Follow along to learn the secrets of painting with wool

Join Sharon Costello to paint with wool

Sharon Costello crops out a portion of her Cottage Garden Vest to re-create to show the techniques of painting with wool

When I first watched Sharon Costello's Painting with Wool workshop I was really inspired. I was suddenly itching to use the same techniques to use up little bits of fluff to make lovely images that could be used as wall pieces or combined into wearable art. The video features a lovely vest of a summer garden.

Sharon has such an ingenious technique. Starts with an existing background, either manufactured pre-felt or a sheet of wet-felted fibers in the ideal background color, and to this background she adds layers of color and texture with needle felting to create a composition. It is clear the advantages to creating imagery in wool: you can blend colors and add highlights without the base becoming muddy, and best of all, if you decide something isn't working or you'd like it somewhere else, you can pick up elements and move them. Once the composition is complete, Sharon wet-felts the piece to lock the image into the background. This makes it stable so it can be displayed on its own or worn.

Sharon twirls wool around the needle tip to create flowers and small spots of colors.

The video is filled with tons of great tips beyond what you need to create this one image. Sharon gives lots of pointers for needle felting—picking up your project frequently so it doesn't attach to the foam is a big one I need to remember. I also love the way she twirls the wool around the needle tip to create flowers and small spots of colors. I also learned a lot about wet felting as Sharon shows how she fixes the image. She shares details of what is happening during the process and when you need to be careful not to distort the design.

It is easy to watch Sharon's practiced hand re-create the imagery of the vest onto a sheet of pre-felt and imagine myself needling my way to lovely felted images. I've been itching to try this technique and wanted to start with this same image. Being able to follow along step-by-step is the best way for me to learn the techniques before I start creating my own designs. Lucky for me, the digital download of Painting with Wool is now available as part of our Painting with Wool Kit, which includes all kinds of additional felting know-how. I can't wait to start painting with wool.

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