Wednesday, November 18, 2015

New Life to Old Artwork -- with Stencils!

 
Transforming an old painting:


If the old painting has thick, textured, raised areas of paint, this technique will not yield "perfect" results.  My personal preference for this technique calls for stencils with large openings -- not stencils with lots of fine details.


Secure stencils with masking tape to selected areas of the surface. Mask off areas of the stencils that you choose to avoid using. This masking can be done before or after you attach the stencils to the surface.   Below, in the lower right of a canvas, I've used paper for masking off part of my 9"X12" stencil Mimosa --

--but for smaller areas, I use strips of masking tape, as shown above.
Once the stencil(s) and masking tools are in place, you have choices to make as to what medium or media to use.  

In the examples shown below, I have used a mix of matte heavy gel medium and acrylic paint, applied with a sponge (in large areas) or a stipple brush (in finely detailed, small areas.)  My favorite kind of stipple, or stencil, brush is the kind with a flat-topped round sponge tip.  These are made by Tulip and other craft supply companies.  Stipple brushes also come another style -- flat-topped, stiff bristles.  

Another alternative -- that I highly recommend -- is the Art-C Groove Tool with a brush attachment.

If you can't find this tool, look instead in the cosmetics department of a large department store like Kohls.  In my local Kohls, I saw this very same tool on display in the cosmetics/health care area! 
Another media you might want to consider, for applying color thru your stencils, is Liquitex Professional Spray paint  -- or homemade spray acrylic paint (a mister bottle containing a tiny amount of airbrush medium, a larger amount of liquid acrylic paint, and a larger-still amount of water -- well-mixed, and shaken before each use.) 
I often use both the above methods (spray paint and stippled-on paint) on the same piece of artwork.  Variety increases interest.
I remove stencils immediately after use.  If I'm not feeling lazy, I will float them in a basin of water until I have time to gently go over them with a soft discarded toothbrush.  Most acrylic paint will come off the stencil if it's been immediately soaked in water, but any residue can be removed with rubbing alcohol.  As a final touch, I pat or press stencils dry between layers of paper towel. 
After my first media applications have dried, I repeat the process described above, overlapping layers of design and color as I build up a new painting.
Again, here is an old painting as it originally looked before I started the transformation; if you don't work on canvas, as I do, you can also think of this as a journal page already layered with starter coatings of paint:

Below is a close-up of one area of the canvas where I have taped the first two stencils -- my Seaweed stencil (upper right) and my 9"x12" Mimosa stencil; here you see them with the acrylic paint already stippled on.  


Below is the same close-up section of the canvas, with the stencils removed.


The next step is shown below; the original stenciled areas having dried, another two stencils have been taped on:  Again I used Seaweed; to the right of it, I used another 6"x6" stencil of mine, Marbles.


Below are some close-up details showing my use of 5 of my stencils, 9"x12" Mimosa, Seaweed, Links, Grid and Marbles:





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