Tag Archives: stenciling

Filmstrip Challenge

Artwork after scanning and adding a digital layer that resembles filmstrips.
Artwork after scanning and adding a digital layer that resembles filmstrips.

I had so much fun participating in a sketch challenge recently that I decided to make an effort to enter more. RubberStampMadness magazine is currently running a Filmstrip Challenge which appealed to me. Above is my entry. There are still a few days left before the deadline if you want to get in on the fun – here are the entry guidelines.

Though I’ve been rubber stamping for well over 20 years, I haven’t done a whole lot of coloring in of rubber stamps. This project helped me to get some practice and was an opportunity to experiment with mixed media.

The first thing I did was to cut out a bunch of 2 x 2 inch and 2 x 3 inch pieces of scrap paper which would become the individual “frames” in the finished artwork. Then I stamped images on them in black waterproof ink.

The next step was to give each section it’s own background color with decorative chalks and old eyeshadow. To apply I used Q-tips, sponge tip makeup applicators and Fantastix by Tsukineko which are a great help in getting color into  tight areas around the edges of the stamped images.

Next I sprayed the paper pieces with workable spray fixative to hold the chalk in place, then I coated them with a thin layer of matte medium and let it dry. The workable fixative allowed me to brush on matte medium without the powders smearing and the purpose of the matte medium is twofold – it’s the glue I will use to attach the images and words I cut from magazines, and it keeps the markers I’ll apply later from smearing the black ink that I stamped.

The next step was to figure out words to put in the word and thought balloons I had stamped. It would be a lot of fun to tell a coherent, planned out story with this format but I couldn’t think of any ideas for a story so I did what I often do, I relied on the random and let my subconscious guide me. Cutting out pictures from magazines has been a reliable way for me to tap into the subconscious part of my brain for decades. I picked up some discarded magazines that I hadn’t cut up yet and went through them looking for words that piqued my interest. Along the way I cut out appealing pictures – some I put aside to use in other projects and a few I used for this one. I grouped the words on my work surface into combinations that appealed to me and matched the words or groups of words with images. Some of the results make sense to me, some don’t and it’s likely the ones that mean something to me won’t mean the same thing to others and vice versa. That’s one of the fun things about art!

I then glued the cut-out images and words in place by brushing the backs of them with matte medium and smoothing them in place with an old credit card. One way to reduce the risk of wrinkling the paper is to coat both sides of the pieces with matte medium and let dry before wetting the backs again to apply. It’s extra work but it’s worth it for good results. You can speed up drying with a heat tool so your work session isn’t interrupted. (It sounds funny to say “work session” – this was play!)

If you prefer instead of gluing in cut-out words you can write words in the balloons or use word rubber stamps or stickers.

My next step was to take each section and highlight the stamped images with a little color here and there and add some texture to the backgrounds with stencils from The Crafter’s Workshop. I like the way some of the textures vaguely suggest the “dot gain” effect that you often see in comic books. My coloring implements for this project were Sharpie markers and Prismacolor pencils. Both will color just fine over the matte medium but if you want to use different media, do some tests on scrap paper first to see if the surface will accept the color. I could have made masks to protect the areas I did not want to stencil on but to save work I relied on my eye to tell me where to stop. I only went onto the white word areas on a couple of spots so I decided to touch up these areas later with acrylic paint to disguise my mistakes. If you decide to sponge ink through the stencils you will need to make masks.

I glued the individual “frame” pieces down on a piece of archival cardstock with Yes Glue. Then I got out a tiny paintbrush and touched up the white areas and I liked the way the bright white looked so I added white highlights here and there all over the artwork where I thought it needed it. I liked the effect, it added a little extra “pop”.

The next image shows what my artwork looked like before I scanned it and added digital enhancements.

Here is my artwork before I added any digital enhancements.
Here is my artwork before I added any digital enhancements.

Stamp credits:

Row 1, left to right: Unknown, Carolyn’s Stamp Store, Unknown, All Night Media, Carolyn’s Stamp Store

Row 2: Viva LasVegasStamps, Carolyn’s Stamp Store, Unknown

Row 3: Viva LasVegasStamps, Viva LasVegasStamps, Carolyn’s Stamp Store, 7gypsies

Row 4: Unknown, Carolyn’s Stamp Store, Chronicle Books, All Night Media

Row 5: Viva LasVegaStamps, Carolyn’s Stamp Store, Carolyn’s Stamp Store, Carolyn’s Stamp Store

After scanning in the image, I opened it up in Photoshop and added a layer for a faux filmstrip effect which I made from a couple of these free digistamps. I may print out this “filmstrip” layer on clear transparency film and mount it over the original artwork with brads or eyelets to display it.

Stencil a Wood Garden Sign

Me with wood garden signs that I made along with supplies I used to make them. I'll be demonstrating stenciling at Schnarr's Ladies' Night, April 30th, 2015.
Me with wood garden signs that I made along with supplies to make them. I’ll be demonstrating stenciling at Schnarr’s Ladies’ Night, April 30th, 2015.

How would you like a practical and decorative wooden sign for your yard or garden? Stencils are handy for such a project because they are available in letters, numbers and lots of fun decorative designs.

Read more on the Schnarr’s Blog – Stencil a Wood Garden Sign

Lots of new projects

I’ve been keeping busy with lots of new work – here are some samples of some projects in progress!

06-09-14 – Here is what is on my work table –
Using some of the stencil/embroidery fabric experiments to applique onto
the front of a wine bag to upcycle it. One piece is for the front and
one for the back. I’m sewing fabric pieces and ribbon onto pieces of
fusible webbing then will sew around the edges to attach to the pieces
to the front and back of the bag.

06-18-14 – On my work table today – greeting
cards right before all the parts are glued together. Techniques used –
collage, rubber stamping, stenciling. Some of the stencils are
commercial and some are designed and cut by me. Commercial stencils available here – http://carolynsstampstore.com/catalog/stencils-stenciling-supplies-c-45.html

06-22-14 – On my work table today – I cut
these stencils for a Day of the Dead project. Going to experiment with
some discharge paste on fabric.

06-23-014 – Plant trays in progress – doing a
little work on my deck this morning. On Saturday my Dad cut up some
recycled wood for me to make these trays and yesterday I nailed them
together and put wood filler in the cracks. This morning I
sanded them and lined the insides with roof cement. My intention is to
display plants in these at shows and fill in with black gravel to make a
nice uniform appearance. The roof cement is meant to make a waterproof
seal so I can water the plants and not have to worry about damaging
surfaces or putting little saucers under each one which takes up a lot
of room on the table. I want to put folding legs on these trays to
display the plants below table level in front of the tables and I’m
still working out the best way to do that. I was looking in the outdoor
storage closet for some wood pieces I might be able to use for the legs
and saw some folding chairs that came with the condo. In a pinch I could
set the larger tray on two of the chairs until I figure out the legs –
but that gave me another idea – what if I just made two sets each of
smaller and narrower folding legs without seat covers? That would work I
think. Could I put some kind of channel on the bottom to hold the legs
in place and let gravity do the rest? Then it would all fold down for
transport. These trays gave me another idea – what if I made these
without a wide rim but just enough to be level with a ceramic tile
mosaic and designed them to drain instead of hold water? Would make good
garden/patio accessories I think.

Fun with Stencils

Introduction

During the 1970s, my Mom was really into Pennsylvania Dutch style stencils for home decor – I still have some of her old stencil brushes! I myself used stencils for some of my printmaking projects in the 1990s. Recently I’ve been experimenting with different ways of applying inks and paints on fabric, which is an application stencils are very well suited for, along with mark making on walls, furniture, paper and other surfaces. You can cut your own stencils or use pre-made commercial stencils. In this project I’ll explain how to cut your own and show some samples of how they can be used.

Tools and materials

Stencil material

Pre-made stencils

X-Acto knife

Plain paper

Low-tack masking tape

Tracing paper

Pencil

Self-healing cutting mat

Tools for applying the ink such as: sponges, stipple brushes, foam brushes, ColorBox Color Blender, sponge daubers, Inkcessories

Assortment of paints and inks

Water containers including one large enough to hold stencils

Rags

Pallete knife

Pallete (can be plastic food container lid or temporary pallete such as a piece of freezer paper taped down to your work surface)

Freezer paper

Old baking pan or piece of cardboard

Optional – scrap art papers of assorted sizes, colors and weights

Optional – Baren

Optional – brayer

Optional – heat tool

READ MORE