Thursday, May 8, 2014

More Sun-Prints made with my Stencils

Sun-prints are fun!

In making them, the first step I took 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 -- while they are creating the prints on the sun-print paper.  Previously they had been painted with opaque green acrylic.  (Any opaque color will work.)

The three photos above show the sun-prints being made -- the top layer is clear acetate (you can see its borders); the next layer is the paint-coated stencil; the bottom layer 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. 

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.  This can be done if you create a "sandwich" with sheets of glass or Plexiglas as the "bread" and the sun-print paper, under the stencil, as the "meat."

But I plan to go for the artsy multiple-exposure look, again -- on purpose, next time.  I'm going to create multiple exposures on each sheet of sun-print paper, so I probably won't use Plexiglas at all.  I will just keep moving the stencil across the paper as each exposure happens.  It 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.

The sun-print paper that I chose -- the only one I could find that would fit my 9"X12" stencils -- was Super Sunprint Kit by Lawrence Hall of Science.

Below are the sun-prints as they were spread out to dry:

Above:  created with my 9"X12" Boxed Vines stencil.

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

Above:  created with my 9"X12" stencil Queen Anne's Lace.
Note:  It's certainly 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!


  1. Trying this out will be a bright spot (the only bright spot?) to being in Florida this summer!!!

    1. I would hate to spend a summer in FL -- winter would be much better -- so I think I know how you feel!