What is the difference between art and craft?
There is an invisible line between the two and there is a great deal of overlapping.
In the early 19th century, a method of painting was developed that gave unskilled craftsmen the ability to create attractive and artistic decorations for wall hangings and home accessories.
Theorem painting, as it is called, uses pre-made designs and techniques that untrained crafters can use to fulfill their artistic sensibilities.
Theorem Painting Materials
Theorem painting uses pre-made stencils, which thereby alleviates the craftsman’s need for design skills. Traditionally, theorem painting was done on velvet or silk and occasionally paper. Oil paint was used for the fabric painting, and watercolor was used on paper.
Today there are a number of books, kits and supplies made specifically for theorem painting. Although oil paints are still useful, the current trend is acrylic paint. Acrylics dry quickly and is easy to use. Since it is a water-based medium, the supplies required are minimal and clean-up is a breeze. It’s also great for kids, as the medium is non-toxic and safe.
Acrylic paints can also be used on a wide variety of surfaces. Use it on artist’s canvas, watercolor paper, pottery, metal and plastic. Clear urethane can be used to topcoat the painting of home décor items to prolong the life and prevent scratching.
Along with standard acrylics, regular synthetic brushes are used for theorem painting. Stenciling brushes and sponges can also be used for some techniques.
Ready-made stencils come in a huge variety of subject matter, theme and sizes. Typically, these Mylar or acrylic sheets come in sets with instructions and materials lists. You can also download and print out templates, transfer the design to Mylar and cut out the shapes with an Xacto knife.
Theorem Painting Basics
Once you’ve gotten all your supplies together, you’re ready to start painting. The kit or book you’ve purchased will give you complete instructions, and it’s a simple method that’s easy to learn.
Choose an easy design to start your new hobby. Advanced paintings can have as many as eight or more stencil layers. Your skill in paint application and brushwork will grow as you practice and encourage you to try more complex scenes.
Paint is applied with a brush or a sponge. Blending or adding additional color can be done at this point, as the stencil keeps the artist from painting outside the design area. Once the stencil is removed, the artist can add freehand brushstrokes to the work either between layers or at the completion of the piece.
There are tricks to brushwork such as using two colors at once on either side of the brush. This is a great way to get instant color blending and works well for flowers, leaves and to give a three dimensional sense to an object. This takes practice, but it is fairly easy to accomplish.
Theorem Painting Surfaces
Any surface that will hold paint can be used for theorem painting. Use it on wooden plaques or decorative metal-ware such as trays, cans and bowls. Paint wooden Shaker boxes or other wooden home décor items. Use fabric paint to embellish clothing and accessories such as tote bags. Low-fire enamel paint can be used to create beautiful ceramic and pottery bowls, plates, mugs and storage containers. The list of potential painting surface is endless.
Acrylic Paints And Suppliers
Decoart’s Americana Acrylic Paint line has a great variety of traditional and Early American colors that are great for theorem painting. The paint comes in over 200 colors, and the two-ounce plastic squeeze bottles are convenient to use.
Plaid FolkArt Acrylic Paint is packaged in two-ounce plastic bottles. It is available in over 250 colors and includes both metallic and pearlized shades. The traditional and contemporary colors are vivid and intense.
Delta Ceramcoat Acrylics are available in both two-ounce and eight-ounce plastic squeeze bottles. They offer 230 color choices and produce pearlized and metallic paints to complete the line.
Theorem painting can be a fun craft for beginners, kids or anyone who wants to paint something that is attractive and artistic. It’s a craft that is easy to learn and is one that can expand to a high level of craftsmanship. Theorem paintings can have a primitive look or be highly refined. At some point, the difference between craft and art becomes blurred. For many, theorem painting is as much an art as it is a craft.