of if you want to embark on diamond painting art is that occasionally there may be wrinkles or creases on the canvas. One solution is to tape the canvas out flat and put something heavy on it for a few hours. Some sites recommend an iron, but if you do this proceed with great caution and only use on a low setting and with the canvas face down due to the adhesive layer and the need to ensure the numbers or symbols don’t smudge.

Have fun and get creative with this exciting new hobby, and before long you may find you can’t wait to start each new piece as you join the increasing number of diamond painting fans out there!