Tuesday, March 3, 2020


My new 9" x 12" ATC Mixup 1 set of 9 stencils includes 3 bonus masks as well as a design I've labeled Diagonal Mania.  It's the first image on the left, in the top row below --

Although not a direct derivative of my 9" x 12" mask Prayer Flags, the two designs have enough features in common that I wanted to use them together in making art samples for today's post.

9" x 12" mask Prayer Flags

For this project I wanted a limited palette of red-orange, pale pink and blue that's "muted" by a small amount of gray mixed in.

Today's art samples show that ATC-sized stencils and masks can be used for far more than Artist Trading Cards alone.  When large and small designs with similar features are used together in one artwork, the result is a pleasing complexity that entertains the viewer's eye everywhere as it travels across the surface.  At the same time, it provides a unity that makes the viewer say,  "Everything here is something that belongs here.  All of it 'fits.' "  These principles hold true regardless of whether the art is representative or (like my own art) abstract/non-representational

Clicking on any or all of the above photos to enlarge them, you may be able to see additional colors peeking thru the acrylics that I used.  This is because of the substrates I chose -- all of them were magazine pages and old calendar photos that had "busy" images -- multi-colored, with lots of small details.

My approach in creating each of the pieces was the same:  I covered each paper with a layer of muted blue (in the form of colored gesso, which is opaque.)  

While that gesso was still wet, I placed my 9" x 12" mask Prayer Flags onto the paper, held it down with one hand, and wiped away the wet gesso that showed thru the openings of the stencil.  A few times I needed to dampen the paper towel with water before rubbing away the gesso. 

I lifted my stencil and allowed the papers to dry.

Then I mixed acrylic matte gel with a couple of heavy-body acrylic paints.  These paints were in the colors I wanted -- pale pink and reddish-orange -- but they were opaque.  Mixing them with the gel made them translucent.  I wanted translucency because I wanted a little of the multi-colored backgrounds to show in the finished pieces.

Next, I came back to the papers with Diagonal Mania and a sponge brayer loaded with heavy-body acrylic paints. 

These sponge brayers are re-usable ... and good quality ones are getting hard to find!

The sponge brayers made it easy to create columns of color with both my pale pink and my red-orange paints.  The columns became key elements in my overall designs on all of today's art samples.  

Thank you for coming to see my blog today!  To follow it 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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