Painting with Stencils
Stenciling is an ancient craft, used since the Egyptians painted with stencils in the tombs of the pharaohs. Over the course of history, stenciling has fallen in and out of favor, and both peasants and kings have employed it to decorate walls, churches and furniture.
Once again, it is a fashionable and stylish choice for adding personality and pizzazz to home décor, and craftsmen use it to embellish many decorative items.
Artists also use stenciling, creating stylized motifs and quickly completed multiple images on a support. These may be the basis for further painting and used as a template to place objects in a painting.
Stencils To Buy
The craftsman, needing perfect letters and numbers, buys ready-cut sets of stencils. Manufactured stencils give professional results, without discrepancy or painterly quality. These are perfect for signage and other items that require a professional, non-artsy appearance.
There are countless stencils of popular designs. Fruit, flowers, vines and leaves are popular among the craft set. Animals, simple shapes and geometric forms and borders are also fashionable.
Technology has advanced significantly in commercial stencil production. The laser-cut stencils available in intricate and large patterns have broadened the scope of the craftsman’s work immensely.
Stencils To Create
Craftsmen and artists want an inventive, painterly appearance to their work. Commercial stencils, while impressive in the size and intricacy they achieve, are not what an artist wants to include in his own, unique work.
However, stencils are useful tools, and many craftsmen create their own. A craftsman may design a stencil for the line of items he sells. Now he can freely recreate the image on the entire group of products. Because they are handmade and hand-applied, there will be small variations and inconsistencies. That is part of the charm of handcrafted items.
An artist may be interested in creating repetition, on either one painting or a series of works. A stencil works well for laying down a basic shape quickly. He may wish to use a border within his painting. If he paints an interior wall that has a border, he would need to recreate that border. Many situations in composition and design are appropriate for a stencil.
How To Make A Stencil
Creating a stencil is an easy project, which costs little and requires few basic tools and supplies. Stencils made of thin cardboard or poster board are useful for a short time. A permanent stencil is made of vinyl or Mylar. Mylar is most commonly used for commercial stencils, and is available in sheets of various sizes at most craft and art stores.
Mylar is available in various thicknesses, and the intended use will dictate the type to purchase. Thin Mylar is best suited for objects that are rounded, or have convex or concave shape. It conforms to the surface and is easy to place, without bulges or gaps.