Are you wanting to learn how to paint with thread? These 4 thread painting classes are some of the best the internet has to offer. Whether you’re brand new and have never embroidered in this style before, or you’re looking to venture into more complicated and challenging subject matter, there will be a class for you!
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General Thread Painting Techniques
Realistic Embroidery Techniques By Emillie Ferris
This is a phenomenal course for someone who has never thread painted before. Emillie is extremely detailed in her instruction. The course walks you through helpful materials and the best way to do the long and short stitch to blend colors together realistically.
The class project is a monarch butterfly, which is the perfect subject matter to thread paint as the characteristics of the wings are symmetrical and somewhat straight forward to thread paint.
Emillie walks you through each step of the process which includes breaking down how she selects thread colors and the reasoning behind it all.
Embroider Lively Pet Portraits by Santo Cielo
Santo Cielo is known for making extremely detailed and somewhat whimsical pet portraits. This class is a great one to take if you’re new to embroidering pet portraits.
In it, you’ll learn all of the supplies and techniques you need to know to get started stitching pets!
I really liked this course because it gave many examples of how to stitch different fur patterns, which is very helpful because different colors and types of pet fur can be stitched somewhat differently.
Another really helpful section in the course shows you how to match colors in a really interesting way. It makes it much easier and more accurate to select the perfect colors when you’re going off of a reference photo.
Create Embroidered Pet Portraits by Michelle Staub
Another amazing pet portraiture course that is great for beginners is Michelle Staub’s course, Create Embroidered Pet Portraits. Michelle is a master at pet portraiture and her class is a goldmine of information to help thread paint your first pet portrait.
This class is super interesting and full of helpful information that will set you up for success. Michelle walks you through helpful resources to use to continually learn and improve your thread painting technique.
She shows her process for thread color selection, choosing the best reference photos, and creating an embroidery design to follow. She even has an easy way to transfer the pattern to fabric that will guarantee you’ll have a clean and highly detailed design to work off of.
The class project is a black cat portrait. You can access the pattern within the course so you can follow along.
Think of this class as an over the shoulder, exclusive look at Michelle’s process. She explains everything as she stitches the portrait. I personally learned so much going through this class and recommend it to anyone that has a little bit of embroidery experience but is looking to learn how to thread paint animals and pet portraiture.
Intermediate Embroidery: Explore Collage, Portraits & Embellishments by Danielle Clough
Danielle Clough is another fantastic embroidery artist that is well known for her colorful, realistic embroidery art. This class is geared towards more intermediate embroiderers, as it is very detailed but offers more concepts and systems rather than walking you through the basics.
This is a two for one class: there is a section for collage and a section for portraiture.
The collage section of the course is very fun and creative. Danielle shows you how to make a mixed media collage embroidery using thread, paint, and beads.
The portraiture section is a great section for those wanting to learn more about stitching realistic subject matter. She walks you through how to use your reference photo and her process for creating a human portrait. I like that there is a section that she gives tips for adding more dimension to your embroidery, which ultimately is going to make it look more realistic and really pop.
Finally, there are a few sections showing you how you can finish your work. And no, it’s not just in an embroidery hoop!
Amanda is a hand embroidery artist and teacher. With over 15 years of experience in the craft industry and embroidery, she owns and runs Crewel Ghoul, sharing tutorials and patterns to help inspire fellow crafters to get inspired and creative. In addition to running this website, she teaches on Skillshare and Youtube.