Thursday, April 16, 2015

You Are My Sunshine

Welcome to StencilGirl Artist Cathy Nichols!!!!

Today I'd like to share an encaustic painting I created for Mother's Day using stencils that I designed for StencilGirl! I'm excited to share this process with you because it highlights the way that you can take a design to new levels by incorporating a few stencils. And this is exactly how I envisioned other artists using my stencils when I designed them!
I got the idea for this painting while sketching in the garden with my children. My boyfriend started playing "You Are My Sunshine" on the guitar, and I did a little drawing of a mommy and baby bird while listening to the music.

After considering my color palette and design, I redrew the sun and transferred just the sun and grassy hill onto a 6x6 inch wood panel. Then I covered it with a layer of pure beeswax. Next I painted the sun using 3 different hues of yellow and added a green base to the hill.  

After I filled in the sun and added the mommy and baby bird, I realized that my stencils would be a simple, elegant alternative to hand-painting the little flowers I had initially sketched on the grass.  I decided to layer a bright green pattern from my City Stories Stencil over the dark green grass to add dimension

A great way to add the pattern is just to lay the stencil over the painting and mask it off. Here I masked off the pattern so it matched the hill underneath. This was so easy, and the results were really cool!

When using encaustic paint, it really helps to heat the wax up with a heat gun after you have painted it over the stencil. This helps the paint to distribute evenly and makes for clean edges. I also added a touch of the blue sky paint to the pattern for balance. Here is the result!

When I looked at this composition, I liked it, but I felt it needed a bit more pizazz in the center of the sun. After mulling over several options, I realized that the sun from my "Sun and Moon" StencilGirl stencil would be a perfect accent.

This was a little tricky because I used the sun at the last minute and I needed it to go behind the birds.  Luckily, I still had my original drawing, so I just cut the birds out of paper, put these paper 'masks' on top of the painted birds and laid the Sun and Moon stencil on top. Then I applied a lighter yellow paint.  

Here is the final painting: "You Are My Sunshine." 

I hope that you, too, can find inspiration using the patterns and design elements in my StencilGirl stencil! I designed them to be used in just this way so that you could piece them together and make them your own! Wishing you much creativity and, of course, a happy Mother's Day! xox-- Cathy Nichols.
To see more of my work, visit my website at HERE and you can see all of my designs at StencilGirl HERE.
Stencils Used:


  1. LOVE this! So very bright and happy - perfect for spring! You're making want to not give up on encaustics!

  2. Such lovely colors and textures, Cathy! So wonderful to see your process!


If you are entering a GIVEAWAY, please add your email address in the event we need to contact you.

To avoid SPAM, please write it like this:

marybeth (at) stencilgirltalk (dot com)

Thank You!