Saturday, July 28, 2012

Experiments in Watercolor: Background Stencils

 Part of what I was looking forward to this summer was having time to go back to my daily painting practice.

After designing projects and teaching these to the kids all year I have little time for my own work, not to mention the housework, the daily walk I'd love to take, extra homework with my own kids, etc, etc.

....enough complaining already....

I have been wanting to try this for a while so today was the day.

I was at the Dollar Store and I picked all these letter and number stencils.  Some are hard plastic some are mylar (thin like a transparency).

I thought they would be great as paint stencils for doing mixed media collage (don't worry that post will show up soon).

For a buck I decided to pick up quite a few, some I left full size and others I cut down for doing small areas.

For background papers I would normally use acrylic but I wanted to do some watercolor practice today so I thought I would experiment.

Using different stencils I painted a background on watercolor paper.  The paint was just tube wc that I had left in my palette to dry.

I did this randomly.

Let dry.

I found it too overwhelming.  I wanted to minimize it a bit,  push it back into the background so using a plain water wash I painted over it and let it blur.

Let dry.

I then did my pencil sketch on top...

....and then did my painting adding a little ink and extra pencil where needed.

People who visit my house are always searching for new paintings of I decided to have a frame on display where I would switch out those daily paintings.

Have a good weekend and check back Monday for a new book giveaway and project.


  1. This turned out well i have been enjoying your experiments with the kids and hope u get to enjoy your break and paint your heart out , thanks for sharing ...oh i have u on my google reader ...

    hugz bev

  2. This is a lovely way to use stencils: I really like the way you diffused the letters and added the image on top. The picture reminds me of a student heading off to his first day of school! I would love to try this with my middle school students in the fall.
    Gail, could you please check out my work at I would value your feedback! Thanks!

  3. Hmm...never tried watercolour with stencils...but hey you're right...why not!? Love the result.