Wednesday, August 26, 2015

How to Pop Your Art with Subtle Use of Stencils

Hi! Kirsten Reed here today and I am going to show you how to incorporate stencils into your art in a subtle way.
I decided to work with a small 5x7 canvas, perfect size for gifts. 

I begin by marking my blank canvas with Marie McGuire's Doodle It Tornado Flowers stencil in various bright colors and no pre-determined pattern all over the canvas.  I use a cosmetic sponge for light dabbing.

The canvas begins to look like this:

I then sketched a small country church on to the canvas.  I see a lot of these where I live here in TN and they are so charming to me.  You could really sketch anything you wanted.

After my sketch is on the dried paint, I begin to block out SOME of the background.  I like to let bits and pieces "peek" through.  I continue by painting in some of the church.

I then decide to use one of Mary Beth Shaw's Stencil Club stencils to add in some cobbled looking roof tiles in gray paint.

I get this look.  I am not finished.  I purposely did not use paint everywhere, again to allow the background colors to peek through. 

I finish up the roof with some light dabs of white in various spots with the same stencil.

 Now, I do my finishing work.  I add shadows, paint the door and add some layers of blue in different shades to my sky.  All the while, allowing some colors to peek through.

I finish up the piece with a little pen work for details and incorporate the word "peace" along the front of the church.

Thank you for joining me.  I hope this helps spur some ideas on how you can use stencils subtly to rev up your artwork!  If you would like to see more of my work, please follow me on Instagram and Kirsten Reed Designs on Facebook.  Hope to see you again!


  1. Beautiful painting Kirsten! I loved seeing your process on this one... very cool!

  2. You explained it so well! Absolutely inspired to give it a whirl. Thank you!

  3. What a cozy and inviting little church you created -- especially with those stained glass windows!

  4. I love your instructions -very clear, and your ideas. You have inspired me to try stencils on a canvas!

  5. Kirsten--I love how you did the layers on this is like there is a "secret" in the house xoxoxoxo BEAUTIFUL!


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