I’ve been stenciling the last few days. I mean, it’s kind of a slow process. To use a stencil you dab your special stenciling paint brush straight down and up on the paper instead of dragging it along in one long stroke. That way the paintbrush hairs don’t creep under the stencil and smudge things. But it means you only paint a small, pea sized, spot with each dab. Why would anyone tolerate this you ask?
I started playing with stencils because I wanted a way to make reproducible images without using the computer. And only using supplies we had on hand (which nixed linoleum block prints). So I cut up an old mylar transparency sheet (cause no one uses overhead projectors anymore) with my x-acto knife, taped it to the inside of a cereal box, and dabbed acrylic paint on it with a little stenciling brush. I know, I know, not everybody has these things on hand, but we do.
I like the control I have over each individual piece and the way I can watch it develop. I like cutting the transparency with the knife straight from a drawing without having to get anything printed off the computer. (i should mention that i do not get along with home printers and therefore do not own one, so printing is kind of a hassel) I like the challenge of creating designs that don’t have floating parts, all the stencil parts have to connect somehow. And I even like the slow, repetitive, painting.
A makes fabulous little notebooks out of the stenciled cardboard. Take a look at all three designs in our shop.