Thursday, February 2, 2017

6 New Stencils by Our New Designer Melanie Testa & Kunst Puppen Stencils by Andrew Borloz

Author, artist and designer Melanie Testa has joined the StencilGirl cadre of designers and we couldn't be more pleased. 

And then we've got Andrew Borloz' Kunst Puppen (art puppets)!

Melanie's stencils are made to be layered, Andrew's are made to mix and match if you wish.


Keep scrolling down to see Melanie's six stencils and check out her stepped-out technique.

Below, Melanie steps away from working with cloth and into journaling with a discussion of using stencils to pattern and layer. In her own words:

"Journaling is a means for me to space out, calm down and just plain play with drawing, color and patterns. My pages often take days and sometimes weeks to complete, I might draw something viewed in a museum one day, doodle with paint on another, or as you see here, play with stencils and negative space." 

"Pattern, layering and use of negative space are a hallmark of my journaling style." 

"So what is negative space? Negative space is the space around your main motif, while positive space is the motif itself. While many of us use stencils to color the cut out area of the design, I revel in tracing these same designs onto the pages of my journals, and painting the negative space around them. Although I love to draw, I find I am drawn to the use of stencils because of their repeatability and their strict lines, it is just easier to play around with patterning when you have stencils at hand!"

"Lightly trace the design with pencil. Keep a kneaded erase nearby, to press into and 'lift away' or erase any marks that you feel are too dark."

"And then paint outside the lines, in the negative space! Here I am painting with watercolors on watercolor paper, but I have also used this technique with acrylic paint on pine board."

"So long as the paint is dry, you can continue to trace and layer painted layers as often as you like."

~ Melanie Testa

Kunst Puppen

"While I was designing the masks stencils (Kunst Masken), I was also creating the puppet designs. The designs of both the masks and the puppets was inspired and influenced by the various styles from several European art movements and design philosophies such as Bauhaus, De Stijl, Dada and Cubism, which occurred during early 20th century (1910-1930)."

"I have seen marionettes and puppet shows many times - I often enjoyed them in spite of the fact I was not able to hear the spoken lines - the lips are so hard to read as they're so stiff!"

"I also have seen mime and sometimes puppet-like performances by Mummenschanz. When I was a kid, I even wrote a script, created a puppet theatre using cardboard boxes, designed the stage sets, and directed one hand puppet show. Yes, I did all that when I was a fifth grader."

"I was very fascinated with the stage costume designs done by Oskar Schlemmer for a ballet performance at one of the Bauhaus schools. I was also intrigued with stage costumes designed by Fernand Leger for Ballets Suedois (The Swedish Ballet), and with the marionettes designed by Sophie Taeuber-Arp. All of these influences served as a basis for my new puppet stencils."

- Andrew Borloz

Set A (left) L480, Set B (right) L481 - both of these are large 9" x 12" stencils

Kunst Puppen One Male One Female S442, 6" x 6"

Kunst Puppen Set #1 (S442) - I designed this couple as if they were attending a formal gala. The female figure looks like as if she was dressed in Roaring 20's clothing, and the male figure looks like he's either going to a ball or is working in an office with bow-tie and suspenders.

Kunst Puppen  Two Females S443, 6" x 6"

These two figures - one "country" and one "urban" - were created so that they can be used interchangeably by using different heads, shoes, or torsos.

Kunst Puppen Two Males S444, 6" x 6"

Two "action" figures - one "medieval" wearing a beret and a "shield", and one "futuristic & robot-like" with an over inflated torso, arms & legs. They may look anachronistic together, but one can modify them to make it more like "time period correct".

These sets of puppets were designed so that they be used interchangeably with each other (within the same size), or used alone as "dolls" or "action figures". Or any one of these puppets can be used repeatedly to resemble a dance chorus line, a dueling match, or a couple attending a formal gala. One can create a whole new puppet using separate elements from each set described above.

You can peruse all of Andrew's stencils HERE, and Melanie Testa's stencil HERE.


  1. More fabulous stencils! Really love the puppets!

  2. Oh my gosh Andrew and Mellie in one post! I am beside myself. I love both artists and these stencils are amazing. Oh boy so much art to make, so little time.


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