Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Stencils and Stitch: Journey of the Process by Kimberly Baxter Packwood

Spray Bottle
Container for cleaning brushes
#6 flat brush
Heavy Mixed Media Paper
Gel Medium
Graphite Pencils
Graphite Sticks
Water soluble pencil and/or graphite stick
Tissue paper and/or scraps of vintage papers
Fabric and or yarn/thread scraps
Needle, thread, and scissors

We’ll be working with the dry on wet technique, where the background stays wet while you work with dry mediums such as charcoal and pastels.

Heavy Mixed media paper apply part or all of the Inverse Birds in Tree Stencil using a graphite pencil.

Apply light layer of gesso to the paper, you don’t want to completely blur out the stencil design, however you do want to push it into the background as we will be adding more birds to the foreground.

While the gesso is damp, of if necessary spritz it with some water, apply the water soluble graphite to the tree trunks on your design, omitting the birds.

Further blur the tree trunks and branches by apply water with a fine round paint brush, don’t worry about staying inside of the lines we want our trees to look as organic as possible. Think of the stencil as a guideline for starting, not for the exact image.

Using a blue pastel stick add some blue coloring to the top of your page to give the illusion of sky. I worked quickly onto the wet gesso blending it with a sponge as I went a long into the wet gesso.

Using olive green, yellow ochre, and brownish pastels add grasses, and the like to the bottom of the page, layering the colors to create a foreground.

Apply crow stencil to bottom left hand side of scene.

I used my water soluble black pencil, you could use a watercolor pencil, to color in the larger crow, and then loosely applied water to create the base layer for the crow. I then started adding birds into the tree branches.

On the tree itself I omitted several of the tree branches when drawing the stencil design onto the page to create what appears to be a larger twisted tree trunk.

I then colored in a couple of the birds using a water soluble red pencil but you can use water color pencils instead. I then decided I didn’t like the red color and applied more water and blotted it away with a piece of paper towel.

And then I decided the crow needed to be pushed into the background, so I covered it with a strip of tissue paper using gel medium. Experiment with where you’d like the tissue paper to be on your piece, you may want more or even less of the bird showing compared to where I placed the tissue paper.

The piece lacked a focal point, so I took a fabric tea bag and traced my stencil design onto the bag using a very fine point graphite pencil.  I then glued the bag, using gel medium, to the background, and machine stitched the stencil design using my sewing machine.

I reworked the crow by machine stitching over it with a neutral colored thread.

I then placed the stencil back onto the piece and strategically drew bits of the stencil atop the background and machine stitched using neutral tone threads to prevent the background from competing with the focal point.

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