The sparkle in the eyes of Melody Raveill – Spring Valley is a reflection of the joy she has when working on, then completing one of her diamond paintings. A couple years ago, a family member had gifted her a small kit and she knew this hobby was a keeper. “I liked working with the small diamonds right away, finding it both challenging and relaxing. I’ve finished many pictures since that first kit,” she comments while sitting at the table meticulously arranged with diamond painting supplies.
Melody moved back to Fillmore County in July of 2020 so she could be closer to her son Josh Raveill, his wife Leann, and her grandsons James and Jackson. “Being a part of my family’s lives made the move from Detroit Lakes, Minn., an easier decision because family is so important,” said Melody. Many people have found diamond painting to be a unique family activity by creating the experience accomplishment, enhancing self-confidence, developing a persistence while reducing stress in the home. There are even customized kits available using your own photographic images which are transferred to canvases.
Readers may not be familiar with this creative activity. Although diamond painting is believed to be an ancient art form originating in Asia, the patent was given in 2010 to Guangdong Dazu Yueming Laser Technology Co., Ltd., yet this artform did not become popular until 2017. It has been referred to as “diamond art, paint with diamonds, mosaic art, diamond stitch, or diamond embroidery.” This hobby is said to be a combination of cross-stitching and painting by numbers since the canvas (which is used to glue sparkling resin pieces) is marked with numbers or shapes.
The basic tools used in Diamond painting are included with the kits. “I purchase most of my kits online because I can find some pretty good deals,” comments Melody. “Kits come with all the basic supplies needed to complete your painting. You need: diamond pieces called drills, a pen, wax, tweezers and the canvas. I have developed my own system for organizing the diamond using small plastic containers marked with the number of each color, so it’s easier for me to find the ones needed.”
The canvas and supplies needed arrive rolled in plastic, so need to be flattened before work can begin. “After removing the canvas from the bag and making sure everything is there, I lay the canvas out on my table. Getting organized is so important, so I put all the diamonds in properly marked containers. I usually use the round diamonds. Next, I peel back a small section of the plastic covering the canvas and start putting pieces in their places marked on the canvas. Working on a small section at a time helps. I open the wax and dip the tip of my pen in it so picking up correctly colored diamonds is easier. Pressing the diamonds into their place on the picture. It’s fun to see the image come to life!” remarks Raveill.
The time used to finish a project depends entirely on the person doing the diamond painting. Melody worked on and off for over a month to complete the “stag” painting in her home. “Sometimes, I work four or five hours a day on my paintings and find it helps me relax. One time I wanted to see what the difference using the square diamonds would be like so I made a painting of dogs and that’s the only one I made!” Raviell muses. “The square drills line up to form neat lines, but they take longer to place and it’s more important to be concise with them. I would not recommend using square drills for a beginner.”
Once a diamond painting is complete it can be rolled up and stored, but usually the artist gets it framed. Raviell has many of her pieces on the wall of her living room. These sparkling pieces of art make wonderful gifts! “I think anyone who likes cross-stitching or painting by numbers should give diamond painting a try,” she concludes. “I am so glad I did!”