Saturday, April 30, 2022

Mother's Day, Stencils and Shiva Sticks

Want to make a fancy Mother's Day card for someone special?  Read on!

Shiva Sticks are fun to use and my favorites are the metallic versions.  

For this project, I recommend wearing disposable gloves and gathering these supplies:  iridescent Shiva Paintstik oil crayons; a stencil or a mask; thin, dark papers; and an  X-acto knife.  

I used black and other dark mulberry papers because of their thinness.  The best iridescent Paintstik colors to use on dark papers are silver, white, and light gold.  For this projects, I chose gold and silver.

Just before use, a Shiva Paintstik needs to be "primed" because, when not in use, it naturally forms an outer "skin" which must be removed. This is easily done with an X-acto knife -- but it should be done by an adult, never a child; these knives are sharp.

The mask I'm using here, in today's Project One, is my 4"X 4" Fern Fronds Silhouette m051.

I held the mask in place with one hand while rubbing the Paintstik across the mask.  I used the crayon lying on its side, as shown below --

The above photo shows that all empty spaces in the mask design have been completely filled with a layer of metallic Paintstik crayon.  

In the photo below, the mask has been lifted off the paper and placed above the imprint.


Above:  This silver-on-black print was made in the same way.

When first lifted off the print, the mask is heavily coated with leftover oil crayon.  

To create another print of a different kind -- without using more crayon -- the mask is placed on fresh paper and held in place with one hand, while the other uses a soft rag or paper towel to rub across the mask ....

Above:  Here, the surface has been well rubbed with a paper towel; the mask has not yet been lifted off.

Another print made using this second method is shown below, after the mask has been lifted off.  These is called "ghost prints."

More than one "ghost print" can be made this way, until most of the residue crayon has been removed from the mask.  Then the mask can be completely cleaned with an alcohol wipe.

All of today's art samples have now graduated to become covers for my greeting cards.  I think a lot of women -- friends; relatives -- deserve Mother's Day cards.  This year I'm going to send one to my daughter!  (She and her husband gave me a grandson back on November 16, 2021.)

Thanks for visiting my blog!

To scroll thru the pages of my masks and stencils at StencilGirl, please start here.

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Scratching into Stencil Prints

 I'll admit, right off the bat, that I overdid my scratching in the samples I'm posting today!  

My goal had been to make a stencil print look less like a stencil print ... and to give it a somewhat vintage look.

And I'll surely do a less savage job of it, next time around!

In this post I'll show two canvases, both developed with the same combination of techniques, the same acrylic paints and the same color schemes.  

I worked on these canvases side-by-side.  While one canvas was drying, I worked on the other.  Going back and forth between the two, I eventually brought both to conclusion.

Before getting out the X-acto knife to give the scratched effect, I needed to develop backgrounds ....

Above:  One entire canvas, with two central vertical shapes created with parts of my 9" x 12" stencil Prayer Flags.  In the central area, I added  "chop marks" with acrylic paint on the edge of a piece of corrugated cardboard.

Above:  A close-up showing part of the Prayer Flags imprint as well as the chop marks.

Above:  This close-up shows a background as it's further developed, with the use of my 9" x 12" stencil It's a Jungle Out There.  (I've cut the stencil into pieces to make it easier for me to use parts of the stencil separately.)

Above:  Another area of the background, also developed with It's a Jungle Out There.

Above:  Here I have used my 9" x 12" stencil Thistle.  Clicking on this image to enlarge it, you can better see the areas where I've used the X-acto knife to make scratches thru the thistles.

Below are two more shots, one of each of the two canvases being developed side-by-side.

Above:  In making the thistle prints, I used the stencil 3 separate times, allowing the brown acrylic paint to dry between each application.  In this way, I was able to create an image in which the stems overlapped, altho the stencil itself does not show them overlapped.

Above:  Here on the other canvas, the thistles have been printed in the same side-by-side way as the original stencil has them.

Below is the 9" x 12" Thistle stencil itself --

The design also comes in a 6" x 6" version, Small Thistles --

Below is one of the two finished canvases.

The two stencils used to develop the backgrounds were --

9" x 12" Prayer Flags.

9" x 12" It's a Jungle Out There 

Thank you for stopping by today!  To scroll thru my stencils and masks at, please start here.

Monday, April 25, 2022

Collages Made Using StencilGirl Stencils and Masks

What do the following three papers have in common?  Two things.  First, all of them were printed with my 6" x 6" Garden at Nemours Mask (top layer) and 6" x 6" Garden at Nemours Stencil --

Above:  Paper printed with my 6" x 6" Garden at Nemours Mask (top layer) and 6" x 6" Garden at Nemours Stencil (bottom layer, barely visible.)

Also used in this collage were two other papers; the first, below, was likewise printed with my 6" x 6" Garden at Nemours Mask (top layer) and 6" x 6" Garden at Nemours Stencil (bottom layer, barely visible.)

Above:  This paper was cut into strips for use in today's first collage.

Another print, likewise cut into strips for addition to today's first collage, is below.  Once again I'd used my 6" x 6" Garden at Nemours Mask (bottom layer) and 6" x 6" Garden at Nemours Stencil (top layer) --

-- and, the second thing these papers have in common is that they were cut into chunks or strips for use in creating this collage --

In the collage above, the main print, done in muted green and shades of lavender, was made using part of my 9" x 12" Garden Montage....

Above: my 9" x 12" Garden Montage

Today's second collage is below --

The left-side "backbone" of the above collage was cut from a green-black-purple print made with my 9" x 12" Palm Fronds Silhouette Large L791.  That same print contributed 2 smaller pieces to the horizontal bar.  Another small addition to that bar is a paint-stained piece cut from my 6" x 6" mask Small Tangled Pods s582.  The bar itself was cut from paper printed using my 6" x 6" Love.  Above that bar is another paint-stained piece cut from yet another 6" x 6" mask, Kaleid. Under the bar are still two more pieces cut from masks stained with acrylic paint.  The left was cut from 9" x 12" Mimosa L141Under the right side of the horizontal bar is a paint-coated piece cut from my 9" x 12" mask Prayer Flags L371.

Today's last collage is a companion to the collage directly above:

Because these two collages were developed as companions, , many of the same papers and paint-covered mask-bits were put into play.  A few of the elements differ:  Across the horizontal bar lies a piece cut from a yellow-green paint-stained mask designed by Trish McKinney, Undulating Line Waves.  Three small areas of the collage are paint-stained stencil-pieces (orange) that were cut from my 9" x 12" Tangled Pods L344.  The collage's focal area holds orange paper cut from a print made using my 9" x 12" It's a Jungle Out There L451.

Long is the list of my masks used in developing today's latter two collages; in their entirety, they look like this:

9" x 12" It's a Jungle Out There L451

9" x 12" Tangled Pods L344

9" x 12" mask Prayer Flags L371

9" x 12" Mimosa L141

6" x 6" mask Kaleid

6" x 6" mask Small Tangled Pods s582

6" x 6" Love

9" x 12" Palm Fronds Silhouette Large L791

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I've subscribed to The New Palate Magazine for years, always loving its artworks and instructional articles ... but when I opened the current Issue # 81, my enjoyment of the magazine opened into full bloom. 

Page 9's photo shows a sample-collection of artist Lynn Slade's stenciled and stamped papers.  Lynn stockpiles these papers as raw material; her genius is to use collage in depicting whimsical animals that warm and lift viewers' hearts.

Page 9 captured my attention when I saw that Lynn had used two stencils I've designed for  

Both these designs are available in more than one size; and my Pods series includes not only stencils but also matching masks.  For the sake of illustration, today's post narrows the focus down to these stencils:  Dangled Pods Stencil L490 (9"x 12") and Mimosa Stencil L141 (9" x 12").  Below is a close-up detail that I've clipped from Lynn Slade's larger photo. 

These two stencils look like this:

Dangled Pods Stencil L490 (9"x 12")

Mimosa Stencil L141 (9" x 12")

Stencil lovers, give your eyes a thrill ride!  Check out Lynn Slade's full-length article, which includes photos of her enchanting collages.  Use this link to subscribe to The New Palate Magazine!  Since it's a quarterly publication, I think you'll receive Issue #81 in your first mailing.

Sunday, April 24, 2022

Stencil-and-Scrape Approach to making Art Papers

"Stencil-and-scrape" is how I've dubbed this approach to using stencils; I've blogged about this technique before, but today's post differs in several ways, mostly in that here I'm creating translucent papers for my large collages on canvas.

Why translucent papers?  Because I build multi-layered abstract artworks, and I want to lay translucent papers over earlier layers so that portions of those earlier layers will show thru the papers.  This adds depth and interest to an artwork.

Today I'm using that technique with my 9" x 12" StencilGirl mask Tangled Pods L344.

In an effort to ward off potential confusion, I'll start by showing my entire Pods series:

Tangled Pods L344 looks like this--

Its reverse image, my 9" x 12" stencil Dangled Pods L490, looks like this--

Then there is my 6" x 6" Small Tangled Pods s582, a mask that looks like this ....


And there is its 6" x 6" reverse image -- my stencil Small Dangled Pods s581:

In the hope that I've deflected confusion -- rather than creating it! -- I now return to today's demo, which uses my 9" x 12" mask 
Tangled Pods L344.  (The blue color shown here is not what you'll receive when ordering this mask.  Yours will be clear.)  

Below is the stencil secured to the work surface with masking tape....


The photo below shows a sheet of deli wrap masking-tape secured over the stencil.  (In this demo, I started with deli wrap but later switched to white, sturdy tissue paper.)

The photo directly above shows the way I place acrylic paints across the top of the paper; here, I've used orange, yellow and red heavy-body paints.  On the far middle right is the old credit card I'll use for the scraping.

In the two photos below, I show the first scrape and the second scrape; the credit card has been pressed into the paint at the top of the tissue and scraped downward over the tissue, with enough pressure to capture the contours of the stencil openings. 


My next step was to set aside the scraped papers to dry.  While they dried, I taped another sheet of tissue atop the stencil and made rubbings, using water-soluble crayons.


Now came the need to make this rubbing waterproof, so it can later be used on one of my large collages on canvas.

The method of waterproofing I chose was to spread matte gel over the surface:

This, too, needed to be set aside to dry.

Below are the papers created with the stencil-and-scrape technique  -- with acrylic paint ....


And below is the paper I made with water-soluble crayons; the matte gel has now dried, so the paper won't lose any color after being added to a collage on canvas.


Below are two collages on canvas made with these papers --

Thank you for visiting here today!  To scroll thru the pages of my stencils and masks at, please start here.