Monday, April 3, 2017

Guest Designer: Diane Salter

Hi, everyone! Diane Salter here! Happy to be here today as guest designer for StencilGirl products and share with you my latest art piece using one of my favorite art supplies...stencils! I have to say that I have an obsession for stencils with StencilGirl being at the top of my list. When I make art I usually have to have a plan in mind. My stencils are always a great source of inspiration for me, and for this project, I used a number of them, but the 2 that gave me my main theme were Carolyn Dube's Once Upona Time and Are We There Yet stencils.
The way I get started most times is by painting papers; this is how I warm up with more ideas coming to mind. I like to use 110lb cardstock with my favorite paints, Golden Fluid Acrylics, and of course stencils. The stencils that I used were Carol Weibe's Machinations WP, Laurie Mika's Pilgrimage toMexico, Maria McGuire's Doodle It Borders, and Carolyn Dube's Circular Patterns for Play and Are We There Yet. I also like to combine the stencils and painting with other mark making tools, such as a texture comb, brayer, paint splatters, bottle caps, foam stamps, rubber stamps, etc., basically whatever you have in your home that will make a fun mark on your paper. Here are my finished papers:
The surface I chose was a 12 x 16 birch cradle board, and I decided to adhere (using gel medium) a map on to it for my first layer. I knew that I was going to make hot air balloons with the theme being travel, so the map was an obvious decision for me.
I pretty much covered up the map in my next layer with paint (yellow ochre, Indian yellow hue and Quinn azo gold), but when the paint was dry I brought some of it back by using 91% alcohol. I spray a little of the alcohol on selected areas of the surface and wipe off a little of the paint in those areas so parts of the map can peek through. I also added my 'landscape' using my papers and also some more of the map. I used gel medium for the collage part. A good tip: when adhering heavier papers, it makes it easier to work with them by moistening the back of the paper with some water, which also helps avoid air bubbles, using a brayer to adhere them.
So next was creating my images. I drew a basic hot air balloon template, and then cut it into sections as seen in the photo. I numbered the sections, and then used these pieces as pattern pieces for my chosen painted papers. I numbered the back of the painted papers also to coincide with the template pieces.
Next was creating my castles using Once Upon a Time. And how fun is this stencil with masks?! 
Now it was time to bring everything together. I went back to my surface with Once Upon a Time again using the small row of castle masks for the background.
Then I added the balloons and castles bringing them all together with the gel medium. I also added a layer of gel medium over the top of the collaged pieces when I was finished to seal everything in. This prepares the surface for the next layer.
After everything was dry I added highlights and shadows to the balloons with Faber Castell Pitt pens. They have every color of the rainbow (which I have), so I was able to find colors for this next step. I also outlined the images with carbon black paint and a black Pitt pen. For added depth to the background I used some oil pastels, which are very fun to work with. I also added some more words from Are We There Yet.
To finish up I used the stencils for the castles from Carolyn Dube's Once Upon a Time for a little more detail, using a little titan buff and a permanent pen to add to the windows. And also added shading to them with my Pitt pens as I did in the balloons.
I always like to spray my pieces with a workable fixative before I varnish them. And then I'll apply a couple coats of gloss varnish, which I prefer, but you could also use a satin or matte finish, whatever you favor.
Thank you so much StencilGirl Products for asking me to be a guest. I love sharing my art and techniques, and if anyone would like to see more of my work, you can visit me at my blog where I also have other tutorials. My blog is: http://dianesalter.blogspot.comYou can also find the link to my Facebook art page at my blog.


  1. Thank you for giving step by step instructions, would like to see more of your work with instructions

  2. Love love love this piece of art you've created Diane! So colorful and fun!

  3. Diane, your art really is full of adventure. I love the playfulness of it!

  4. I won Carolyn Dube's stencils and love every one of them. I am so glad you used them to create your art piece, which I also love love love. I am an avid follower of you, Diane, and probably own half of Stencil Girls (LOL) Thank you for the inspiration. Sue

  5. Love the page.
    Hot air balloon are a favorite design
    and these are great, along with the
    tall houses.
    thanks for sharing.


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