: music, art, code
July 4, 2013 ,

Geometric String Art Tutorial

I recently became fascinated with string art and decided to play around with some ideas that could eventually work for a large, open wall in my living room.  What resulted were a couple 2’x4′ wood panels with painted geometric forms and string outlines:

For my second piece, the process went like this:

Step 1: Model & Fit

I modeled the shapes I wanted to use by playing around in Processing using the HeMesh library which allows for quick 3d rendering and manipulation.  After playing around I settled on a couple shapes like this:

cone sketch

Next, I brought these shapes into Photoshop to ‘posterize’ down to 2 distinct colors.  I then placed the posterized images and their outlines on a canvas that matched the ratio of the 2’x4′ wood sheet.


Step 2: Project & Outline

Using a projector, I projected the shapes onto the wood and marked off the intersections of the lines.  Once I had those markings, I took a single nail and left holes at each of the marks so I wouldn’t have to mark on top of the paint later on.

projected shapes

Step 3: Tape & Paint

I taped off the relevant forms and applied flat acrylic wall paint from the local hardware store.

tape 1tape 2

Step 4: Nail & String

Finally, I nailed into the same spots that I nailed into during step 2 and wrapped embroidery floss along the nails in the same pattern as the modeled images.

nails 2


The results! This was gifted to my friend Bennett.  I’ll have to post a better pic once he hangs it.

result 2

What I like about these pieces is that they start out in a very rasterized way – Photoshop & crude lines – but increase in resolution once you lay down the paint & string.  Very rarely do you see things in life go from raster -> vector.  I also like how the shadows play tricks with your eyes.  Even without the strings, you start seeing 3d shapes.

Here are the materials I used:

  • A 2’x4’x1.5″ sheet of birch wood from Home Depot
  • 2x cans of flat acrylic paint (light & dark blue)
  • Nails – 3d 1-1/4″
  • Embroidery floss
  • Projector
  • Painter’s tape
  • Flat mounting brackets

3 to “Geometric String Art Tutorial”

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