Friday, March 27, 2015

Still Thinking Spring -- Using A Flower Stencil

Above is a greeting card cover created with my Flowers Version 1 stencil.  Today's post focuses on three techniques using this stencil.  The technique behind the image above is the third one listed in this post.

1.  Stencil and Stain technique: 

For your substrate, choose a smooth, nonabsorbent surface such as sturdy and glossy cardstock, Crescent illustration board, Fredrix watercolor-canvas or hot-press Arches 140-lb. watercolor paper; or any heavier watercolor paper, as long as it's hot-press -- cold-press surfaces are not smooth enough for this technique.  Likewise, if your cardstock is not of the sturdy quality (similar to thin cardboard) it will not work well with this technique.
Pour a small amount of Liquitex or other brand acrylic ink across the substrate.

Spray with a water mister to spread the color.  Use as many colors as desired but avoid creating a wide, thick puddle -- that would needlessly prolong drying time, besides wasting ink.
Place the stencil into the color puddle.  Atop the stencil, place a sheet of Plexiglas or glass; atop that, a paperweight. 

Allow several hours' dry-time -- but don't wait until the ink is completely dry; this may adhere the stencil to the substrate.  (Ouch!) 

Be prepared for a stencil that may remain permanently stained -- but still useable. 

Also:  Experiment with other media:  watercolor; acrylic paint; tea; walnut ink, etc.

And finally:  If you can bear to, cut up your stencils and place unmatched stencil-pieces next to each other before pouring the color.
Below is a background created using this technique.  The completed image remains subtle (almost fossil-like) when this technique is used.


Below, I've used this background with pressed flowers ... it will be a greeting card cover or journal cover.

2. Stippling Technique:

This old-fashioned method for using a stencil still works!  Start by masking-taping the stencil to the substrate.  Then use a sponge-type stipple brush to apply acrylic paint through the stencil.  I thickened my paint with matte gel medium but heavy-body (high-viscosity) acrylic paint would have worked just as well...
3.  Light Modeling Paste and Ranger Industries' Distress Ink:
This technique has beautiful results on a semi-finished collage, on the cover of a greeting card or the cover of an illustrated journal.  Be aware that dried modeling paste remains slightly fragile, forever, if it's been applied in a thick layer -- the way I like to do it!

Masking-tape a stencil to a substrate and spread a layer of light modeling paste across the stencil. 
Immediately place the used stencil in a basin of water.  Modeling paste, while still wet, will wash off easily.
After the modeling paste dries on the substrate, apply Ranger Distress Inks with a brush applicator.  A barber brush or large makeup brush will work beautifully.

Or, experiment with blending chalks, dry-brush-applied acrylic paints, or any other dry medium.
Also experiment with adding acrylic paint to the modeling paste before applying it through the stencil.
And finally, try experimenting with other dimensional products similar to modeling paste.
Below is a greeting card cover made with my StencilGirlProducts stencil Flowers Version 1 using the technique just described:


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