By Janet Cruz
There are painters, jewelry makers and illustrators, but have you heard of diamond art painters? There are a few locals who have been diving into that hobby for a few years right here in Lake Havasu City.
Local resident Katrin Phillips, has been dabbling in diamond art painting for more than four years now, and says the hobby requires concentration, but is very enjoyable to do.
“As of right now I have made 22,” Phillips said. It really depends on how many colors are in the art frame. They can take anywhere from around 30 to 40 hours to make. It can get quite addicting,” she said.
Diamond art painting according to the craft world website, is also known as crystal art. The practice involves working with small diamond, circle or square shaped crystal pieces, to create a mosaic art piece. Each piece is placed onto a printed photo, and from there, artists must place each piece on a corresponding number on the page or canvas.
Philips has also donated some of her patriotic art pieces to organizations in town as well.
“I’ve given patriotic motifs to the American Legion Auxiliary, Marine Corp League and I’ve also given out firefighter motifs to parents of firefighters,” she said. “I realized that people enjoy getting them.”
Cindy Ritter has also been a diamond art painter for more than two years, and recalls the first time she saw a finished piece online and knew she wanted to do it herself.
“I actually got started after I saw a Facebook ad pop up of the twin towers wrapped in an American flag and I thought it was really beautiful,” Ritter said. “So I got that one, and then I started doing Christmas ones, which led to more patriotic ones and soon to flowers and butterflies.”
Ritter also says she uses a special pen that has a sticky point, that really helps her pick up some pieces to place upon the frame.
“In the beginning, I did it one color at a time, and that was okay but then you had to go back and try to find the ones you missed from side to side, so I used paper to hold them. I’m working with nineteen colors now,” she says.
Lonnie Stevenson has worked with diamond art for more than five years and says he came across the hobby when his wife purchased a kit and brought one home.
“This was probably pre-Covid, my wife brought a kit and worked on one with one of our sons,” Stevenson said. “I then thought it was pretty cool.”
One of the first art pieces Stevenson completed was a picture of a dog, and then Star Wars poster with a picture of the Millennium Falcon.
“I find that more detailed pictures do better with the square shaped pieces verses the diamond ones, especially if you are working with small pictures or faces,” he added.
Some other pieces Stevenson has completed include a basketball photo for his son which took about 80 hours, an eagle which took approximately 70 hours and currently a Led Zeppelin in concert photo.
“I am not a great painter, so this allows me to get creative, and yes its’ a premade picture, but I find it relaxing. I will listen to some music, or a book on audible while I do it,” he adds. I find it to be more productive than just sitting in front of the television. I find it to be a cool little hobby.”
For anyone wanting to try diamond painting, kits can be found at crafts stores everywhere, such as Hobby Lobby or online on Amazon. Artists can also submit some of their own photos to diamond art websites to create their own kit. Kits come with single pens, wax, and crystals and can cost anywhere from $10-$80. Accessories such as light boards, crystal storage containers, and multiplier pens can be purchased separately online.
Diamond Art Painting is a fun project for all ages to enjoy and all skill levels.