Thursday, February 4, 2010

Stenciling Traditional method and non-traditional

The history of stenciling is long for obvious reasons. Stenciling was an inexpensive and efficient form of replicating an image and decorating a wall, furniture, floors, or accessories. In the beginning, stencils were made out of organic materials, i.e., leaves, leather, treated linen. Today, most stencils are fabricated out of heavy gauged plastic or mylars (if you will).

To stencil:
Supply checklist stenciling supplies

Before you begin stenciling, be sure your supplies include the following:

* marking pencil
* low-tack masking tape or stencil adhesive
* level
* ruler
* stencil brushes
* stencil paint
* a saucer, plate or palette
* paper towels (preferably lint free)

All of the above supplies can be found in your local hardware or craft store.

Stencil Brushes:
The most common stencil brushes are flat tipped and domed brushes. Flat tipped brushes contain bristles that are all one length. Domed brushes have bristles that are slightly tapered near the ends. If you are just beginning, you may wish to start with the flat tipped brush. If you are more experienced, then you will find that domed brushes can be used to produce a larger variety of shaded effects, adding more depth and appeal to your stenciled designs.

Begin stenciling in an inconspicuous corner of your room. Every stencil has guide marks for you to perfectly repeat the pattern intended. To position your stencil: you can either utilize a green or blue or light adhesive masking tape to secure the corners...or utilize spray adhesive. If you are using spray adhesive, allow the spray to dry until tacky then secure to surface.

To Begin Stenciling:
I usually use a paper plate or paint tray to hold a small amount of pigment. Use a water based paint for fast drying capability. If you like, you can always add Japan dryer to escalate the drying time.

With your brush, dip the bristles into your paint. In a circular motion, dab and roll the excess paint onto a paper towel removing most of the paint. Repeat this process until the brush seems "dry". The objective is to imprint the surface underneath the stencil with a consistent amount of pigment establishing clean edges. Continue to blot the brush onto the stencil building up the color layer by layer.

There are two methods of stenciling:
One is upward and downward dabbing motion. This method produces the most consistent and cohesive method for coverage. The second method is swirling of which utilizing this method, you press the brush down onto the surface and produce small circular motion. Utilizing this method, you are able to effectively achieve soft shading.

Stenciling is NOT just for the stereotypical little sweet lady who wishes to add creative hand touches to "stuff" about the house. It isn't just for the country gal who has a love for gingham checked bows and wood cut-outs...Stenciling is for fun and creativity. Stenciling began as an innovative tool and is used today as just that...a great tool for making innovative design.

More innovative approaches to stenciling, with today's technology can certainly be achieved. We can create digital images of anything we see and capture. Print these images out and use the traditional methods of cutting then voila....some crazy stencils can be made. As you can push the limits with your stencil concepts, you can push the limits in methods of laying down pigment. Utilizing airbrush and spray paint can create some fantastic and dramatic effects.

I will post some wonderful examples of some amazing artists' work...these people push limits and have fun with a simple tool creating unique and fun concepts!


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