Monday, March 4, 2013

A Happy Surprise

In an earlier post ("Flowers V 1" comes to Center Stage) I described what I call the stencil-and-stain technique. 

At the end of that post, I also detailed the old-hat technique of taping a stencil to a substrate, then applying modeling paste thru the stencil (like applying frosting to a cake), and lifting off the stencil as the last step.

Today I started a new canvas -- one of my favorite things to do -- using three StencilGirlProducts stencils:  After securing them with masking tape, I used an artist's spatula to spread modeling paste thru the stencil openings, then lifted the stencils.  The two 9"X12" ones, I placed immediately into the water soaking basin.   But the 6"X6" stencil had so much leftover modeling paste on it that I decided to place it upside down next to the area where the stencil had just been used.  I pressed this loaded stencil to the canvas, using it like a rubber stamp.  It left a faint imprint.  You won't be able to see the stamped-on 6"X6" imprint in this photo but you can possibly make out the 9"X12" raised areas of modeling paste, especially if you click on the image below to enlarge it.  
My next step was to wash the stencils and pat them dry, giving the modeling paste dry-time of its own.

Once everything had dried, I used the same stencils in a stencil-and-stain treatment.  I placed the stencils down first, before adding liquid watercolor and watered-down acrylic paints.  There was no need to tape down the stencils for this step.

Above, you can see part of the canvas and two of the three stencils.  These two beautiful stencils were created by Mary Beth Shaw, author of a book on mixed media and a soon-to-be-released book -- titled StencilGirl -- on using stencils in a wide range of creative ways.  In the above shot, the stencils are at the upper left and the lower right.  The other shapes (upper right and lower left) are the areas where I pushed modeling paste thru the stencils, earlier.  You can see how the wet paint has spread randomly under the stencils and across the raised areas of dried modeling paste.

Below is another photo taken at this stage of the work, showing all three stencils:

As I waited for the paints to dry, I noticed a wonderful surprise.  The area that had been "stamped" with leftover molding paste was soaking up some of the color and creating fantastic linework, much of which was under the third stencil, a 6"X6" of my design titled Kaleid.

Can you see the layered effect that has resulted?  It may help if I re-post a JPG of the stencil Kaleid, which I used both for the "stamping" first-step  and the second-step of staining:

(This is a stencil that I never bothered to clean after multiple uses with acrylic paints.  Do as I say, not as I do!)  I hope seeing the above shape will give a better idea as to what I meant when I said that I got the pleasant surprise of a double image on today's canvas.  On my canvas, the "stamped" area now shows thru the stained area.  This is one of the reasons I usually use translucent paints. 
All three of these stencils are available at 

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