Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Cleaning Stencils & More New Images made using STENCILGIRL(TM) Stencils I've Designed

Now, I know some of you are way ahead of me on this, but I just learned something that makes me happy.  I had been soaking my just-used-with-acrylic-paint stencils in a basin of water, this being a temporary measure to keep the paint from sticking on, while I continued having fun with more paint applications.  Then, at the unfortunate end of play-time, I would bring out the stencils, one by one, and gently scrub them dry with paper towels.  I would do this while pressing each stencil to newsprint, and occasionally this cleaning of the stencil would transfer a nice ghost image onto the newsprint.  That was a surprise-bonus when it happened. 

But I had trouble with this cleaning method.  It consumed too much time (have I mentioned I'm an impatient artist?) and it led to damage of some details in my more intricate designs.

Having watched one of Mary Beth Shaw's two brand-new DVDs --

-- I learned that no water-soak was needed if I were to simply use a baby wipe right after using the stencil with acrylic paint.  This did indeed speed the process ...

... but unlike Mary Beth, I have a heavy hand.  So the problem remained: My brute-force cleansing could damage finely detailed areas of some stencils.

Then the light bulb went off -- my eureka moment!  I placed the stencil, still wet with just-used acrylic paint, onto the usual newsprint.  Next I dipped a plain sponge brayer into clean water, and rolled the brayer over the stencil.  Voila!  It worked beautifully without inflicting any damage!  In some cases I still wanted to gently pat the stencil with a paper towel, before setting it aside to dry thoroughly, but was a quick, easy step to take -- thus pleasing the side of my personality that is, um, impatient.

These inexpensive sponge brayers are probably already familiar to everyone; they are sold at stores that sell house paint, at Dick Blick, at some dollar stores, etc.  Many of them are designed to be throw-aways, but I get lots of use out of mine, before they bite the dust.

Above and below are two greeting card covers, created with collage, using cut-outs from prints made with my "Swatton Borders #1 Stencil."  The top greeting card uses some handmade striped paper that I bought long, long ago.  The bottom card's background is a monoprint that I made, folding a piece of glossy cardstock over a dollop of water-thinned aqua acrylic paint. 

This stencil is available here:

Thanks for stopping by...  And many thanks to each of you who have been leaving comments on earlier posts.  Your kindness warms my heart.


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