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Stencilicious: Techniques to Try by Christen Olivarez

It’s no secret that the art world has been bitten by the stencil bug. They’re being used all over the place, from greeting cards, to art journal pages, and so much more. When I first began playing around with stencils, I limited myself to using them with spray ink. I never really went beyond that until recently. Now I’m trying to use them in as many ways as I can!

My favorite type of stencils to use are textures and patterns. I prefer them because I do not use a lot of focal images in my work, as it tends to be more on the abstract side. We carry a lot of great ones in The Shoppe at Somerset, and I have also found some really interesting ones in the wall stencil aisle at my local craft store. I purchased round stencil sponges, and have really liked the effect I get from “pouncing” paint through the stencil. Because of the build-up of paint I get on the stencil, I also like to flip the stencil and “stamp” it onto whatever surface I’m working on. It’s an easy way to add another layer as well as use up all the paint. The stencil sponges are great because I’m able to use the paint left on them to stamp circles as desired.

I also have been playing around with adding true texture with stencils. I am able to do that a couple different ways. One way is to emboss a stenciled design by applying a Versamark inkpad as if it were a sponge through the stencil. I then remove the stencil, sprinkle on embossing powder, and use a heat gun to finish it. I also like to use a palette knife and molding paste to add thick texture to my canvases. You can leave the molding paste white, or mix in a little bit of color.

Creating Your Own Stencils:
Finally, as an artist, I like to make things myself. From Traci Bautista, I learned to create my own stencils using hot glue. I simply lay down some parchment paper (you can also use a non-stick craft sheet), and draw a design using hot glue. Once the hot glue has set, the design easily peels away and is ready to be used in your art. They are more delicate than store-bought stamps, so I suggest using your handmade stencil with spray ink, as it’s less likely to pull or tear at the stencil.

About the Artist:
Christen Olivarez is the Director of Publishing for Stampington & Company and editor-in-chief
of Somerset Studio, Somerset Life, Mingle, HandCrafted, and Artists’ Café.

Interests: art, slow food, writing, books, yarn, authentic living

Follow Christen on Her Blog: thedeliberatelife.typepad.com.

 

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