Friday, August 30, 2019

Introducing 4" x 4" Mini Stencils/Masks -- M & Y and R & E -- at

These 4" x 4" relative newcomers could be called stencils or masks; the line dividing the definitions of these two labels is blurring, in today's jargon.  

My inspiration for these two designs -- M and Y alongside R and E -- arose from my long-held love for customizing letters of the alphabet.  Although these two minis were originally based on alphabetic letter combinations, they have evolved into abstract patterns. 

M & Y, measuring 4" x 4"

R & E, measuring 4" x 4"

Two photos launch today's post --

The first photo, above, shows the start of a new painting on stretched canvas.  The bottom layer was created using my 9" x 12" Winter Berries Mask.  After that first layer of acrylics had dried, I added a layer of translucent gold acrylic paint.  That two-part combination became foundation for this art adventure.  I used my just-released stencils several times, layer by layer, waiting for paint to dry between applications of layers.

The finished piece below -- you can click on the image to enlarge it and better see detail -- shows very little of the Winter Berries imprint, but it's there.  After deciding enough layers of the new stencils had been added, I covered the background areas around the canvas with a collection of acrylic paints.  Here the resulting background looks black, but in reality, it's a blend of dark purples, dark blues and dark magentas. 

On another stretched canvas, I started with Liquitex Black Lava medium, spreading it thru both new stencils with an old credit card.  After this first application of lava medium had dried, I used the stencils in the same way a few more times.  Also, I put the lava-laden stencils to work as stamps -- flipping them over to press the excess lava medium onto the canvas.  Immediately after using the lava medium each time, I dipped the stencils into a basin of water and wiped them clean with soft rags (old terrycloth washcloths work well.)  I don't usually clean my stencils, but whenever I use a 3-dimensional medium like lava medium, I clean stencils and masks to prevent their openings from getting clogged.

The final artwork above shows that I added acrylic paints and inks to the entire central area of the canvas, filling in the lava-prints and the areas around them.  

My next-to-last step was to develop the pale beige edges using the stencils, repeatedly sponging thru them with light shades of yellow, magenta and blue. 

Before calling the piece done, I lightly went over some of the raised lava prints with Krink Permanent Paint Sticks.  These are oil-based  jumbo-sized crayons.  Their color goes on wet but dries very quickly.  

Other companies make this kind of crayon; one is Sakura.  Another is Shiva.  However, the Shiva sticks that I've used have taken a long time to dry.  

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