Thursday, May 24, 2012

Shimmering Stencil Tutorial




When Julie Fei-Fan Balzer asked me to try out some of her stencils as part of her stencil hop, I was thrilled.  I've been playing with stencils more and more lately, not for scrap-booking, but for art journal pages and custom journal covers.  I've discovered that stencils can give me some amazing affects when used in layering and mixed-media projects, and even as backgrounds for some of my art. In fact, when the stencils arrived and I started playing with them, I simply couldn't stop.



At first I was uncertain how I could make them work effectively for the type of work I do, then once I got going I found that the opportunities to enhance my art pieces were limitless.

What was more exciting was how effective they were when I used them with my precious Silks Acrylic Glazes.  Of course, the timing was perfect, they arrived just as I was in project preparation for my new online class A Taste of Silks.  This was a serendipity as I was able to include some wonderful projects in this class using these beautiful stencils.



As it turned out, I ended up with so many great ideas that I had a very hard time narrowing them down for this stencil-hop.

The stencil I am showcasing today is called Leaf Grid, It has been designed by Julie under her label Balzer Designs and is produced by The Crafter's Workshop.  Julie sent me two sizes, a 12"x12" and a 6"x6".  The designs on the smaller stencil are perfect for art journal and sketchbook pages, and the larger stencil is perfect for scrap book pages.  I used them in this project in the not-so-traditional way.


I'm not always one for using art and craft supplies the way they are supposed to be used, so in this project, I am going to show you how I used them to create beautiful flower patterns using Silks Acrylic Glaze as a resist to a Silks/watercolor background, then painting the flowers over the top using Silks once again.  


Silks Acrylic Glaze is a beautiful new product from Luminarte.  It is brilliant liquid acrylic glaze that has been laced with mica and other proprietary minerals to give it a spectacular shimmer. It is incredibly versatile, and one of the techniques I use here is Silks as Watercolor. It is a technique I also teach in my online class. (And NO, I'm not on the Luminarte payroll, I just LOVE their products.)



 


For this project, I use a Strathmore Visual Journal with 90lb watercolor paper.

Begin by wetting your page heavily until it shines.





Mix a little Silks with a lot of water in a palette well or cup and drip, splatter, and splash it over your wet page. Let the paint spread out and cover the entire page.  (The color I am using is Jasmine.)







Use a paper towel to dab off the excess water and paint.  This will encourage the pigment to sink into the paper, creating a lovely soft sheen.



Position an individual pattern from your large (12"x12") Leaf Grid stencil over your journal page.  Use a solid synthetic brush, or a stencil brush to gently dab on a little paint. I am using Ice, which has a white pigment with a spectacular new rainbow crystal-like mica.  The Ice will draw up a little of the wet pigment under it and reflect back the beautiful luminescent design.





Next, take the smaller stencil (6"x6") and position a portion of the design in and around your larger images.  Paint these using Fern.






What you are creating is a two-tone pattern that will become the foliage behind your flowers.







 
When the leaves are dry, load your brush with another mix of Silks and water using bright colors to add contrast to your page. (For this, I used a darker mix of Jasmine and a bright mix of Ginger Peach.) Wash this paint around your page, allowing the colors to blend and mix. 

You can see how the Silks act as a resist to the watercolor mix.






Use your paper towel to dab off the excess water and remove any color that has pooled over the stencil designs.

Let the page dry completely.








Next, use a watercolor pencil to draw in some basic flower designs over and around the leaves.

Paint these with Silks using Stargazer and Blue Flame directly from the pot.


 
Let this layer dry then use a flat brush to paint behind the flowers using regular watercolors.

This layer of regular watercolor will allow a little of the shimmer to show through. It will also act as a wonderful matte contrast to the shimmering flowers and leaves.




When your page is completely dry, use a fine line marker or pen to add detail to the flowers and leaves.

Finish by smudging a little charcoal around the edges of the flowers to give them some definition.


You can see how wonderful the stenciled leaves appear behind these simple flowers. The contrast between the flat watercolor background and the Silks flowers adds and amazing effect to this journal page.


I also used this beautiful Leaf Grid stencils to add texture and interest to the background behind this painting of a pear.  In this painting, I sprayed and rolled the stencil to create some contrasting patterns. I will show you more of this journal page next week.



I also used the Leaf Grid stencil as a support for sculpting leaves using Silks mixed with a variety of gel mediums. This is one of the techniques we play with in A Taste of Silks. If you'd like to know more about this class, please click here.  If you'd like to know more about Silks Acrylic Glaze, please click here.


If you'd like to get your hands on this beautiful Leaf Grid stencil, please click here, and if you'd like to see more amazing work using this stencil, just hop on over to the blogs of these talented, inspiring, artists.
 



Thanks for checking in. xx



40 comments:

  1. oh my word gorgeous! i LOVE crafter's workshop stencils and Julie has certainly created some wonderful ones! stenciling with gel medium is one of my faves. love how you had in the detail lines to everything - it makes all the difference. can't wait to get playing in the silks class!

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is just a fabulously creative way to use stencils. I love it. Especially the pear. Wow!

    ReplyDelete
  3. wow! stunning! love the colors!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh wow, AMAZING!! This is really really stunning!

    ReplyDelete
  5. that was amazing, yes I am gonna have to have some silks, and the stencils, love it very much, I was gonna ask if you can use it with fabric, but wow it works with everything.....I loved what you did with the stencils, thanks again....

    ReplyDelete
  6. As has been mentioned above, simply stunning!
    Love your work!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Wow, this is gorgeous, the colors are so yummy!

    ReplyDelete
  8. The colors are incredible and I love how you utilized the stencil to highlight this process!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Ohhhhhhhhh this is just stunning!! Love the look SO much!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Stunning is all I can say too! Just gorgeous work!! I love those silks and how you used the leaf stencil to create a background!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Amazing project. The Silks are intriguing. Love the pear background.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Just took one look to become a subscriber to your blog. Absolutely loved how you combined the techniques and products to create your pieces. What great inspiration. thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Gorgeously stunning. I would love to try these silks. Took a look around and become a new fan!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thanks for sharing the stencil idea with the silks. Must add both to the art supply stash. Love what you did with the stencil on the pear! Love your work!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Beautiful! Wonderful way to use the stencil and I love the addition of flowers.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Wow! Amazing pages! Love the look of the Silks. Will have to try these! Thanks! Tammy

    ReplyDelete
  17. You go girl!!
    That is some wonderful layering. The translucent paints with sparkle really add a new dimension.
    You should get on the payroll as who better to promote the Luminarte lines of paints.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Oh my this is totally amazing and I am so glad I found this blog. BEAUTIFUL work!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  19. This is just gorgeous! Stunning!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Holy smokes that's pretty. Love the shimmer!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hi Dion!!! I love this tutorial. I can not wait to try something like this. Your work looks abouslutely stunning :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. Stunning! Love the look! Thanx so much for sharing

    KimMJ
    bast830@comcast.net

    ReplyDelete
  23. Wow. Stunning!!!

    Thanks for the great tutorial.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Beautiful! And thank you for sharing this wonderful tutorial

    ReplyDelete
  25. absolutely fabulous tutorial and learned a new medium. thank you so much!

    ReplyDelete
  26. This is gorgeous - thank you so much for all the information and generous sharing.

    i am a bit confused by the beginning of the process: you wrote "When the leaves are dry, load your brush with another mix of Silks and water using bright colors to add contrast to your page. (For this, I used a darker mix of Jasmine and a bright mix of Ginger Peach.) Wash this paint around your page, allowing the colors to blend and mix.
    You can see how the Silks act as a resist to the watercolor mix."

    However, prior to this you've not mentioned using any watercolors, only Silks (which are acrylic). I'm confused about the comment about "watercolor mix". Did you mean the mix of Silks and water acting like water color? Or was one of you applications actually watercolor paint and you forgot to mention that?

    Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Margie, thanks for your question.

      Yes, you are right...when I refer to watercolor mix I am referring to Silks, heavily diluted with water. This will give you a beautiful, fluid watercolor effect that has a strong bold color.

      I do use regular, matte watercolors behind the flowers at the end, which gives you a lovely contrast. This was the next to last step where I say....

      "Let this layer dry then use a flat brush to paint behind the flowers using regular watercolors.

      This layer of regular watercolor will allow a little of the shimmer to show through. It will also act as a wonderful matte contrast to the shimmering flowers and leaves."

      I hope this clears it up for you. Apologies for my ambiguity.

      Hugs xx

      Delete
    2. Thanks so much, Dion! Your tutorials are great!

      Margie

      Delete
  27. I love what you've created with these stencils and Silks! I have the Silks and they are really amazing.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I am going to have to check out those silks. Your creation is beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
  29. LOVE your gorgeous flowers with the leaf stencil.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Love your page. It's very beautiful. Thanks for sharing, Johanne L.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Wow! I love this tutorial! I could not figure out how on earth you came up with such beautiful journal pages! They are absolutely delicious! I will have to invest on the leaf stencil and the silk. I love that glimmer effect they give!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Once again you have created a garden. Love the colors and the stencil you have used.T he pear looks awesome. waiting to see more of that in detail.
    Susan

    ReplyDelete
  33. What a luscious garden you have created!! Great use of these stencils too!

    ReplyDelete
  34. Wonderful pages! Love how you added the details to the leaves! Thanks for being a part of the hop!

    ReplyDelete
  35. very pretty. Love the way you used the stencils.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Wow, unbelievably beautiful. You worked that stencil to a "T"

    ReplyDelete

If you have any questions or comments, please leave them here. I love to hear from followers. xx