Monday, April 15, 2019

Begin, Explore, and Discover with Paint, Texture, and Stencils


Hi all, it's Gwen back today to share a new project focusing on stencils, paint, and texture. This month I've created a tutorial for this stenciled mixed media collage piece entitled "Begin, Explore, Discover."


To start, I took a piece of 5" x 7" 140lb cold press watercolor paper (although you could also use your art journal) and dry-brushed a few coordinating colors of PaperArtsy Fresco Finish paints to begin the background. 

While the paint was still wet, I sprinkled some of my new Cinnamon Boho Blends embossing powder into the wet paint and then heated and melted it.

While the embossing powder was still hot, I sprinkled in some of Seth Apter's Baked Texture embossing powders in Rocky Road and Taos Sunset and melted those as well. I love the subtle pop of texture and color that you can get from just a sprinkle of EP.

Next I took a piece of an antique letter that I had already colored with Distress Ink, tore out a few pieces, and then edged them with brown and black Archival ink. I laid the papers on top of another piece of paper that had layers of paints and mediums that created a lot of texture so that when I rubbed the ink over top I'd get a frottage effect - all of the texture from the background was picked up by the ink, giving me a nice effect on my collage papers. I adhered those onto my background with matte medium.

Without waiting for the matte medium to dry, I went ahead and took out a few more colors of PaperArtsy paints, starting with Smoked Paprika and then Terra Cotta; I used my fingers to apply them at the bottoms of my collaged pieces. This gives some added contrasting color and also helps to integrate the collage into the piece.  

I waited a few minutes for the paint to dry, then took a piece of rice paper that I'd stenciled using my Collage Textures and Patterns, Circles stencil and Venice Blue PaperArtsy paint and adhered that onto the background with more matte medium.

When the background was completely dry, I used Roxanne Evans Stout's Dream Big stencil along with some brown StazOn pigment ink to stencil the horse onto my piece so that the sun in the background fit into the center of the medallion collaged onto the page.

I then used the Text and Texture Discovery and Text and Texture Explore stencils by Seth Apter along with some black StazOn pigment ink to add the words that became my title.

Next I took some of Seth's new mini stamps for PaperArtsy and used them to add some additional texture and pattern to the background and around the borders.

To finish, I used a black Stabilo All pencil and a gold gel pen for some outlining and mark making.

Here are a few close-ups so you can see more of the texture... it's amazing how quickly you can get so much depth by starting with texture paper and then using a few simple techniques to build up your layers.

That's it for this month... I hope you enjoyed it. If you try your own version of this tutorial at home, I'd love to see, so be sure to link me up. Until next time, happy stenciling!


  1. I love how you build up a scene Gwen always wonderful to see. A fabulous mixture of techniques, the addition of the collage and sprinkles of powder really make this piece your own. Stencils really help us to make the most of an image and make the greatest of art marks. Thank you very much for sharing.
    Creative Hugs Tracey x

    1. Thank you so much Tracey! I love how you can take a few unique elements and really make something individual to your own style, even if you're using commercial products. That's a big part of the fun for me :)

  2. So cool! You have my attention. I will have to try this one.

    1. Thanks Wendy! I can't wait to see what you do with it :)

  3. I love the colors and textures you put into this piece. Can't wait to try some of your embossing powders, too!

    1. Thanks so much Terry! I just got my shipment of powders yesterday evening, so I’ll have them available soon - I’m looking forward to playing more now that I’ve got a good supply:)


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