Thursday, January 17, 2019


l675 Longwood Florals Mask.....9"x 12"

Longwood Florals Mask measures 9" x 12" and is the topic of today's post.  

I've used it twice to make two 3-D artworks on stretched canvas.  The starting step, and nearly all the following steps, were the same for both pieces.

I designed this mask (and its matching stencil) to be used either upside down, or right-side-up.  However, the original flowers and leaves were dangling as shown in the first photo below.  You can click on the image to enlarge it and better see detail.

First, I'd placed the mask onto the white canvas.  Above, on the left, are the disposable plate and sponge that I used to add Liquitex Super Heavy Gesso over the entire canvas.  I used one hand to hold the mask in place as I dabbed the surface with this ultra-thick gesso.  Since I was working toward a 3-D effect, I did a lot of up-and-down pouncing with the gesso-laden sponge.  I could have used any other white texture medium, such as heavy-body Titanium White acrylic paint, or any of the modeling paste gels, or one of the heavy-body gels.

Immediately after covering the canvas with gesso, I lifted off the mask and placed it in a basin of water.  That way, the gesso on the ask wouldn't harden while I moved on with the project.  Later, I lifted the mask from the water and cleaned it.  I seldom clean masks or stencils, but the exception is when I've used them with 3-D media.  If this kind of medium dries on the stencil or mask, it can interfere with getting detailed prints from that time forward.   

The photo below shows the very start of adding colors to the canvas.  I could have used acrylic inks or liquid watercolors, or even spray paints, but I chose to use Golden High Flow acrylics.  I could have waited for the ultra-thick gesso to dry before adding color, but there was no need, because I planned to allow the color to somewhat sink into the surface.

The above photo shows dribbles of high flow acrylic paint as they began spreading over the surface.

To speed the flow for the sake of complete coverage, I sprayed the dribbles with water in a spray bottle, as shown below.

The above photo was taken while the paint and water mixture were still wet.  I knew there would be a color shift, once the piece had dried overnight...

... and the photo above -- showing the final artwork -- shows that the colors have lightened.  

When I approached the second canvas, I repeated the first few steps described above.  But I used different colors; and when it had dried, I went in with cotton swabs, heavy-body acrylic paint, and a white marking pen --

One reason I like Golden brand is that its high flow acrylics come in colors that match the heavy-body acrylic and liquid acrylic paints.  This came in handy when I was developing the piece above, because I could use the same blue in heavy-body paint that I had used with the water-and-high flow mixture used earlier in the process.

I used the white marker pen to highlight some of the stems and leaves, so that the finished artwork looks like this --

Before ending this post, I want to mention that the titles of this mask and its matching stencil come from my having seen these flowers and leaves at Longwood Gardens, Kennet Square, PA.

Thanks for visiting my blog today! 

Monday, January 14, 2019

Five Recent Releases at StencilGirl -- Stencils and Masks

Five stencils and masks of my design were recently released at StencilGirl.  They are:

s658 Garden at Nemours.....6"x 6"

l675 Longwood Florals Mask.....9"x 12"

L678 Winter Berries Stencil.....9"x 12"

Today's post will show samples of art made with each of these new stencils and masks.

l675 Longwood Florals Mask

The artwork above is ready to be framed.  Its background is an old encyclopedia page that has a floral design in the upper right.  Glued over that is the mask itself, stained with paints after being used in a variety of art projects.

L676 Longwood Florals Stencil
Above is a double-print made with the same stencil.  The first print was made with yellow acrylic paint on a yellow-orange background paper.  After that dried, I placed the stencil back on the paper, spacing it so that it would be somewhat off-key with the original print.  Then I used purple acrylic paint to make the second print.

L678 Winter Berries Stencil

The artwork above was created on an old sheet of paper that had been printed and over-printed several times.  I could have used a Gelli Plate to make the topmost print with this new stencil, but instead, I decided to place the stencil onto the paper and go over it using a sponge brayer loaded with heavy-body acrylic paint.  The next 2 photos below show my process ....

Above:  a sponge brayer is being loaded with heavy-body acrylic paint.

Above:  a paint-loaded brayer is being run over a stencil.  (The stencil pictured in this example is Sassy Spray, a stencil previously released at StencilGirl.)

The art below was created with Golden high flow acrylics on a Fredrix Watercolor stretched canvas.  I prefer this type of stretched canvas because it has a smooth surface that picks up even fine details of a mask or a stencil.  

L677 Winter Berries Mask.....9"x 12"

s658 Garden at Nemours

Like an earlier example in this post, my artwork above was created on an old sheet of paper that had been printed and over-printed several times.  I could have used a Gelli Plate to make the topmost print with this new stencil, but instead, I decided to place the stencil onto the paper and go over it using a sponge brayer loaded with heavy-body acrylic paint.

Thanks for stopping here today!  

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

Friday, January 11, 2019

Artist Jill McDowell and HERON Stencil -- and a Flip-Flop!

Artist Jill McDowell has done it again!

This time, the way Jill impressed 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.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Using Leftover Acrylic Paints

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

When working on any painting, I always have leftover acrylic paints, which I could try to save for the next painting session.  But I find that I get better results when I use up all of each day's paint and start fresh with the next time I bring paint to canvas.

So I use a sponge brayer, stencils and collage papers (leftovers from earlier projects) to use up this extra paint.  Some examples:

Made with 6" x 6" stencils Pressed Leaves and Feathers 6.

Made with 9" x 12" stencil Wrought Iron Gate.

Made with 6" x 6" stencils Quilted Flower Garden and Small Dangled Pods.

Made with 6" x 6" stencil Swatton Links.

Thanks for visiting here today!

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

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Back to the Sandbox!

I still have bags of colored sand, leftovers from long ago projects.  The other day when I didn't have any black lava gel, I decided to put some of the old sand to use.

Above:  gloss heavy gel that I'll mix with the purple sand.

Above:  on the left the gel is ready to be added the sand with an art spatula.  On the right is the substrate, an old calendar page that I've painted over.

As the above photo shows, I've mixed the sand and gel.  And I've placed two of my 6" x 6" stencils -- Trivet A on the left and Trivet C on the right -- side-by-side on the substrate. 

The next step was to spread the mixture thru the stencils with one hand, while holding them firmly in place with the other hand.  (Another option would have been to use masking tape to hold the stencils in place.)

The photo below shows the results, as soon as the two stencils were lifted.  The gel will turn transparent after drying, but while still fresh, it appears white.

Note:  When using any kind of three-dimensional medium, I put the stencils into a basin filled with water, to be cleaned later.  Three-dimensional media can easily clog stencil openings if allowed to dry on the stencils.

After the gel dried, the sand became visible again.  In the photo below, the sand color appears closer to gold than to its original purple.  But that's just the lighting.

Thanks for stopping by today!  To follow this blog by email, please use that option in the upper right.

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

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

MARBLES 6 STENCIL in the Talented Hands of Cheetarah Cheda

Let's start the new year with a video!  This was posted in StencilGirl Talk several months ago but I want to repeat it here because the first stencil used is my Marbles 6, which looks like this --

The artist who made today's video, Cheetarah Cheda, accidentally left out mention of the name of this stencil, in listing the stencils used in her video.  But -- as the  photo below shows -- what beautiful results she achieved!

You can click on the above photo to better see details.  Better yet, watch the video here.

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

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Stencils + Shiva Metallic Oil Sticks = 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

Thanks for visiting my blog!

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

Thursday, December 13, 2018

More Christmas Cards made with Stencils

It was a challenge to scan this Christmas card in a way that really shows the gleam of the textured silver acrylic paint and the red glitter that outlines the leaves; I did the best I could, and you'll just have to trust me that the original looks a lot better!

In making the above card, I used a sponge to apply the textured silver paint thru my 6"x 6" stencil Pressed Leaves, working on red background paper.  After that paint had dried, I cut off some edges around the leaves and glued the print onto a green greeting card blank.  My last touch was to outline the silver leaves with a red glitter pen.

Another Christmas card is below --

This time, I used my 4"x 4" stencil Fern Fronds Silhouette Mini

My first step was to secure the stencil to the 6"x6" greeting card blank, using masking tape.  Then, with an old credit card, I spread heavy-body silver metallic acrylic paint across the stencil.  

Once I lifted the stencil, I saw areas that weren't up to par.  So after the heavy-body silver paint had dried, I added glitter glue to some of the individual fronds (clicking on the image above, you can enlarge it to better see those areas.)  I also added squiggles in red glitter glue, creating a frame.  

Again I have to say that the original card looks a lot better than the scanned image above; it's indeed a challenge for me to capture the gleam of metallic paints, foils, etc.! 

Regarding the second greeting card above ... Because its deep bronze metallic cardstock is very dark, I lined the inside of the card with lightweight paper, cut to fit -- 

Above is what the inside of my cards looks like, after the light paper is added.

Other artists would probably skip that step and, instead, use white markers or pens to fill out the inside of these greeting cards.  (The blanks come from 

Check with the Postal Service before mailing 6"x 6" greeting cards -- there is a non-machinable surcharge for sending mail of these dimensions.  I make things easy for myself by simply using two Forever stamps.

Thanks for stopping here today!  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

Hanging Ornaments Made with CLUSTERED LEAVES (9" x 12") Stencil

Artist Judi Kauffman gave me a great idea for making my Christmas tree ornaments this year!

Below are two of her stunning ornaments, all of which were made with gorgeous stencils from the wide selection available at

To my delight, among the other StencilGirl stencils Judi chose, she included my 9"x 12" stencil Clustered Leaves.  That's the stencil used to make the two stars above.  The stencil itself looks like this:

Is it any wonder I want to make my Christmas tree ornaments now that I've seen these?

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