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Introduction 2 the Whimsy World of Stencil Art

stencil artWhimsyPaperMache.com has a visiting artist McKey to the studio to demonstrate her method of creating handmade stencils. McKey will also share tips along the way. I know you will enjoy this short video with Mckey, she is a sweet and talented young artist.

Artist Stencil Demonstration and Insights

What is Stenciling?
Rubin's vase is a famous example of stenciling. The album cover artwork for Pink Floyd's The Division Bell is an example of a Rubin-vase-like construction.

First Pick Your Image to Stencil

You can grab some paper and start sketching out your image or find an image you like. A good image will need detail. For example, a very overexposed or washed out image won't work very well, because you're missing the details that make it recognizable. With certain subject matter there are certain details that make or break the piece.
Plan Ahead for Success
You need to ask yourself how many colors you want to work with. How many colors will determine how many stencil plates your image will require.
You need to ask yourself what size template you wish to create.
If your image is color, converting it to gray scale can help you see the different tones easily. You will create distinct template plates for each color.

Stenciling Tools

Card stock for cutting out is great. The stencil will strengthen as you add layers and layers of spray paint. Laminate, plastic, cardboard or foam core are commonly used material for cutting out your stencil.
Cut with scissors or x-acto knife, be sure they are always sharp. Detail is very hard to cut with a dull x-acto, and the blades are cheap to replace.

Spraying Your Stencil With Color

When painting a stencil, the goal is to get even paint coverage, so you're applying the same amount of paint to every bit of the piece. This also helps to avoid drips. You want to paint with short, even strokes, about 18" from the piece. No zip-zag spraying use short strokes in one direction.
Be sure to keep the spray at as close to a 90-degree angle to the work as possible. This helps in 2 ways; it holds the stencil down and controls overspray. Keep the can as upright as possible, creating a nice, consistent flow of paint. About 45 degrees is good enough. You may want to incline your work surface if you're working inside so that you're not forced to hold the can horizontally.
Practice printing your stencil onto newspaper before using your new stencil on T shirts, towels, curtains, and numerous other possibilities. This will give you an opportunity to tweak your stencil before printing production starts.
You can make your stencil as detailed as you want, start out simple and get the hang of it. Before long you will be making T-shirts for all your friends.
Like this article before you leave and it was great to have you visit.
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