Saturday, June 16, 2018

Perfect Time of the Year to Make Sun-Prints!

This technique is so much fun that I'm posting it again; it first appeared about 3 years ago.   

 July is just the right time to make sun-prints!

The sun-print paper that I chose -- the only one I could find that would fit my 9"X 12" stencils -- was Super Sunprint Kit by Lawrence Hall of Science.  Detailed instructions should be enclosed with this paper.

My first step was to paint opaque paint over the stencils to be used.  

The four shots below show two of my stencils -- Boxed Vines and Queen Anne's Lace -- painted with opaque green acrylic.  (Any opaque color will work.)

The three photos above show the sun-prints being made -- the top layer is a transparent sheet of Plexiglas (placed there in an effort to hold everything in place); the next layer is the paint-coated stencil; the bottom layer (not visible in the above photo) is the sun-print paper.

Below is a sun-print created with my 9"X12" stencil Queen Anne's Lace--

I'd love to say that the faint double-image and the right-side tone-shift were planned, to create an artsy effect, but the truth is they were not.  These prints were all made on a sunny but windy day and I was just re-learning how to do them, having been originally taught years ago by my friend Mary Ann Russo.  No, I hadn't read the directions that had come with the paper!  I'd relied on memory instead -- so there were a few hiccups ... 

When making this batch, I had forgotten that the stencil and sun-print paper should be kept in the dark until it is ready to be placed into direct sunlight.  So I got the accidental double-exposure above by placing the stencil over the paper twice, in two different areas, while allowing sunlight to reach it both times.

However!  I plan to go for the artsy multiple-exposure look, next time -- and do so on purpose!  I'm going to create multiple exposures on each sheet of sun-print paper -- I'll keep moving the stencil across the paper to create a series of exposures.  Each exposure takes only a few minutes, on a day with bright overhead sun. 

After the last exposure, the paper is to be placed in a tub of water and swished around, then laid flat to dry.  I dried mine in a shaded area.  After that water-rinse, they should not continue to change with light exposure, but I chose a shaded area just to be on the safe side.

Below are a few more of my first set of sun-prints as they were spread out to dry:

Above:  two prints created with my 9"X 12" Boxed Vines stencil.

Above:  created with my 9"X12" Mimosa stencil.

Note:  I think it's possible to make sun-prints with stencils that have not been pre-coated with opaque paint.  But the resulting images will have less contrast between the exposed areas and the unexposed areas.  One fun thing to try would be to spatter or streak opaque paint across a stencil and then use it to make a sun-print.  This would result in an exposure that has a hit-and-miss, artsy look. Try it!

Thanks for visiting today!

To scroll thru the pages of my StencilGirl stencils, please start here.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Sandra Duran Wilson with TANGLED PODS and FANTASIA Stencils!

I'm delighted to post this link --

-- because I own and cherish books by Sandra Duran Wilson!  So you can imagine how delighted I was to see her using two of my 9"x 12" stencils! 

One of them, Tangled Pods, is Big Sister to Tangled Pods Small (6" x 6"), released April 25.

Tangled Pods 9" x 12"

Tangled Pods Small 6" x 6"

Many thanks for visiting my blog today!

To scroll thru the multiple pages of my other StencilGirl stencils, please start here.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Trish McKinney's Gorgeous StencilGirl Stencils

Trish McKinney has designed a lot of my favorite StencilGirl stencils.

The stencils by Trish that I used in developing today's mixed-media collage were Bare Wisteria, Delicate Bare Branch & Twigs and Looped Bare Wisteria Vine.

My first step was to use a technique in the Absentee Artist chapter of Creative Paper Art, by Nancy Welch.  This method is also included in Pat Dews' DVD Designing Great Starts with Texture and Form.

After those paints and shapes had dried, I cup up some of Trish's stained stencils and added them as collage pieces, using heavy matte medium.

This artwork, entitled Tanglewood, has been sold, but I still have this photo to remember it by.

Thanks for visiting my blog today!

To check out the pages of my 70+ StencilGirl stencils, please visit here.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Does Anyone Know? StencilGirl Artist who Skillfully used SASSY SPRAY 6" x 6" Stencil

Once in a while I make the embarrassing mistake of forgetting to record the name of the artist who used one of my stencils in making artwork that catches my eye with its beauty.

I'm sad to say it's happened again!

Anyone who happens to know the name of the artist whose art appears here today, please let me know, in the Comments.  Thanks!

The Sassy Spray (6" x 6") stencil itself looks like this --

Thank you for stopping by this blog today!

To scroll thru the pages of all my StencilGirl stencils, please start on this page.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Reasons for Pre-Printed Backgrounds for Stencil Printing

Why do I like using pre-printed papers -- foreign newspapers, old maps, old encyclopedia pages -- for making my stencil prints?

Whether I'm preparing backgrounds for art-journal pages, developing scrapbooking projects, or creating greeting cards, I think that:

(1) Pre-printed backgrounds offer bonus visual appeal because some original areas of the background will remain visible, altho veiled, in the finished art.

(2) If I want to cut out the stenciled image, these pre-printed lines of text give me handy guidelines, so I can make straight (or nearly straight) cuts.  (If working on a collage on a large canvas, I may not want straight-line cuts.  But I like having this option.)  

In the print below, it's easy to see that I used lines of Chinese characters as my guidelines for keeping my image straight while I made the print.  This print was made with Hot Air Balloon Mask and Mini.  (This is one of my two hot air balloon stencil-and-mask sets.  These sets are identical except for size.) 

In making the print below, I used my 9" x 12" stencil Facets -- and a page from an old book of sheet music --

Below, with my 4" x 4" stencil Fern Fronds Silhouette Mini, I gave new life to part of an old map ....

Mikki's Flowers, a 6" x 6" stencil, came in handy when I wanted to make the greeting card below.  Its background is a paint-tinted page from an old encyclopedia; the original page featured a flower illustration, so I felt it was a good match.

(Mikki's Flowers Mask is also 6" x 6".  Its design is identical with the stencil featured above.)

Webbed Medallion, another 6" x 6" stencil, ended up being used like a rubber stamp -- but that was step 2 in a 2-part printing session.

Step 1:  Using an old nautical map (garage sale purchase) as my substrate, I laid down my 6" x 6" stencil Webbed Medallionthen went over it with a sponge roller loaded with heavy body acrylic paint --

Above:  an example of rolling a sponge brayer across heavy body acrylic paint to collect a generous load of paint.

-- with the result below --

After I'd made the above print, the brayer was still heavily loaded with paint.  

So -- Step 2 -- I quickly lifted the stencil, flipped it over, and pressed it to another area on the substrate.  Below is the print that resulted.

One application of paint; two very different results ... with pre-printed backgrounds to make every image more interesting!

Thanks for visiting my blog today!

To scroll thru my StencilGirl stencils, please start here.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

PRAYER FLAGS 9" x 12" Stencil

One stencil can be used to get a big variety of prints!

My 9" x 12" stencil Prayer Flags, for example ...

Above:   For this print I started with white glossy cardstock; after making an acrylic paint monoprint on it, I used a contrasting color of acrylic paint with the stencil.

Above:  This greeting card started with a print that I cut to size with Fiskars deckle-edged scissors.  After adding the paper to the card with a gluestick, I used heavy gel medium to fasten the heart into place.  To prepare the heart, I'd collaged an older print over a blank wood heart (from a craft store); then I'd trimmed it with fine-detail scissors.

Above: multiple layers of prints on stretched canvas.

Above:  Here, I used the stencil twice, side by side.

Above:  Again, multiple prints were made with the stencil, one atop another.  With each print, I used a different color paint and placed the stencil at a different angle than had been used in the earlier prints.

My 9" x 12" stencil Prayer Flags looks like this in its entirety --

Thank you for visiting here today!

To scroll thru the pages of my StencilGirl stencils, please start here.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Doodling on Prints made with 6" x 6" CATS STENCIL & MIMOSA 6 STENCIL & TRIVET A ATENCIL

I don't doodle often, but when in the mood, I use stenciled prints as the basis.  I like having something already done that can work as a launching point.  

Other artists in the Stencil Club at do fantastic, elaborate and gorgeous doodles on stencil-prints.  I'm not in their league!  But I've discovered that, for me, it's a fun way to relax.

Below are three pieces that I've doodled on -- none is necessarily finished, but each has reached a temporary pause.  My doodling approach was to mindlessly lift a pen and just start, going in whatever direction the Spirit led ...

Above:  Trivet A (6" x 6") was the starting point for these random doodles.  Its background had started life as a map.

Above:  This doodle started with an old map.  On its colorful background, I made a print with 6" x 6" Cats Stencil.

Above:  This doodle started with an old map.  On it, I made a print with 6" x 6" Mimosa 6 Stencil.

Thank you for coming to see my blog today!

To scroll thru the pages of my StencilGirl stencils, please start here.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Mary Amendola-Marley with my CLUSTERED LEAVES Stencil and Stencils by Trish McKinney

Artist Mary Amendola-Marley has used my 9" x 12" stencil Clustered Leaves with stencils from Trish McKinney's Mysterious Wisteria Collection as well as Trish's Graceful Bare Branch.  With metallic, three-dimensional-looking results!

Now, here is an outstanding and unique work of art!

I notice that Mary Amendola-Marley has done what I do -- cut Clustered Leaves free from its outer rectangular frame.  I love the open look this gives the leaves pattern!  

This 9" x 12" stencil in its entirety looks like this--

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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

May Flowers are Blooming ...

Buds is one of my 9" x 12" StencilGirl stencils designed with a floral theme.

Below are two prints I've made with this stencil.  In creating the top image, I used only a portion of the stencil.  The background here was a sheet of foreign newsprint that I had previously used in an earlier project, experimenting with the Gelli Plate.  

Likewise, the second print is on newsprint that had previously been used as a "catch-all" paper.  These are papers that I use for cleaning off my brushes before lowering them into their temporary soaking water.  For me, this is one easy way of keeping excess acrylic paint from going down the drain when it comes time to bring brushes out of their temporary soak and wash them clean at the sink.

The bonus to using "catch-all" paper for leftover paint is that I end up with interesting backgrounds for stencil prints.  A win-win.   

Above:  The Buds stencil (9" x 12")

Some of the other floral/botanical stencils I've designed include:

Boxed Vines (9" x 12")

Budding Branches (6" x 6")

Swatton Flowers Version 1 (6" x 6")

Silhouette of a Wildflower Bouquet (6" x 6")

Pressed Leaves (6" x 6")

Thanks for visiting my blog today!

To scroll thru the pages of all my StencilGirl stencils, please start on this page.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Artist Amy Shawley Paquette and CLUSTERED LEAVES Stencil

Click/tap on over to this issue of StencilGirl's The Scoop -- you'll find a how-to video by Amy Shawley Paquette in an artwork that stars one of my pet-favorite stencils by Trish McKinney, Bare Branch Thicket.  

I'm delighted that Amy also chose one of my 9" x 12" stencils, Clustered Leaves,   --

The photo below is just one of many that Amy shows in this in-depth write-up for StencilTalk.

To scroll thru the multiple pages of my complete line of stencils, please visit here.

Thanks for visiting my blog today!

To see more about Amy, check out the links below --


Wednesday, May 16, 2018

What to Do When a Stencil Project Goes Awry?

On a brand-new greeting card blank (, I stenciled a print using only the stencil part of my Hot Air Balloon and Mask (a set of one stencil and one mask that come together on a 6" x 6" sheet of Mylar -- as shown below:

Above:  For today's project, I used the stencil on the far left. In the center is the place where the mask sits when the stencil first arrives in your mailbox.  The figure on the right shows the mask after it's been removed from the Mylar sheet.

My print (white on blue cardstock) came out okay, but by accident I'd ruined an area beside the print, smearing it with paint.  

Normally, I cover this kind of mistake with another paint layer, or I use paper to create a collage that conceals the flub.  

This time, however, neither option appealed to me.  Nor did it work when I tried to remove the paint-smear with rubbing alcohol on a cotton swab.  (That did remove the paint, but at the same time, it left a permanent mar on the card's metallic-look surface.)

What to do?

Cut out the print and use it on a new background!

What background?

Well, I already had a 9" x 12" print made with my Facets stencil --

Above:  9" x 12" stencil Facets.

I'd made that print on multi-faceted "holographic" foil (originally sold as gift-wrap.)  It looked like this:

Above:  The "holographic" foil is very difficult to photograph because it's highly reflective -- lots of bling!

I pulled out a new greeting card blank and used a gluestick to add this print to the cover of the card.  After pressing that combination to flatten it, I cut off the excess foil, making it the same size as the greeting card.

Then I added the cut-out print I'd made with Hot Air Balloon and Mask .  I used 3-dimensional "glue dots" to give the card cover some depth.  In the photo below, this depth appears only slightly, in shadow at some edges of the cut-out print ....

I'm glad to have Hot Air Balloon and Mask because it comes in handy when I want to make a greeting card for a man.  To my eye, this image has a masculine look ... maybe because I've seen only men running these hot air balloons.  I'm sure that many women do it too, but it just happens that I haven't seen that ... yet!

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To scroll thru the pages of my StencilGirl stencils, please start here.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

For Stencil Lovers, this is a MUST-READ! Thank You, Darlene Olivia McElroy! -- created by artist Darlene Olivia McElroy -- is a wonderful collection of stencil-using techniques.  I thought I'd seen everything and tried everything with stencils, but she bowled me over right away with her first art-making tip.  I can't wait to try it!

Darlene has honored me by including one of my 9" x 12" stencils in her art-making toolbox -- 9" x 12" Nosegay StencilIn its entirety, the stencil looks like this ....

The art samples below are ones I created before reading this excellent resource provided by Darlene....

In each of today's three examples, the background has been created with another 9" x 12" stencil of mine, Fantasia.  A full-size print made with this stencil is below --

Thanks for visiting my blog today!  To scroll thru the pages of my StencilGirl stencils, please start here.