Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A Happy Accident -- the First of Many Sun-Prints

By clicking on the above to enlarge it, you can see the faint double image especially noticeable in the upper third of this piece.  This happened by happy accident when I was making my sun-prints.  Next time I make these prints, I will be creating these double-exposures on purpose.

I will post more of these prints, along with step-by-step photos, later.  The stencil I used here was my 9"X12" Boxed Vines.

It took some shopping around to find sun-print paper of a size ready to accommodate 9"X12" stencils.  In later posts I will include info on this.

Monday, April 28, 2014


In preparing to make sun-prints with stencils, I decided the first step needed to be to cover the stencils with opaque paint.  In the process of doing this, I created a by-product that surprised me --

This was what remained on my work surface (which is covered with shiny-side-up freezer paint, and previously used for earlier projects.)

The above was created with my 9"X12" stencil Boxed Vines.

It was quite an adventure making those sun-prints!  I was glad I'd had previous experience with this process, thanks to my friend Mary Ann Russo. My photos and write-up will appear in a later post.

It's NOT Complicated...

"Complicated paper" is a term coined by Anne Bagby, in her DVD
Collage: Paper, Patterns & Glazing, available here --

However, this technique is anything but complicated--

Make the complicated paper collage as directed by Anne -- or, if you're like me, you already have a stash of "catch-all" papers that you have put to work in cleaning your just-used brushes of excess acrylic paint, before placing the brushes into water.  (This practice is best for the environment.  The less leftover acrylic paint that goes down the sink, the better.)  Here are two of my catch-all papers, ready to be used in this technique --

Whether you have complicated paper or catch-all paper, the first step is to
place a stencil over it, securing both stencil and paper with masking tape.

The best type of stencil for today's technique is this kind of design:

Queen Anne's Lace
Boxed Vines
Heron (shown above)
Osprey Wings

I chose these because they make it easy to trace inside the cut-out areas.

To trace around the designs, I used watercolor pencil, because it can be easily removed afterward, if desired.  This matters when you choose to make your tracings on the top side (the "good" side) of your catch-all paper or complicated paper.  At times you will want to do the tracings on the good side, to make sure the stencil is positioned exactly where you want.  This is what I did with my 6"X6" stencil Heron tracing --

Above:  the heron has been cut out with fine-detail scissors and placed on the cover of a 6"X6" greeting card.
You have the alternate option of doing this tracing on the back side/plain side of the complicated paper or catch-all paper, if you want to make double-sure that no trace-lines will remain on the finished product.  This is what I did with my tracing of part of the 9"X12" stencil Queen Anne's Garden --

Above:  the back of the paper.

In tracing part of Queen Anne's Garden, I simply drew lines inside the narrow openings, rather than try to faithfully trace every fine detail.  The fine-detail work was easily achieved with scissors after the tracing was done.

When I finished cutting out the single flower, I decided to add leaves that I cut out free-hand.  I also added a few additional "rods" and "blooms" to create a greater contrast with the background I had chosen -- a pearly white 6"X6" blank greeting card, shown below.

In the collage above, what's shown is the front side of the paper where I had used red to trace the shape of one of the flowers in my stencil Queen Anne's Lace.
(If you would rather not freehand-cut leaves, you might enjoy using Striped Leaves Stencil by Terri Stegmiller.)

I enjoy making greeting cards, but these cut-outs can be used in all the paper arts -- from art journals to scrapbooks to book arts -- and if you are into fabric arts, they give you the option of creating beautiful appliques.  
Above:  the finished greeting card with the heron on the cover.


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Kudos to Carolyn Dube!

Recently at www.stencilgirlproducts.com, we saw the release of new stencils designs by Carolyn Dube.  One of these new stencils, the 6"X6" Open Buildings, caught my eye immediately.  I've used it in a new artwork on canvas, currently untitled --

Above:  Not sure if it's finished yet ... it's my try at the challenging "medallion" composition format. 
Above:  a close-up of one area created with this stencil designed by Carolyn Dube.

Above:  a close-up of another area of the artwork created with this new stencil from Carolyn Dube.
Many thanks to you, Carolyn! Click here on her name to see her blog.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Queen Anne's Lace

Recently I had some leftover dark acrylic paints that I decided to use with my 9"X12" stencil Queen Anne's Lace.  My substrates were prints that I had made previously, using my Gelli Arts Printing Plate.

Soon I'll be making prints with my new, large-size Gelli Plate, recently ordered.  Can't wait!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Printing Plates with Pizzazz

Awhile back I made printing plates with scraps of matboard, molding paste and stencils.  After printing papers with them on my Gelli Arts Printing Plate, I decided that they themselves may eventually get cut up to make collage elements, because of the colors and patterns.  Here they are:

The printing plate above was made with my 9"X12" stencil Mimosa.

Above is the printing plate made with my 6"X6" stencil Trivet B.

Above is my favorite printing plate of the three, made with my stencil 6"X6" Mimosa
My way of printing with them was to brayer a layer of acrylic paint over the Gelli Plate, then to press the plate -- with its 3-dimensional pattern down -- onto the acrylic paint.  After I'd lifted the printing plate, an impression remained in the still-wet acrylic paint.  I then placed paper onto the plate and burnished its entire back surface with my hands, before pulling the print.  Prints made this way have been incorporated into my collages.

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To see my complete line of stencils, check here.

Friday, April 4, 2014


To piggy-back onto my post of Wednesday the 2nd ...  More paint-scraping over stencils has been going on.  This time I used my 6"X6" stencil Cats with white gesso and black mulberry paper.  After the paint dried, I cut out the cats with fine-detail scissors.  My last step was to use some of the cut-outs on notecards:


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Still Scraping Paint ...

I still find myself using leftover acrylic paint, before it dries, to scrape across paper that has stencils underneath.  Below is my work surface covered with (upper left) Borders #2 and (upper right) Trivet A 9 and (lower left) two of my 6"X6" Kaleid stencils.

Below is a sheet of glossy paper taped over these stencils; I have used a credit card to scrape leftover paint across it, picking up the patterns of the stencils underneath.

 Below is a close-up:

 Below are two more examples created with other batches of leftover acrylic paints. 

Above:  this example was created with my Kaleid stencil (lower half) and my 6"X6" Mimosa stencil (upper half.) 
Below are three close-ups of papers that were paint-scraped as a first step.  After the paint dried, I re-positioned the papers over the same stencils and made new imprints, this time using Art Bar crayons. 

Using crayons is the original way to make imprints called rubbings.  I like doing one set of rubbings over another set, and using paint for the first layer makes this easy.  This layering results in a more complex/interesting look in the finished product. 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Two Stenciled Prints, Further Developed

In one of my March 29 posts, I showed multiple steps taken to create a print with my 6"X6" stencil Bamboo Wall and my 9"X12" stencil Two Fans.
Below is the Bamboo Wall print as it appeared at that time:

I could've stopped here.  But I decided to continue working on both pieces, first dribbling tar gel across the surface of both the fans (shown below, cut out) and the bamboo (not shown) --

After the tar gel dried, I made three separate glazes of liquid gloss medium mixed with three colors of acrylic paint.  These mixes were painted over the above prints, one color at a time, with dry-time between coats.

Then I cut out the smaller of the two fans and used it on the cover of a 6"X6" greeting card --

I also scanned the larger of the two fans, cut it out, and adjusted its color in Photoshop, with this result:

Next, I scanned my Bamboo Wall print and, likewise, altered its color in Photoshop:
Despite the altered colors, the squiggles of tar gel and the additional glazes are visible when you click on the above image to enlarge it. 

HERON Earth Did I Forget Your Birthday?

That's the blurb I used on the cover of a greeting card, above a print that I made using my 6"X6" stencil Heron.
Below is a heron print made with an Ink Sweeper and Payne's Gray acrylic paint, upon a monoprint background.

Above:  a ghost print made immediately after the original print was made.