Saturday, September 19, 2020

 Artist Luci Sweet, a StencilGirl StencilClub member, has created a fossil-like image with this beautiful print, using my 9" x 12" Longwood Florals Mask --

-- and Luci achieved this wonderful three-dimensional look using a gel plate. 

My 9" x 12" Longwood Florals Mask, in its entirety, looks like this:

Parenthetically, I've recently noticed that the majority of my StencilGirl "stencils" are actually masks.  The word "stencil" has segued into a generic term, referring to both stencils and masks.  You can see this easily when scrolling thru my pages at StencilGirl; almost every item is listed as a stencil.  

This "blurring together" of the two words, stencil and mask, is easy to understand.  Depending on how you look at it, they both do the same thing -- but in directly opposite ways!  

Notice the difference between 9" x 12" Longwood Florals Mask, above, and 9" x 12" Longwood Florals Stencil, below:

The basic design is identical.  But with a stencil, the white area represents a sheet of sturdy StencilGirl mylar.  The black areas represent the openings that let paint to pass through, in creating a print.  Those tiny white lines (called "bridges") hold the stencil together.

Scrolling back up to Longwood Florals Mask, you can see that the white areas represent the areas of the Mylar sheet that will block -- or mask -- the areas underneath, while a print is being made.  The black areas that surround these white shapes represent places where the Mylar has been cut away; and it's these cut-away areas that let paint pass thru, as the print is being made.

In my own designing, I've come to favor the mask approach because I  like the way it enables the design to "hold together."  But not all images work as masks, so stencils still have their place.   

In making the gorgeous print at the top of this post, Luci Sweet was following the steps of a "shadow"-printing technique developed by another StencilClub artist, Shel Cee.  Those steps are shown in this video made by Shel Cee.

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