If you are a newcomer to the diamond painting game, odds are pretty high that you are feeling a little overwhelmed with all of the crazy terminology that is constantly thrown around in diamond painting circles. You just now figured out that “diamond painting” does not mean putting paint on actual diamonds, but rather using little gemstones to assemble a beautiful, sparkling masterpiece – but now you are hearing people talk about “full drills” and “partial drills,” “setting tools” and “trays,” “3D” and “5D,” and you just want to scream, “What is everyone talking about?!” Never fear – we are here to explain, and hopefully give some much needed illumination to the wonderful (but sometimes confusing!) world of painting with diamonds.
If you have given diamond painting even a bare, cursory minimum of research, we are willing to bet that you have come across the word “drills” and been very, very confused. Drills? Who said anything about drilling anything? You are not here to work with power tools – you are here to create beautiful masterpieces! Well, there is no need to worry: “drills” does not refer to actual drills with a bit. “Drill” is simply another term for the tiny, sparkling gemstones you will use to create your gorgeous painting. Drills, gems, gemstones, and diamonds are all the same thing in the diamond painting world – it is just that “drill” is the technical, industry term for these beautiful shiny stones. Drills can also be referred to as diamonds, gems, stones, gemstones, rhinestones, and beads.
Okay, so if drills mean gemstones, then what in the world is a partial drill? A gemstone that is only partially there? Who would want anything to do with that? Bear with us here: a partial drill refers to a style of diamond painting, not the drills themselves. A “partial drill” is a diamond painting where only a specific component of the picture will be outlined in diamonds (AKA drills!). These kinds of paintings are perfect for when you want to draw a viewer’s attention towards one part of the painting in particular. Let’s say you have a picture of your daughter’s wedding day, and you want everyone who sees the picture to notice her amazing, gorgeous dress. What better way to highlight her dress then to fill it in with stunning, sparkling clear diamonds? A partial drill would be the perfect painting approach for that circumstance.
In contrast to a partial drill, a “full drill” is…yep…you guessed it…a painting entirely covered in diamonds! These kinds of paintings are the more classic approach to the art of painting with diamonds. Most diamond painting kits that are specifically designed for beginners or that you can order via the mail instead of custom designing your own picture feature full drill paintings. These paintings are often stunning landscapes or scenes where every bit of the picture is beautiful enough to be highlighted in diamonds.
Setting Tools and Trays
You definitely will not get very far in the world of diamond painting if you do not know your way around a setting tool and a tray. Fortunately, both are fairly simple and straightforward. The tray is where a diamond painter places their gems while they are painting. Trays come with grooved lines in their base so that the drills can be lined up in order to easily be picked up, instead of the painter constantly needing to sort through a messy pile. Most trays also have a pointed end, so that if you are finished painting at the moment and want to put your gems away, you can easily pour them back into their container.
The setting tool is also referred to as a setting pen, because it is similarly shaped to a writing utensil. Setting tools have bevelled ends so that both round and square drills can be easily picked up and dropped into their corresponding locations on your painting canvas. Some tools are capable of picking up more than one gem at once, which can be really helpful when it comes to painting large swathes of a painting that are all the same color, so you can knock out those sections quickly.
3D and 5D Drills
Oftentimes, you will hear the terms “3D” and “5D” thrown around in diamond painting circles, and it is likely that as a newcomer, you won’t even know what painters are referring to when they use that lingo. But, like most terms in the diamond painting world, “3D” and “5D” refer to drills. And the numbers “3” and “5” refer to one very simple aspect of these drills: the number of different facets on a drill’s surface. 3D drills have three facets on each side of the drill, for nine facets in total – three on each of the three sides. 5D drills have five facets on each of the sides, for fifteen facets in total. So the 3 and the 5 simply describe the number of facets per side of the drill. There is nothing easier to understand than that!
Square vs. Round
Just like 3D and 5D, “square” and “round” also refer to the diamond drills themselves, and just like 3D and 5D, “square” and “round” are fairly self-explanatory. Square drills are square in shape, meaning they are able to be lined up very tightly together at exact right angles, providing for a finished product that resembles a mosaic in its closely designed nature. Round drills, on the other hand, are unable to be clustered as tightly together by virtue of their round shape. These drills are better used for paintings with a more abstract look.
Don’t let the intense terminology of the diamond painting world scare you away from this wonderful and very relaxing hobbies. Most terms are fairly easy to understand once you break them down – and we guarantee that as soon as you are more familiar with these terms, you can start throwing them around like a pro and be a diamond painting expert in no time at all.