Thursday, June 12, 2014

NEW NEW NEW STENCILS -- 2 Sizes are Better than One!

It was Mary Beth Shaw at who came up with the idea of making my stencil design Palm Fronds Silhouette in 2 sizes -- and this is how Palm Fronds Silhouette Small (6"X6") and Palm Fronds Silhouette Mini (4"X4") came to exist.

I didn't ever expect to use them together -- but once I did, I was delighted with the results, as the artwork moved thru its early stages of development.  It has yet to be completely finished, but I'm pausing to share the early steps that I took.

For my substrate, I chose a pre-stretched gallery-wrap canvas.  ("Gallery wrap" refers to edges without staples showing.  Instead of being stapled on the four sides, the canvas is wrapped around the four wooden supports and the staples are placed out of sight on the back.)

I first added some acrylic paint; when that dried, I used masking tape to secure these 2 stencils (and to mask off an area) --

Then I mixed modeling paste with acrylic paint and spread that mixture across the stencils with an artist's spatula.  A used credit card  or any other kind of spreading tool would have worked too.

Once that mix was applied, I removed the stencils and immediately cleaned them -- altho I no longer clean acrylic paint off my stencils, I still make sure to clean off dimensional media that include modeling paste.  If that were allowed to accumulate it would blur the lines that form the stencil designs.

After the first layer of colored modeling paste had dried, I repeated these steps many more times, switching from one color to another and continuing to allow dry-time between each application.

Below are close-ups showing areas of the canvas as it moved thru its early stages of progress.

In this last photo, I've circled the areas where the stencils have been used.  You can get a somewhat better view by clicking on the image to enlarge it.  In some of the above photos, you can see where the newer applications have been placed over older applications -- the resulting  criss-crosses happened as I turned the stencils in a variety of angles with each fresh application.

The ability to work in two sizes gave me a lot of creative freedom and I feel it enhanced the overall artwork.  Two sizes of the same design establish unity and rhythm -- but, in being differently sized, they also add variety.

This post is one of many I've written to show techniques using my 6 brand-new stencil releases at  All of these posts have NEW NEW NEW in their titles.  To read all of the posts in this cluster, scroll to the bottom of this webpage and click "Older Posts."  Thanks!


  1. Hi, I really like your new stencils. I also like the idea of the two sizes to work with. Thanks for the update.

    1. hi Denise,
      Thanks for your kind words. It was a real eye-opener for me, seeing how two identical designs of different sizes would work together! Mary Beth Shaw deserves kudos for having had this idea!