Feb 24 2009

Stencils, Stencils, Stencils!

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To introduce the topic of using stencils in your art experiments, I’d like to showcase some artists that definitely move beyond typical “tole painting” by combining simple and complex stencils into their contemporary art pieces.

Audrey Welch: http://www.audreywelch.com

“The Random Thoughts series introduces collage, spray painting, stenciling, and resin into my repertoire of techniques.  I start with printed papers, combining different patterns together, to form an attractive mix. Using stencils, I add another visual layer by spray painting graphic shapes, on top of the paper. Lastly, I pour a thick coat of resin over the top to get a protective layer that almost looks like glass.”

Thaneeya McArdle: http://www.thaneeya.com

Thaneeya McArdle is another artist who uses stencils to great effect in her mixed media paintings.  To learn more about her process, see my post, Combining Pattern and Realism, or visit the artist’s website (linked above).

Liz Parkison: http://www.lizparkinson.com

Liz Parkison combines collage of Japanese papers with printmaking techniques (drypoint, litho, relief) with acrylic painting and gold leaf in her wonderful botanically-inspired artworks.

Tips for Stenciling Gold Leaf:

Use low tack tape instead of spray repositioning adhesive to secure your stencil into position.  This is to minimize any chance of adhesive straying.

If your gold leaf sizing is clear, put some watercolor pigment in it, so that you will be able to see it.  (Traditional sizing was a deep red so that any cracks in the gold-leaf have a burnished effect). Tape the stencil in place, then dip the tips of the stencil brush into the gold leaf size.  Make sure that the size is distributed evenly through the bristles.  Then blot the brush onto a clean patch of paper towel to dry the tips off.  The size should be damp not wet.  Stipple the size through the holes in the stencil.  When all the holes in the stencil have been evenly colored remove the stencil.

Wait a few minutes for the size to become less wet.  It should be tacky to the touch when it’s ready.  If the size appears shiny it still too wet.  If you wait til the sizing is too dry,  put the stencil back in position and re-apply the size lightly.  Place the leaf directly onto the stenciled area.  To brush away the unwanted foil, use a clean, dry stencil brush.  When all the design is gilded and the pattern edges are clean and crisp simply re position your stencil for the next repeat.  Clean the stencil and brush with hot water and detergent or use methyl alcohol.

One response so far

One Response to “Stencils, Stencils, Stencils!”

  1. Anisha says:

    I wanted to find out, where did you get the fluer de lys stencil from and is it copyright free (public domain). I would greatly appreciate a response as I’ve been searching for a fluer de lys and yours looks amazing. Thanks for the tutorial. Look forward to hearing from you.

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