Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Part 2 of Two -- Hit-and-Miss Techniques with Stencils

I learned a  new-to-me stenciling technique when I took an online class with Joan Fullerton.  All credit for this idea belongs to Joan, not to me!

To demonstrate, I'll use the same artwork recently featured in Part One of this two-part set.

The first color photo below shows part of my 9" x 12" stencil Blooming Where Planted.  (I had cut across this stencil to separate the large image from the two smaller images.)

Above:  I'd cut along the vertical line that separates the large image on the left from the two smaller ones on the right.

After separating this part of the stencil from the rest, I used masking tape to secure it to the canvas I was working on, as shown below.  Clicking on this image to enlarge it, you can see, on the left, the top of the brush I  used.  For dry-brushing, I always choose a brush with extra-stiff bristles.  Then I daub it into a little paint.  Before taking the paint to the canvas, I brush scratch paper or palette paper to take off most of the paint just added.  What I'm left with is very little wet paint; hence the term "dry-brushing."  The brush tips aren't totally dry, but very close to it.

The photo above -- especially when enlarged -- shows that dry-brushing means to move the brush across the stencil openings in a hit-and-miss way.  Not all of the underneath surface is covered.

When the stencil is lifted (see below) the results are unique; no other method of stenciling, as far as I know, achieves this look.

But there are two other ways to get hit-and-miss effects with stencils ...   I've yet to try them; they sound like fun.  One is to place a stencil on a substrate, then mist it  -- lightly -- with water.  The next step is to hold fine-grain sandpaper and watercolor pencils right over the stencil.  Now, rub the tips of the pencils against the sandpaper.  This should result in a scattering of color particles that will settle down onto the stencil.  The open areas of the stencil will allow those areas of the substrate to receive the color specks.  Any kind of powdered pigments probably would work just as well.  Brusho is one brand; other powdered pigments are available, too.

Returning to the topic of dry-brushing --

Above:  the stencil has been lifted off (it's still hinged with masking tape on the left side of the photo.)  It has left behind a hit-and-miss image across the canvas (on the right.)

This is not a perfect example of dry-brushing; a perfect example would show even less paint on the finished surface.  But I hope this suffices to get the general idea across.  Below is a close-up.  

The close-up was taken after I had later added a subtle layer of white over the dry-brushed area.  This addition was achieved with zinc white (translucent) acrylic paint that I had spread across the same stencil.  While the stencil was wet with this paint, I pressed it, wet-side-down, onto the surface.

Below is another close-up, showing a wider area of this artwork that was more fully explained in Part One of this two-part post. 

Below is a shot of the entire work -- while it was still in progress.

The photo above shows that dry-brushing was used in three areas -- upper left, far right central, and lower middle.

As shown (and explained) in Part One, this is the completed project --

Above:  final version.

The pages showing my full line of StencilGirl stencils start here.

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