Thursday, January 18, 2018


Today's post announces my new four-part release, Hot Air Balloons and Masks.  This new release comes in two sheets -- one 6" x 6" sheet and one mini-sheet measuring 4" x 4".

Although the two sheets come in two sizes, the stencils and masks are identical in design, shown here --

Above:  the stencil is on the left.  The mask is on the right.

Note:  A mask "masks" -- that is, hides -- everything that you place under it.  The function of a stencil, on the other hand, is to give you an imprint of an image that can contain more details than a mask can.  In this case, the image is a hot air balloon with three vertical stripes.

Today I'll show one way I've used these stencils and masks together.  Although I have used a sponge brayer, the traditional sponge-pouncing method would work just as well.

First, I'll show the final photo -- this shows what I'm going to end up with, following a method that I learned from Mary Beth Shaw:

 These are the steps I took to get there:

The above photo shows a black substrate.  On it I've placed both the masks.  Next, I loaded a sponge brayer with heavy-body white paint.  With the brayer I added a layer of this paint over the masks.  While rolling the brayer over each mask, I held each in place with one finger.  You can even see my forefinger mark in the middle of the larger mask above!

Below you can see the results after the two masks have been lifted --

After the white paint had dried, I started my next step on the left side of the print, covering the left masked-imprint with the stencil of corresponding size (6" x 6".)  As you can see below, it was at this point that I started to use masking tape -- to make sure that the stencil had been placed exactly where I wanted it, lining it up with the masked-imprint below.

At this point, it was time to carefully mask off the mask half of this new stencil set.  This was to prevent the hole of the punched-out mask from showing up in my final image.  To mask off the mask-hole, I used a different kind of masking tape.  This yellow tape has a low-tack sticking surface -- making it easier to remove and far less likely to damage the print underneath.

You can click on the above photo to enlarge it and better see the way I shaped pieces of the yellow masking tape to cover the mask-hole on the far right.  On the left, you can see my sponge brayer loaded with a bright pink heavy-body acrylic paint.

The photo below is a close-up of the stencil now that the pink heavy-body paint has been brayered over it.  Notice how the yellow masking tape on the right has prevented the paint from imprinting the right area of the substrate.

Not shown is a view of the pink hot air balloon that appeared when I lifted the stencil.

My following step was important to note:  While keeping the Hot Air Balloon stencil taped in place, I waited for the pink paint to dry.  

After testing the pink paint to make sure it had dried, I placed my 6" x 6" Sprigs stencil atop the stencil.  (The pink imprint is still underneath this stack of two stencils.) 

Holding Sprigs with one hand, I used a fresh brayer to add a white layer of heavy-body acrylic paint.  See below: 

 The photo below shows the results after I had lifted off the masking taped "sandwich" of the Sprigs stencil and the Hot Air Balloon stencil.

And the photo below shows, once again, the results after I had repeated this step-by-step process with the 4" x 4" size--

Thank you for visiting here today!  More art samples will be posted here tomorrow.  You can follow this blog by email using the option in the upper right column.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Mary Amendola-Marle and a Host of Stencils from!

Artist Mary Amendola-Marle has kindly granted me permission to post her artwork here.  I was delighted that Mary chose my 9" x 12" stencil Clustered Leaves --

-- among other stencils from, in creating the art below ...

Be sure to check out all of the tree-themed stencils at -- they are top-drawer!  Just type "trees" into the Search box on the StencilGirl home page -- you'll be glad you did! 

To follow this blog by email, please check out this option in the upper right sidebar.

I'm happy to say that I've designed 70 stencils for StencilGirl.  The multiple pages of my stencils start here.

Thanks for visiting my blog today!

Sunday, January 14, 2018

6" x 6" Stencils HERON & FERNS

Back in October I posted about Mary Beth Shaw's write-up in the July/August 2017 Somerset Studio magazine.  Its focus was the use of silhouette stencils with patterned stencils.

Following Mary Beth's directions, another artist -- Jill McDowell -- came up with this:

The silhouette stencil in this case is my 6" x 6" stencil Heron.  

Mary Beth's technique, used by Jill McDowell, is quick and easy:  

(1) Secure the substrate to the work area with masking tape; 

(2) use the same tape to layer the silhouette stencil atop the substrate.  (In the magazine article, Mary Beth had also used my Heron stencil for one of her projects.) 

(3) Add a layer of acrylic paint over the stencil that's fastened to the substrate below. 

(4) After that paint dries, add a top layer -- one or more stencils with densely figured patterns; use masking tape to hold them down, for best results.

(5) Using a different color acrylic paint, go over this two-stencil "sandwich."

Lift off all stencils and you're done.

Brick Factoryby Daniella Woolf, is the stencil Jill chose for creating the domino-like pattern inside these two Heron prints.  

On the top and bottom edges of this work, Jill used another 6" x 6" stencil of mine -- Ferns.

My thanks to Jill for allowing me to use her artwork here... and my thanks to you for stopping by today!

To see my full line of stencils, please visit here.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

IT'S A JUNGLE OUT THERE -- 9" x 12" Stencil

 Today's post starts with a five close-up shots of a piece done on stretched canvas...

All of the above impressions were made with It's A Jungle Out There, which in its entirety looks like this--

-- but, before using it in this acrylic painting, I cut it into pieces.

The finished art looks like this:

I gave it the title Butterfly Wings.

Thanks for visiting my blog today!

Monday, January 8, 2018

TRIVETS Stencils used with Marbling

Today's post focuses on 6" X 6" stencils in my Trivets series.

Above:  Left-- Trivet A.  Right -- Trivet C.

Above:  Trivet B.

Above left: Trivet BRightTrivet C. 

The marbling technique that uses stencils is shown here with full details and step-by-step photos. 

The Trivets series includes one 9" x 12" stencil --

Trivet A 9

To see all my stencils, please visit here.

Thank you for stopping by today!

Friday, January 5, 2018

Lemon Juice and Stencils

After getting this idea from my friend Mary Ann Russo. I gave it a try with my stencils... 

Above:  one of the finished prints using my stencil Borders 1.

I started with a shallow basin of lemon juice -- I used an expired bottle of Joe's Key West Lemon Juice.  (In my refrigerator, it's easy to find expired condiments ... just reach all the way to the back.)

Above:  The stencil afloat in a basin of lemon juice.

I tipped the basin back and forth to make sure the stencil was coming into full contact with the juice.  Then I pulled up the stencil, let it drip excess juice, and placed it onto a sheet of vintage paper that already had foxing along its edges.  See below:

I lightly pressed a finger alongside the two edges of the stencil to make sure it came into full contact with the vintage paper.  Then I lifted off the stencil and set aside the paper to dry.

After it dried, the last step was to heat the surface with an iron.  (I also tried a heat gun but it didn't work well for me.)  I used a specialized iron made for crafters (see below) but a dedicated household iron would work fine.  I used the hottest setting on my crafters' iron, but with a household iron (dedicated to crafts only), I would experiment with dry settings, starting with low heat to be on the safe side, and gradually increasing heat till the results began to show.  It's a simple matter of slightly scorching the dried lemon juice to make the design become visible.  Prior to being heated, it's nearly invisible.

The above prints show the variety that results from using this technique.  Each print is unique, altho the differences are subtle.

 Borders 1  stencil looks like this before its three borders have been cut apart --

-- and it's one of three Borders series stencils I've designed, each containing three borders.  

To see all my stencils, please check here.

Thanks for visiting my blog today!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018


Today I'm posting two past experiments with my 9"x 12" stencil Queen Anne's Lace.

Above was an experiment on printmaking paper.   My first step was to make three separate prints with the Gelli Plate, a stack of oblong shapes slightly overlapped in a vertical pattern. 

After those paints dried, I spread white modeling paste thu the stencil, lifted the stencil, and immediately washed it.  I seldom wash just-used stencils when working with acrylic paints, but when I'm using them with any of the three-dimensional media, I go ahead with the wash, to avoid bulky build-up on stencils.

Once the modeling paste was dry, I spritzed the surface with a water mister and added drops of liquid watercolor into the wet areas, allowing the color to spread at will --

-- and I quickly discovered that I should have chosen watercolor paper instead.  Printmaking paper was not meant to be used with generous pools of water.  When still wet, the paper threatened to dissolve.  When it finally dried, it warped beyond belief.  Live and learn!

Below is the cover of a greeting card, made with a paper that I had cut from a full-size Gelli Plate print. 

In the background, especially in the lower right, you can see a faint outline from my 9"x12" stencil Boxed Vines, one of the stencils used when I was creating the multi-layer background.

These two stencils in their entirety look like this:

Queen Anne's Lace

Boxed Vines

Thanks for visiting!

I'm happy to say that I've designed 70 stencils for StencilGirl.  The multiple pages of my stencils start here.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Coincidence of the Keys

This month's StencilClub members have been delighted to receive a set of three stencils, all featuring beautifully crafted designs of keys and locks.

I was stunned by the coincidence that my first post for the New Year happened to be a sort of tip-toe trip around the same kind of theme! 

I've designed three borders stencils, each of them containing three borders and each measuring 9" x 12".  The middle stencil in this series, Swatton Borders # 2, has one border that I had designed for edges of art journal pages ...

And today's post shows two ways I've used this stencil's center border, keys.

Note:  When using my borders stencils, I find it's easier for me if I first cut each of the three stencils into three vertical borders, making sure that I leave ample margins around each strip of designs.

The first art sample below shows the border used in the way I'd originally envisioned -- as an accent edge for an art journal page.

The next image shows this stencil used three times on one page, creating what will become a background pattern ...

Although the keys are showing up brightly on the art journal page above, they will eventually be covered with more layers of paint and more stencil-prints.  But the original print will continue to show itself in areas across the page.

Thanks a lot for visiting here today!

To check out the multiple pages of my stencils, please go here.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Brayer-applied Images with Stencils

This print was made with Pair o' Parrots stencil (6" x 6").

Today's second print, below, started with my 9" x 12" Mimosa Stencil ... the original print was with a dark acrylic paint, probably green.  Over that I added a topcoat of red acrylic paint.

Then I painted a 6" x 6" square roughly in the center.

Atop that, I laid another stencil, Fern Fronds Silhouette Mini, which measures 4" x 4".  With this stencil, I used a sponge brayer loaded with two shades of green acrylic paint.

Below:  When using a sponge brayer with a stencil, I always use heavy body paint -- or, as in the example shown here, I use liquid/soft body acrylic paint that has been left out for awhile.  This increases its viscosity.  Highly viscous (heavy body) acrylic paints are less likely to cause stencil run-under.  But the amount of pressure applied with the applicator -- be it a brayer or any other kind of paint applicator -- is of even more importance than the viscosity of the paint.  It has taken me a lot of practice to learn the right amount of pressure for avoiding run-under!

I also used a sponge brayer loaded with heavy body paints to make today's top print as well as the print below ...

Above:  6" x 6" Heron stencil

I'm happy to say that I've designed 70 stencils for StencilGirl.  The multiple pages of my stencils start here.

Thanks for visiting my blog today!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Mary Beth Shaw with HERON and OSPREY WINGS 6" x 6" Stencils

The July/August 2017 Somerset Studio magazine carried Mary Beth Shaw's write-up about using silhouette stencils with patterned stencils.  (Click on the magazine title above to order this back issue.)

To my delight, for this article, among other StencilGirl stencils, Mary Beth had chosen two of my 6" x 6" silhouette stencils for her demonstrations. 

Mary Beth's stunning artwork above was created with the help of Osprey Wings ...

6" x 6" stencil Osprey Wings

... and my 6" x 6" stencil Heron ...

... was used with other StencilGirl stencils in Mary Beth's art below...

The process:

Make an imprint with the silhouette stencil and allow that paint to dry.  

Place the stencil back over the print.  (Secure with masking tape if desired.)

Layer a patterned stencil over the first stencil and make an imprint with it.  Usually you would want to use a contrasting color; in the example directly above, Mary Beth used the complimentary color orange when making the patterned imprint, having used blue for her initial imprint.

When the second imprint is being made, the first stencil becomes a mask to keep the second (patterned) stencil inside the lines of the silhouette.

I'm happy to say that I've designed 70 stencils for StencilGirl.  The multiple pages of my stencils start here.

Thanks for visiting my blog today!