Friday, January 31, 2014

Make a "Sandwich," Then Sand or Scrape

Anyone who missed Mary Beth Shaw's recent stencil-using webinar can still get all it had to offer, at this link --

I had known about the sanding technique but hadn't tried it, till the webinar reminded me, with one of its three embedded how-to videos, the one on dry techniques:

Below is a scan that shows two separate pieces, each with a tree-related theme--

In the lower left corner is part of a magazine page originally printed with bare trees.  Using Mary Beth's sanding technique shown in the above video, I created a "sandwich" that had my 6"X6" stencil Gingko as the bottom layer (held in place with masking tape.)  Over that I placed the magazine page, securing it, too, with masking tape.  The top "layer" was the sanding block (available at hardware and home supply stores) ... altho a plain sheet of sanding paper could be used, I prefer the block because it saves the fingers!  One quick sanding session resulted in the over-print of gingko leaves that you see above.
The larger, whitish background paper started life as a calendar page, a photo that originally contained a lot of dark green.  Under it, I placed a stencil as the bottom layer -- this time, my 12"X12" Mimosa stencil -- again, securing both the stencil and the paper to the work surface with masking tape.  As a last step, I used a credit card to scrape zinc white (also called "blending white") acrylic paint across the paper, moving with the same firm strokes as needed for the sanding technique.  It's important with the scraping technique to go over each area of the paper one time only.  That second swipe is tempting, at least for me, but it never improves the looks of the piece.
The sanded piece will be a greeting card cover but it could just as easily become part of a large collage or part of an art journal page.  The larger, whitish paper will be cut into smaller pieces to become gift tags, greeting card backgrounds, and collage components.
These 2 stencils can be found on my web pages at STENCILGIRL(TM) --
Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Stencil Mania?

This as-yet-untitled artwork might end up with the title Stencil Mania --

Click the image above to enlarge it.
Nor am I certain it's entirely finished.  I may go back in with some opaque neutrals to create "rest areas."

In no particular order, here are the STENCILGIRL(TM)Products stencils that I used, with acrylic paints, to create this artwork:

Lizzie Mayne's Fibonacci stencil --

Maria McGuire's Stitch A Doily stencil --

Bubbles stencil by Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch --

Michelle Ward's Optical Large --

Broken Circles by Terri Stegmiller --

also by Terri Stegmiller -- Unconnected Circles --

and these stencils by Mary Beth Shaw --
Circle Tile --

Blockout Overlap --

Unblocked --

Curvie Lattice --

Random Circles --

Is there any stencil or STENCILGIRL(TM)Products designer I've left out?  I hope not, but if anyone spots a stencil design in the above image that is not cited here with its designer, please leave a comment to let me know.  Thanks!

Cheap Joe's Art Stuff 2014 Guide to Great Art


Above is my painting Orange Border, which appears in the hot-off-the-press 2014 art supply catalog of Cheap Joe's.  I'm humbled and honored because the other artworks that were chosen are truly awe-inspiring.  Request this free catalog and you'll see what I mean!

The main element in Orange Border was painted with my 9"X12" Borders #1 stencil, available at STENCILGIRL(TM)Products:

In the upper left corner of this abstract painting, you can also see where I used one of the other borders from this stencil, which contains three borders in all.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, January 24, 2014

The More Spatter, the Merrier

The "spattered" look sits high on my list of favorites; I enjoy finding new ways of creating this effect in my artwork.

Here is a greeting card cover that sports a 3-dimensional design:
Above:  the stencil I used was my 6"X6" Flowers Version 1.
And here is another card, made in the same way:

Above:  the stencil I used was my 6"X6" Marbles 6.
In earlier posts, I have displayed step-by-step photos that show modeling paste (also called molding paste) spread thru stencils to create 3-dimensional results.  (The stencils are lifted soon after use and placed in a basin of water until there is time to wipe/blot them clean with paper towels.)  After the molding paste has dried, I often highlight the raised areas with blending chalks or Distress Inks or glitter glue or a dry-brushing of acrylic paints.

However, in creating the cards above, I wedged one additional step between the spreading of the molding paste thru the stencil and the lifting of the stencil.

While the molding paste was still moist, I spritzed each card surface LIGHTLY with a variety of color washes (inks in spray bottles.)  Still in place, the stencils automatically did double-duty as masks -- keeping the sprayed inks from going anywhere except on the fresh molding paste.

Immediately after spraying, I lifted off the stencils and cleaned them. 

The molding paste and sprayed inks dried together.  Because I had chosen to spray lightly, the results were the mottled look that I really like, shown in the final results above.

My Flowers Version 1 stencil is available here and here only:

My Marbles 6 stencil also comes in a 9"X12" version; both are available here:

Thanks for stopping by!

"Trivet B" Stencil

My Trivet B stencil measures 6"X6" --

-- and has slid out of storage (in a looseleaf binder filled with protective clear plastic sleeves) to be used as one of the layers on art paper decorated with the use of my Gelli Plate.  (Anyone not familiar with Gelli Plate printmaking can watch any of the numerous You Tube how-to videos.)

This stencil is available only at STENCILGIRL(TM)Products, here--

Thanks for stopping by!

Follow-Up on my Jan. 13 Post

Presenting:  projects using papers created with molding paste (a.k.a. modeling paste) and my 9"X12" stencil Borders 2 --

Above:  a small greeting card cover collaged together with one key as the highlight.

Above:  a 6"X6" greeting card cover collaged together with a border of keys as the highlight, sandwiched between squiggles of glitter glue.
To both of the above greeting cards, I later added PC-generated blurbs that read  Happy Birthday to the One who Holds a Key to my Heart.

Yet another greeting card --

-- came from that same 12-inch strip of paper.

I had designed this stencil for art journaling, but ironically, these 3-dimensional keys had minds of their own!

My January 13 post, under "Older Posts" at the bottom of this page, details the creation of the paper with these keys.

My Borders 2 stencil (which contains 3 separate borders) --

-- is available only at STENCILGIRL(TM)Products --

Thanks for stopping by!

Uses (Only 2 of Many) for Papers Made with Stencil Art

My 9"X12" stencil Trivet A 9 has now loaned itself to creating a sheet of giftwrap --

-- and a matching giftcard --

-- in follow-up to my post of yesterday (January 23), which details all the steps I took in creating the paper.

To create the giftcard, all I needed to do was to use decorative Fiskars scissors, as well as fine-detail scissors, in cutting small pieces off edges of the giftwrap -- using both the red spattered section and the un-spattered section (which are pictured in entirety in the Jan. 23 post.)  I collaged them onto the cover of a small greeting card, liking the look of the white-background freehand-cut heart atop the bright and mottled background.  I also cut out a third narrow strip from the red section and added it to the giftcard's matching envelope.  Elmer's Crafter's gluestick was the adhesive I used.

This stencil --
--is available here and only here:


"Mimosa" in Miniature Available Only at STENCILGIRL(TM)Products...

Above:  my 6"X^" stencil Mimosa
This stencil is available here and only here:

Awhile ago I bought some 6"X6" blank greeting cards made from cardstock in an assortment of bright colors, including a pink so vivid it throbbed before the eyes.  My idea was to use them with my 6"X6" stencils.  Because this pink was nearly bright enough to cause physical pain, I decided to use a sponge brayer to tone it down with a coat of water-thinned light blue acrylic paint.  The sponge roller left a bubbly-looking surface that I liked. 

I placed my 6"X6" Mimosa stencil over this paint once it had dried, then pounced a cosmetic sponge across the stencil, loaded with light purple acrylic paint which I had thinned with matte gel.
Above:  The greeting card after I had applied a half-border of silver rose stickers.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

How Can You Resist?

To create collage papers, I've just tried 2 similar resist methods with stencils.  On the left is the first,
in its finished form.  Clicking on this
image to enlarge it, you can better see the spatter-like look that creates an ethereal atmosphere.

On the left is the first step I took -- using VersaMark Watermark Stamp Pad.  Any kind of resist stamp pad would have worked.  I opened the stamp pad, placed it wet-side-down onto the stencil, and pounced across the stencil's openings many times, to get an even coating of resist across the two images in my 6"X6" stencil Osprey Wings.  Here you see the blue prototype of this design, but when you order from STENCILGIRL(TM)Products, the stencils you receive are translucent white and made from a thicker and more sturdy acetate.

I must mention here that the above substrate was glossy cardstock.  The gloss finish on that cardstock was important for the success of the technique.

To show how I ended up with the spattered look visible in the top photo, I'll now go thru the step-by-step process of my second experiment.  Both experiments used the same approach.  The only difference was my choice of resist.

For my second experiment, since I planned to use newsprint instead of glossy cardstock, I created my own glossy protective finish by painting the paper with a generous coat of acrylic paint:

After that basecoat dried, I secured my 9"X12" Trivet A 9 stencil to the substrate with masking tape:

This time, instead of using VersaMark or any other type of resist stamp pad, I used opaque Cobalt Teal acrylic paint and a cosmetic sponge to stamp color thru the stencil's openings.

Having applied the teal paint, I lifted off the stencil.  Once the teal had dried, I brushed on a coat of transparent red acrylic paint.  This is the same paint that I used for this step when I had been working with the Osprey Wings stencil.

In both these experiments, my next step was to spritz water across the red paint while it was still damp. Then I blotted and gently rubbed the surface with dry paper towels.  This lifted the red paint in areas that left a mottled, spattered look.  Here is the final result of my second experiment:

I've left the bottom un-"spattered" to better show the before-and-after of this last step.

Both stencils are available on my two web pages at STENCILGIRL(TM)Products:

Thanks for stopping by!


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

9"X12" stencil "Marbles" Comes Back for Another Roll!

Above:  detail 1

Above:  detail 2

Above:  detail 3

Above:  the canvas in its entirety.
About 85 per cent of the markings on this small abstract, on canvas, were created in one quick easy step, with my 9"X12" stencil Marbles (a
design that's also available in a 6"X6" version.)  In earlier posts I've detailed, with step-by-step photos, the technique that I call "stencil and stain"  -- and it really is quick as well as easy.
My first step to create this art was to cover the original painting on this canvas with a layer of extra-heavy white gesso.  I drew three marks in the still-wet gesso and set it aside a few days to dry and cure.
Next came the "stencil-and-stain" process:  I placed the Marbles stencil onto the canvas and dribbled on a few green hues of Golden Fluid Acrylics.  I spritzed the surface with water; this spreads and mingles the paints under the stencil.  I blotted some areas with paper towels.
After the paint had "set" but not yet fully dried, I lifted off the stencil.  (Leaving it on till dry may cause a stencil to stick permanently to the substrate.)  At this point, most of the work was finished.
I fine-tuned the overall look with some sprayed on acrylic inks in masked-off areas.
I further fine-tuned some areas with white paints and oil pastel crayons in orange, yellow and magenta.
Having seen the close-ups above, you will recognize the markings as you see the stencil I used:
This stencil is available here:
Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

A Video by Jessica Sporn, one of my talented fellow designers at STENCILGIRL(TM)Products...

Gingko Leaves Box with Jessica Sporn 

and a link to a post in her blog that corresponds to the video:

I would like to thank Jessica very much for having chosen one of my stencils for this video-taped art project, and for showing it off so well in creating that beautiful memento hinged-lid box.  The Gingko stencil measures 6"X6" and can be found here:


Thursday, January 16, 2014

Angels Have Been Visiting ...

... and leaving behind some feathers ...

... one of them over 12" long ...

No, wait, I lied.  Actually these images were created with my two Feathers series stencils:

6"X6" Feathers stencil
6"X6" Feathers, available here:

Above, the 9"X12" stencil, available here:

The top image (white feathers on right green background) was created by spreading white modeling paste thru the 6"X6" stencil; after the paste dried, I highlighted areas of the feathers with glitter glue.

The image below that, showing the lone long feather from the 9"X12" stencil, was created with a mouth atomizer which I used to apply several layers of acrylic inks:

I have no brand loyalty when it comes to acrylic inks.  I use FM, Dr. Ph Martin, Liquitex and Daler Rowney (pearlescent) ... and I've ordered yet another brand that's new to me and worth a try.

There are probably several mouth atomizers on the market, but I bought the Pat Dews version from Cheap Joe's Art Supplies online.  I like the way it lets me regulate the flow of ink.  Light applications are best; and using one color after another (with drying time sandwiched between applications) is the better way to go.  I used to apply heavy sprays, lots of color all in one application; but this didn't bring good results, especially since I work at an easel -- a vertical surface, not a horizontal one.

At the left you can see the 9"X12" stencil taped to the substrate (a previously painted sheet of newsprint.)  This photo shows a blue stencil, which is a prototype sent to the designer of each stencil.  When you order your own stencil, it will be a translucent white and will be made from a much more sturdy sheet of acetate.  This photo shows the stencil after the first two light sprays have been applied, allowing for dry-time between applications. 

Below is the same sheet of altered newsprint, with the stencil removed, following a number of additional paint applications, including one sprayed application of pearlescent acrylic ink.  It was from the sheet below that I later cut the large feather  shown in the second-from-top photo on today's post.

Above:  A greeting card cover made with one of the smaller feathers, cut out and collaged onto a piece of Gelli Plate printed background.
Above:  a second collaged greeting card featuring a cut-out from these spray-prints.  Here again the background paper is a Gelli Plate print.

Above:  a third greeting card, also collaged with Gelli Plate prints and a cut-out from the above-described spray prints.
Thanks for stopping by!