Tuesday, July 22, 2014

How to Stencil on a Mixed Media Canvas - "Enjoy All Things" Canvas

A few weeks ago I was asked by a few local scrapbooking & crafting ladies in my area to teach a mixed media painting class to them - they really wanted to know more about how to stencil on a mixed media canvas project. If you've been creating mixed media art, art journaling, or painting for a while, using stencils might seem old hat. But for scrapbookers and crafters who like straight lines and "unmessy" projects, paint and stenciling has a permanency to it that is quite intimidating. It's scary!

What if I MESS UP my piece?

What if I don't like it after I put the paint down and stencil it?

What if it looks UGLY?!


Okay, crafty friends, let's calm down.

The beauty of stenciling is that it can be undone ;) Just paint over it! And, it is much easier than you might think! 

I created the base of this canvas in this class as I taught it, decoupaging book pages onto canvas and then painting and stamping over top of the canvas. Now's where the fun starts - the stencils, of course!

Here are some tips for how to stencil on a mixed media canvas for the first time:
  • Less is better - load your brush with the least amount of paint possible. This helps prevent the paint from bleeding under the stencil, which can happen when you add too much at once. I load up the foam brush and then I dab some off on a paper towel or my palette - this makes it "dry" and better for stenciling. 
  • Dab the brush onto the stencil - painting or brushing over it can make the paint seep under the stencil.
  • "Practice" on a scrap of paper or the back of your project before stenciling directly on the canvas. Then, "practice" again by stenciling the sides of the gallery wrapped canvas. Finally, stencil onto your project directly.
  • Keep wet paper towels or baby wipes handy to wipe away any mistakes as soon as they occur.
  • If a mistake can't be wiped away, paint over it, allow it to dry, and then stencil again.
  • Consider using Workable Fixatif between layers of stenciled images or paint to protect the work you've already done from potential new mistakes.
  • Sometimes the best images are created from "mistakes"!
  • Have fun!
In a couple of spots on this canvas, I loaded my brush with too much paint and it seeped under the stencil. I took my fingers and a paper towel and smeared the paint to create a streaked image with the excess paint. If you don't tell anyone, they'll think you got that effect on purpose! I smeared the doodling on the canvas to continue the smearing theme and look to make the piece look cohesive:

Here are the supplies I used on this piece:
At the end of the class, everyone had a different and unique piece, with various colors and choices of stencils, yielding completely original results for each person! A little time experimenting is all everyone needed to be comfortable stenciling with paint and ink. Now, what are you going to stencil next?

Thanks for visiting us here at StencilGirlTalk today! 

Happy Stenciling,

Jennifer Priest

Visit my blog at HydrangeaHippo.com


  1. Great beginner tips, This Girl needs some!!!

  2. Nice Jennifer! I love what you did! Thanks.

  3. Love your canvas. The texture is marvelous!

  4. Love how nonjudgmental she is about what works and what doesn't. She creates with abandon! Nice work!

  5. I have a few pages I rescued with the "smearing theme.". Just keep telling yourself there are no rules, sontherevare no mistakes. Great post!

  6. Beautiful canvas! It was fun to see the process in the making... great video!


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