Friday, July 14, 2017

How to Make a Graffiti Surface Pattern with StencilGirl Stencils by Martice Smith II

Hi everyone! Martice Smith here, sharing a few simple, stenciling techniques you can use if you don’t have a bunch of stencils to play with. Can you believe that we’re only gonna be using TWO stencils?! I promise you that it’ll be easier than it sounds.

The techniques I’ll be sharing with you today are quite simple. Use them to create a striking effect as a focal point or practice building up gorgeous, colorful layers for background papers. Get ready to create some MAJOR impact in your journal!

Here’s what you’ll need:



Supplies + Tools:
  • Acrylic paints (I’ll be using the new Americana Premium Acrylic paints from DecoArt: Cobalt Teal Hue + Burnt Umber)
  • Spray inks (I’ll be using Primary Magenta + Yellow from DecoArt Media)
  • Your art journal
  • Craft mat + paint palette
  • Gelatin plate + Rubber brayer
  • Scrap paper (same size or larger than your journal page)
  • Paintbrushes + foam brush
  • Assortment of paint pens + markers
  • Container of water + rag
  • Water spray bottle

STEP 1 // Spray inks
Spray two analogous colors of inks onto a craft mat. (If you’re unsure what analogous colors are, they are the colors that are side-by-side to each other on the color wheel.)

Next, use your water spray bottle to spray a few mists of water onto both of the colors.

Side note: Did you know that you can add a spinning color wheel to your art journal to help you choose the perfect colors?
We have a tutorial right here, for ya: How to Make a Color Wheel for your Art Journal

STEP 2// Smoosh the paper into the ink
Oooh! This is my favorite part!
Pick up your journal and lay it face down, directly on top of the ink.

Slowly remove your journal from the craft mat and place it face up.

This simple technique creates a unique and spontaneous effect, doesn’t it? Let the paper dry completely before moving on to the next step.
(TIP: Use a hair dryer or heat gun to speed up the drying process.)

STEP 3// Pull a print from the gelatin plate
Squeeze out some Cobalt Teal Hue onto the gelatin plate. Use a rubber brayer to spread the paint in an even layer.

Next, lay down the Scribble Scratch Handwriting stencil on top.

I only want the scribbly lines to show on my print. So, in order for me to get those lines, I’ll need to remove all of the paint that’s AROUND the stencil design.

Here’s how I did that: I took a piece of scrap paper (cardstock or deli paper will work) to pick up the exposed paint. Remember, the exposed paint is the paint that’s NOT covered by the stencil.)

Keeping the stencil on the plate, I pulled my first print.
After pulling the print, I immediately removed the stencil, flipped the gelatin plate, face down, onto my art journal and pressed, using the palms of my hands.

This method allows me to use the gelatin plate as a stamping tool and also gives me the control I need (from pressing down) to create those crisp lines.

STEP 4// Repetition with a stencil  
To create impact, repetition is a design principle that works like magic.

Using a foam brush or a cosmetic sponge (for more control), dab it into a dark color. Instead of using a flat black paint, I decided to a some variation of color by mixing Burnt Umber + Cobalt Teal Hue.

While holding the stencil down with your fingers, gently tap the foam brush onto the open areas of the face stencil.

(TIP: Use way less paint than you think you should use! I learned this the hard way and got paint seepage under my stencil. The result? A glob of paint and a blurry image. Yuck!)
STEP 5// Repeat across entire page
Slightly move the stencil up or down before stenciling the next image. This will create a sense of rhythm and movement and will keep your eyes moving around the page.

Overlap the stencil to create unity for a seamless pattern of faces.

STEP 6// Mark-making with paint pens + markers
Embellish with your own handwriting and add other elements that represent your style.

Take a chunky marker and add your thoughts to the surface, along the inky drips.
Don’t try to be neat - the messier the BETTER! Take the pressure off and enjoy the process.

Thank you for visiting us today! I hope you enjoy the process of getting messy and smooshing inks and acrylics.

Share your projects with us!
Tag @stencilgirl_products and @MarticeSmithArt or use the hashtag #stencilgirl
To learn more about Martice and her mixed media art tutorials, please visit her website or follow the inspiration trail on her Instagram  @MarticeSmithArt.


  1. Love all the different ways you made those colors sing Martice!

    1. Thank you so much, Carolyn! I had a lot of fun with this project.

  2. You have an amazing facility with color -- your combinations make happy songs!

  3. What a cool technique and project thanks for sharing ❤️❤️❤️

  4. Wow! Very cool project! Amazing color play & fun stencil play. Love this! Also love the cute photo of you at the end. It's fun & playful with a dash of mischief! And it would make a perfect stencil!

  5. This is so cool! I want to try it!


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