STENCILS AND ROSES

I don’t usually work with commercially made stencils but last week when I was at a craft store, I decided to buy a pack of six. When I went to use them, I was quite disappointed that the stencils where only made of paper and therefore would only allow one use. Way too expensive for that!

So I decided to seal the stencils by coating them with gel medium. Then I realized that I could make a wonderful texture on my canvas as I coated the stencils. Using a long palette knife, I placed the stencil on my canvas and smoothed gloss gel medium over it.

Applying gel medium through the stencil.

Applying gel medium through the stencil.

The trickiest part is lifting the stencils without tearing them.

So I teased up the edges all around with the palette knife and ever so gently lifted them without any disasters.

Carefully teasing up the edges of the wet stencil.

Carefully teasing up the edges of the wet stencil.

The texture left behind after picking up the stencil.

The texture left behind after picking up the stencil.

I loved the texture of roses and leaves that my first stencil left and decided to add another to the composition with the Moorish styles grid.

Roses and moorish texture on the canvas in gel media.

Roses and moorish texture on the canvas in gel media.

When I added that, because it was the background, I used a damp paper towel and the palette knife to remove some of the textured pattern. This makes it look somewhat less mechanical.

Once I have the texture on the page, I decided to add some color in a very diluted mix so that it would float around the surface. I sprayed the surface with water before and after adding the paint to help move it around.

Since I enjoy drawing women’s faces and I haven’t done one in a while, I decided to incorporate that into this picture. The tricky part was to then draw the image on top of this very textured and slick surface.

Watered down colors floated on the canvas. Then I added the profile of a woman.

Watered down colors floated on the canvas. Then I added the profile of a woman.

I thought I’d be able to do the drawing in charcoal and then seal it but my surface and the charcoal did not mix it well. So I ended up doing my drawing in acrylic. This was pretty forgiving and let me erase whatever I didn’t like and have another go at it. I added more definition to the portrait and design as I added transparent and opaque colors. Here is the finished piece. What do you think of how this technique worked out?

The finished painting.  12"h x 9"w, acrylic on canvas. I haven't come up with a name yet. Any suggestions?

The finished painting.
12″h x 9″w, acrylic on canvas. I haven’t come up with a name yet. Any suggestions?

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About karenfriedland

I am a visual artist-- painter, sculptor, photographer-- coloring the world. My travels take me to many places around the world and I love connecting with others at home and on my trips. I am also a teacher (art), business person and creativity and business coach. My website is: www.ArtistKaren.com. I am so glad you have visited my blog!
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