Friday, October 6, 2017

StencilGirl Artist Cathy Nichols: Designing with Kilim!

Designing with Kilim!
Kilim is a traditional design for Turkish rugs that has become very popular lately in the fashion, art and home décor world. I absolutely love using my Kilim Patterns Stencil and find ways to work it into many aspects of my painting & design projects. Today I want to share some ways you, too, can use Kilim to add dimension, interest and a boho flair to different types of art-making.
This is such a versatile stencil that I use almost every week!

Monoprinting with Kilim:  Hang Tags
I used a Gelli Plate, brayer, acrylic paints and blank kraft-colored tags to create fun, colorful Kilim gift tags.  I love attaching these tags to my Story Card oracle decks, student goodie bags and paintings I send in the mail.

Acrylic Painting with Kilim: Creating a Background
I love using Dylusions ink sprays with my Kilim stencils to create interesting backgrounds for acrylic paintings. For this piece, “Nightbird,” I started with a layer of messy dripped acrylic paint on 140 lb watercolor paper. When it dried, I sprayed Dylusions ink over my Kilim stencil to create this vibrant background for the bird and flowers I drew on it afterward.

Encaustic Painting with Kilim: Adding Decorative Details
I use my Kilim stencil all the time to add decorative details to my favorite form of painting – encaustic! If you’ve never tried encaustic painting, it’s a method of using melted, pigmented beeswax to paint. I love using StencilGirl stencils with encaustics because the stencils leave a crisp, defined edge that is very hard to achieve freehand with melted wax! Here are a few examples of pieces I created using my StencilGirl Kilim stencil.
In “She’s a Wildflower,” I used the dot pattern and chevron also included in the 9" x 12" Kilim stencil to add boho details to this whimsical landscape.

In “The Storyteller,” I used the dot pattern to add interest and fill out the composition of this more abstract encaustic piece.

I am always finding more ways to use my StencilGirl stencils!
See more of my work at and follow me on Instagram for daily updates @cathynicholsart.


  1. Absolutely fabulous! Love all that rich colour layered so beautifully!

  2. I'm just starting to gather some materials/supplies to start encaustic. The warm wax doesn't hurt the stencil? I hadn't thought to use stencils. That's such a good idea and of course will lead me to more stencils lol

  3. Love all that rich colour layered so beautifully!


  4. What a nice Desining with Kilim! I absolutely love using my Kilim Patterns Stencil as well. Many of us like the traditional design for Turkish rugs due to its beautification. Besides, I praise your talent of your good work.


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