Saturday, February 22, 2020

Art-Making Tools and Short-Cuts: ATC MIXUP 1 and ATC MIXUP 2 Used With Matching Bigger Stencils and Masks

Why do everything the hard way, when tools are within grabbing distance?  Large-and-small combinations of stencils and masks are art-making tools; they are short-cuts.  I'm wildly in favor of everything that makes art-adventuring easier and more fun.   

Mary Beth Shaw -- -- came up with the idea of making my 2014-released masks Palm Fronds Silhouette in 2 sizes -- and this is how Palm Fronds Silhouette Small (6"X 6") and Palm Fronds Silhouette Mini (4"X 4") came to exist.

Using those two together became so much fun that -- fast-forward 5 years -- I was delighted to design ATC Mixup 1 and ATC Mixup 2, knowing I'd base many of those ATC-sized stencils and masks on larger stencils and masks that I'd previously designed.  

Using large versions alongside small versions offers possibilities without end -- what a springboard into the land of creativity! 

I made that exciting discovery back in 2014, when I added some acrylic paints to  a stretched gallery-wrap canvas*, waited for the paint to dry, and used masking tape to secure Palm Fronds Silhouette Small (6"X 6") and Palm Fronds Silhouette Mini (4"X 4") ... 

Next, I mixed modeling paste with acrylic paint and spread that mixture across the stencils with an artist's spatula.  A used credit card  or any other thin-bladed spreading tool would have worked too.

Once that mix was applied, I removed the stencils and immediately cleaned them.  (Altho I no longer clean acrylic paint off my stencils, I still make sure to clean off dimensional media that include modeling paste.  If heavy-body media is allowed to accumulate on stencils and masks, it will clog openings.)

After the first layer of colored modeling paste had dried, I repeated these steps many more times, switching from one color to another and continuing to allow dry-time between each application.

Below are close-ups showing areas of the canvas as it moved thru its early stages of progress.

In this last photo above, I've circled the areas that you can better see by clicking on the photo to enlarge it.  

This particular painting's yet to be finished, but I'm pausing to share the early steps that I took because this combining of large-with-small 
opens up a wide area of adventures now that ATC Mixup 1 and ATC Mixup 2 are released. 

Playing with two sizes together gives me a lot of creative freedom and I feel it enhances the overall artwork.  Two similar stencils or masks go a long way in helping establish unity and rhythm in art projects -- and at the same time, being differently sized, they automatically add variety to keep the viewer's eye entertained in every area of the painting.

I've come to understand that large-and-small combinations of stencils and masks are art-making tools; they are short-cuts.  Why do everything the hard way, when tools like this are in grabbing distance?

*"Gallery wrap" refers to edges without staples showing.  Instead of being stapled on the four sides, the stretched canvas is wrapped around its four wooden supports, and the staples are placed out of sight on the back.

Many thanks for coming to see my blog today!  To follow my blog by email, please use that option in the upper right sidebar.  To scroll thru the pages of my StencilGirl stencils and masks, please start here.

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