Friday, May 13, 2016

Suzi Dennis: Doodling with Stencils

Hi there! Suzi Dennis here!

I love to have sheets of doodling paper handy to use in my collages. It just gives the piece some real interest and I usually don't want to stop and doodle on the piece itself because I'm so wrapped up in moving forward with the art and doodling is a slow down process. So I just do some of my painted papers with doodling and have them ready to use when needed. These are a couple of samples using pieces of "doodling paper" in my collages.

So here we go with my process.

1.   First of all I choose my surface. Here I am going to work on tissue paper because I really love tissue paper in collage, but you can use whatever you wish. I use other papers too. 

2.   Here are my stencils I am going to use. I have labeled each one.

3.   Before I get too involved, I gather the pens I am going to use.
I use Faber Castel Pitt pens and Motlotow markers and some Gelly Roll Gel pens in some areas. That is the only pen I use that is not permanent so if you are going to use these and use the paper for collage, be sure to spray good first with an acrylic spray. These are my favorites. I love the way you can blend with Pitt Pens but you use whatever you want. I also prefer to use FW Acrylic White ink with a pen for the white areas. It is just brighter and I like it better.

4.   The first thing I am doing is put down a base color on my tissue. I am going to use red in this demo. Also, I am using a small piece of tissue. You can use whatever size you want, but the doodling itself takes some time so starting out small is usually more successful.

5.   The idea here is to make shapes to build your doodling on. 
It's kind of a "Jump Start" to doodling. My first stencil I'm using is "Letter Mania". It will make a good base to start doodling. I like to brush on my paint on stencils versus stamping and sponging. I have found I like this best BUT to be successful at doing this you must work with dry brush, dry stencil, dry paint (no water mixed in paint). Once you incorporate water into any of it, you are toast. Keep it all dry and it works great and goes on much faster.

6.   Here is the tissue with the red background and Letter Mania stenciled on in white.

7. Then I take my "Flower Pot" mask and lay it down. Yes, I cut the Flower off because I use them separate most of the time and when I want to use together, it is no problem to lay them together.
Now I start coloring in the white areas that show through the stencil with my Pitt Pens doing some blending as I go.

8.And here is the final result of that step.

9.Next layer is to take the Letter Mania Stencil again, turn it another way from how you laid down the first layer, and using my fine point "S" Pitt Pen, I start outlining the spaces in the stencil.

10.And here is the result from that step.

11.Now the fun begins!! Decide what spaces you want to do your main doodle marks in and start doodling. Here I used my Molotow Red and Black, my "S" Pitt Pen and a Gelli Roll pen.

12.Once I established that, I took my red Molotow and colored in between the spaces I want to doodle in so it will be easier to "read"
Then off I go filling the page!

Now remember....from here on out is a slow process and takes time. That is why I recommend starting with a small piece of paper if you want to make collage paper, or you can have fun with this in a journal. The point is to try something new and have fun doing it!

And here is the Grand finale!!
WHA - LA....

 Don't you just love the way all that color just shines through? Not to mention the shapes!

And here is a black and white in progress. Easy breezy!
I just painted a black background (or you can work on black paper) and used the bottom part of flower pot stencil to stencil on the shapes in white then doodle in black and white.

I hope you enjoyed this little tutorial and that it will give you some fun and creative ideas for using your stencils in a new and different way.


  1. Oh, I love this! Because I've been in one of your classes, I know how well you teach this and I thank you for sharing this with all of us!

  2. Awesome, as always Suzi!!! I can't wait to give this a try. :) Jackie

  3. Can't wait to give it a try! Love your writing style, btw.

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  5. Beautiful and inspiring.

  6. Suzi, I'm constantly amazed! Thank you for sharing!

  7. oh my gosh! when I return from a trip, I'm taking out my mixed media supplies and going for it. Stencil Girl stencils are the best and I love the way you work with them.

  8. This looks like so much fun and a great way to make papers for collage. Thanks for sharing.


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