Thursday, October 13, 2016

Foil Embossing to Introduce 3 New Stencils at

I'm delighted to announce the release of three new 9"x 12"stencils:

L449 Blooming Where Planted
L450 Fantasia

L451 It's a Jungle Out There

Starting today, I'll make daily posts to show artworks and art samples made with these three brand-new 9" x 12" stencils.  Any time there is a question about a technique behind one of the artworks, please feel free to ask by leaving a comment.  I'll be glad to fill in all the info I can.

To start that ball rolling, here is the technique I'm highlighting in today's post ....

Foil Embossing 


a ballpoint pen or an artist's stylus
masking tape
a sheet of Fun Foam
heavy-duty aluminum foil (the kind used for grilling)
acrylic paints of your own color choices
2 wide paintbrushes
a soft rag (or paper towels) for buffing
optional:  self-leveling gel medium

My first step is to use green masking tape to secure each of these layers, in this order --

Bottom layer:  a sheet of Fun Foam
Middle layer:  heavy-duty aluminum foil, dull side up
Top layer: the stencil

Below is a shot of the top layer held down with masking tape:

Now to emboss!

Embossing is a very easy process, done by simply tracing around the stencil's openings.  You can trace around every opening, or just the openings you want.

It works fine to use a ballpoint pen; because the foil's dull side is facing up, you are working from the back of the piece, so the ballpoint ink will not be showing up in your final art. 

But I'm using an artist's stylus, which works the same way.  Below is the foil after I have traced the stencil and lifted it off:

Below is a close-up:

The next step is not shown, since not everyone will feel a need to do it.

What I'm doing now is to spread a thin layer of self-leveling acrylic gel across the dull side of the foil, because I wanted to give the embossing some added strength.  After spreading the gel, I'll set the piece aside to dry overnight.

Fast-forward to the following day:

I turn the foil over to its bright side, then brush acrylic paint across the entire embossed surface.  While the paint is still tacky, I use a soft cloth to rub some of the paint back off.  (The old-fashioned name for this 2-part process is "antiquing.")

For variety's sake, I repeat this whole process with several sheets of foil and several colors of paint, as shown below:

I have a hard time capturing these results with my camera, since the foil turns out to be just what I had hoped for -- light-reflective.  And of course, the fact that I have rubbed off some of the paint makes the surface even more happy to reflect light!  Click on the 3 shots above to enlarge them and better see the embossed details.

How to use these new papers?

I offer these ideas:

Cut them up for use in full-size collages or small collages on greeting cards.

Wrap full-sized sheets over sturdy cardboard to create art journal covers.  This is easy, since the foil remains flexible, even with the layer of gel that I'd decided to spread across its dull side.

Because of this flexibility, it's also fun to cut the embossed papers into small sizes and wrap them over wooden craft pieces -- hearts are my personal favorite -- to make jewelry.

And medium-sized sheets can be wrapped around empty aluminum cans to create pencil-holder gifts.  

I will be making daily posts from now thru the end of October, showing art made with my three new stencils.

See you here tomorrow!

Meanwhile, enjoy visiting here!