Monday, January 14, 2019

Scraping Paint over Stencils

Today's post features my paint-over-stencil video, here.


lightweight but sturdy paper (I used Asian rice paper);
a stencil (I used Clustered Leaves);
liquid acrylic paint (not heavy-body acrylic paint);
a 12-inch-wide drywall taping knife, sold at home improvement stores, or you can order it here.

This is a quick and easy technique, as the video demonstrates.

Some prints I've made this way --

Clustered Leaves (9'x 12" stencil)

Clustered Leaves (9'x 12" stencil)

Clustered Leaves (9'x 12" stencil)

 Clustered Leaves (9'x 12" stencil)

Clustered Leaves (9'x 12" stencil)

Mimosa 9" x 12" Stencil 

 Mimosa 9" x 12" Stencil

Mimosa 9" x 12" Stencil 

Clustered Leaves (9'x 12" stencil)

Clustered Leaves (9'x 12" stencil)

Clustered Leaves (9'x 12" stencil)

Clustered Leaves (9'x 12" stencil)

This technique works better with some stencils than with others.  Experimenting is fun!

To scroll thru the pages of my StencilGirl stencils and masks, please start here.

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Friday, January 11, 2019

Dyeing with Teabags video -- PRAYER FLAGS Stencil Included with Other StencilGirl Stencils

My Prayer Flags stencil (9" x 12") is one of the StencilGirl stencils starring in this video.  Once you watch the video, you can tell the reason this type of stencil was used; it works best with this technique of dyeing with teabags.

Enjoy the video and my thanks to you for stopping by my blog today!

To scroll thru all my StencilGirl stencils, please start here.  To follow this blog by email, please use that option, available in the upper right.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Artist Jill McDowell and HERON Stencil

Artist Jill McDowell has done it again!

This time, the way Jill wowed me was to use my 6" x 6" stencil Heron ... along with the bottom of her flip-flop sandal!

That's her upside-down flip-flop on the right, below.  She spread it with black acrylic paint and pressed it like a rubber stamp thru the stencil.  (Her substrate was rice paper.)

Then Jill lifted the stencil  --

Once this paint has dried, the image can be left as-is; or it can be further developed.  It's one of the many delightful choices of an artist!

Thanks for stopping here today!

To scroll thru the pages of my StencilGirl stencils, please start here.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Stencils and Yet More Metallics

I've long had on hand some sheets of multi-color imitation gold leaf and, to go with it, several kinds of foiling glue.  When my 6"x 6" stencil Pair O' Parrots was released, I decided it was time to bring out those aging art supplies ... inspired by the brightly iridescent feathers of these beautiful birds.  My take on that bright iridescence is decidedly an abstraction from what's seen in real life ...   

There are two basic kinds of foil on the market.  The kind I used is the ultra-thin type, called "imitation gold leaf" -- click here to see the type I used. 

There are several adhesives that work with imitation gold leaf.  Click here to see one of the most easy-to-find brands.

Above are four greeting cards all created the same way:  I applied the adhesive thru the stencil openings, then quickly placed the stencils into a basin of Windex-water mix, to keep leftover glue from drying on the stencils. 

After waiting for the foiling adhesive to reach its tacky stage -- about 10 minutes, depending on how heavily the glue has been applied -- I carefully lowered a multi-color sheet of imitation gold leaf over the entire surface.  

I applied pressure with my fingertips to secure the leaf to the tacky areas; then I continued to rub the other areas to lift off the larger unwanted pieces. 

My next step was to remove small leftover bits of imitation gold leaf with a soft brush.

Some artists use GAC 100 to seal the foil as a final step.  I skipped doing that since these are greeting cards, not artworks on canvas.  To see another type of sealant, click here

Beginners may find the other type of foil easier to use, since it's less fragile.  Lots of tutorials showing how to use this alternative are available on YouTube; to find them, search "foiling."

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To scroll thru all my StencilGirl stencils, please start here.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Nancy Sanderson Curry's Magic with Alcohol Inks and Stencils

Artist Nancy Sanderson Curry has delighted me in choosing to use one of my stencils, Garden Montage, with her alcohol inks --

Above:  the original print.
Above: A ghost print that Nancy made by pressing a fresh substrate against the still-wet surface of the original print. 

Garden Montage, a 9" x 12" stencil, looks like this--

Nancy Sanderson Curry has more than one area of artistic expertise!  She has also made a video for StencilGirl Studio to demonstrate the making of prints with Citra Solv cleaning solution.  Be sure to check that out here!

Thanks for visiting my blog today!  To scroll thru the pages of all my StencilGirl stencils, please start here.

Saturday, December 29, 2018


For this project, I started with my 9"X 12" stencil Tangled Pods --

-- along with matte gel mediuma spreading tool, masking tape, a soft terrycloth rag and a sturdy substrate -- in this case, I chose a large sheet of glossy cardstock that had already been monoprinted with blue and green acrylic paints, then had been used as a "catch-all paper" when I'd painted another paper orange.

After taping the substrate to my work surface, I covered it with my Tangled Pods stencil and taped that down, too. 

For my next step, I spread a generous layer of matte gel medium across the top of the stencil, as shown in the two photos below.  (I could have used gloss gel medium; in this process, either will work.)

After spreading the gel medium, I lifted off the stencil.  See below--

At this point, I set aside the artwork to dry.  Since I'd used matte medium, I knew that when the gel became nearly transparent, it would be dry.

Once the surface had dried, I began to coat it with acrylic paints, first brushing them on, then using the soft rag to wipe away paint from selected areas.

The photos above show the starting stages.  I went on to add layer after layer of paint, repeating the process, over and over.

The final results are shown below.  One of its layers was a metallic paint, which I used over about 2/3 of the surface:

This stencil, Tangled Pods, is among my others at StencilGirlProducts.  You can scroll thru those pages starting here

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Wednesday, December 19, 2018

A Very Personal Gift

Nothing says love like a painting you've created yourself and give as a gift!

Above is a painting on stretched canvas that I developed using two of my 9" x 12" stencils, Loopy Ladders and Clustered Leaves...

Loopy Ladders 9" x 12" stencil

Clustered Leaves 9" x 12" stencil

Below are some close-ups from the painting at the top of this post: 

Above:  the 3 white leaves have been added as collage elements after I've cut them from the stencil Clustered LeavesIn the upper right, you can see another collage element -- part of a pre-painted cut-out from the stencil Loopy Ladders.

Thanks for visiting my blog today!

To scroll thru the pages of all my StencilGirl stencils, please start here.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Shiva Oil Sticks + Stencils = Christmas Cards

Here's an idea that I've used in the past to make Christmas cards.

For this project, I recommend wearing disposable gloves and gathering just a few supplies:  iridescent Shiva Paintstik oil crayons; a stencil; thin, dark papers; and an  X-acto knife.  I used black and other dark mulberry papers because of their thinness.  The best iridescent Paintstik colors to use on dark papers are silver, white, and light gold.  For this projects, I chose gold and silver.

Just before use, a Shiva Paintstik needs to be "primed" because, when not in use, it naturally forms an outer "skin" which must be removed. This is easily done with an X-acto knife -- but it should be done by an adult, never a child; these knives are sharp.

The stencil I'm using here, in Project One, is my 4"X 4" stencil Fern Fronds Silhouette.

The stencil is held secure with one hand, while the other rubs across the top of the stencil with the Paintstik -- held flat on one side, as shown below --

The above photo shows that all spaces in the stencil design have been completely filled with a layer of metallic Paintstik crayon.  In the photo below, the stencil has been lifted off the paper and placed above the imprint.
Above:  The oil crayon-coated stencil is at the top; under it is the imprint.
Below is a close-up of an imprint made this way.

At this point, the stencil is heavily coated with leftover oil crayon.  To create another imprint of a different kind, without using more crayon, the stencil is placed on fresh paper and held in place with one hand, while the other uses a soft rag or a paper towel to rub across the stencil and the open areas of the stencil --

An imprint made this second way is shown close-up below.

More than one "ghost print" can be made in the way I just described, until most of the crayon has been removed from the stencil.  Then the stencil can be completely cleaned with an alcohol wipe.

Now comes Project Two, using the same materials. 

The first step is to slide the stencil under a fresh sheet of dark, really thin paper.

Above:  the stencil is being pushed under the paper.

The second and last step is to rub the sideways oil crayon across the paper, pressing into the outlines of the hidden stencil below.  Below is one rubbing created in this way:

One place to purchase these oil crayons is --

Another vendor is --

The second link, for Dharma Trading, takes you to a webpage where you can watch a video of these oil sticks being used to make rubbings on fabric.  I'm not into fabric arts, but I suspect that when these oil crayons are used on fabric, there are follow-up steps for setting the color permanently.  Dharma would have information on this. 

The stencil used in this post, Fern Fronds Silhouette, is available at

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To scroll thru the pages of my StencilGirl stencils, please start here.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Unique Christmas Cards -- Made with StencilGirl Stencils

Christmas preparations are, to me, every bit as fun as unwrapping gifts on Christmas Day.

Look at this fabulous double-image Christmas card by Martha Lucia Gomez!  She's one of the artists I greatly admire.  

In making this card, Martha used my 6" x 6" stencil Pressed Leaves.

I too made a Christmas card with this stencil, but mine comes in a distant second to Martha's!

My Christmas card above was made with modeling paste and glitter, on dark bronze cardstock from

Thanks for visiting! To follow this blog by email, please use that option in the upper right sidebar.  To scroll thru the pages of my StencilGirl stencils, please start here.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Gelli Plate + Stencils = Christmas Cards

I've used my round Gelli Plate for the first time in a long time!
The first thing I noticed – to my delight – was that the round shape of the printing plate greatly changes the “look” usually achieved from using a stencil.  This happy fact stood out for me when I used my 9”X 12” stencil Facets because I’m so conditioned to seeing it in its original 9”X 12” shape.
Here are 5 prints that show the dramatic change into a circular format:

The first print shown above  --

-- was to become the first of two Christmas cards, because this image reminds me of a stained-glass church window.

In making this print, I started with black-and-white patterned scrapbook paper, then layered red, orange and green acrylic paints over it with a brayer. 

Once that dried, I used my round Gelli Plate, a gesso-teal mix of acrylic paint, and my 9” X 12” stencil Facets to pull the print.

To make the first card, I covered a blank 5”X 7” greeting card with a background -- green mulberry paper embedded with gold threads of tinsel.
My next step was to add the half-circle I’d cut from my Gelli Plate print.  It was really easy to cut out the printed area, because this stencil’s geometric design is divided equally by its axis. 

On a scrap of the same green mulberry paper, I used a gold-paint pen to write “Christmas Blessings” – I did it on a scrap, not the card itself, because I wanted to make sure it would turn out the way I wanted.  Then I cut out the lettering and glued it to the card cover.  That card is below:

I used part of the leftover print to decorate a matching envelope -- it became a trim that runs along the bottom edge, right under the area where the name and address will be:

Another print I pulled, using the same teal-gesso mix, was on dark blue cardstock that has embedded glitter-like sparkles.  Here, again, is that print:

To make another Christmas card, I chose a 6"X6" card blank made from "pearlized" cardstock.  Because of the change in card size, I cut out a bigger part of the print than I had for the earlier card.  I glued the cut-out to my card and trimmed the edges.
I used a rubber stamp and green inkpad to make the greeting on white cardstock.  After cutting it out with Fiskars Paper Edger scissors, I ran the gold pen along its four edges and added it to the Christmas card.  Here's the card, finished -- except for a red border that I plan to add later:

Here's the matching envelope, again with its decoration along the bottom that leaves room above for the name and address:

The church-window-like Christmas card below was also made with my Facets Stencil but this time I didn't use the Gelli Plate ...  

For me, it was a natural segue from Christmas cards and envelopes to Christmas giftwrap.  Some of the prints shown at the top of this post were done on foreign newsprint  -- this gives me an interesting background and results in a pliable paper perfect for giftwrap and matching gift-tags.
Here again are those papers:

And here they are, used together, as giftwrap --

And finally, with a gift-tag:

In its entirety, Facets stencil looks like this --

To scroll thru the pages of all my StencilGirl stencils, please start here.

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