Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Trena Brannon: Adding Words and Sentiments to your Artwork

 Hello Beautiful People!

Trena Brannon here today to share with you some of my favorite ways to use alphabet and word stencils in my artwork! Alphabet stencils are so versatile. They can be used in the background, as a focal point, and/or give a voice in your artwork. 

Idea1: Bookmark Tags. These are special bookmarks for a special birthday party - my grandson’s first! The party happened back in February and we had a great time! I would have never guessed my house could hold that many people. :)  I customized each tag with the childs name and attached it to their goodie bags.
For the background, I used a paintbrush and sponges to add watercolor randomly on mixed media heavy stock tags. I made several warm and cool tags.  After the tags dried completely, I added interest and texture with stencils [SC-06-2019, SC-08-2019, SC-11-2019]  and acrylic paint.
After that layer dried, I added each name with the Brush Alphabet L645 stencil and a variety of white and black pens, including Jane Davenport paint pens, Faber Castel Pitt pens and white Shapie Paint pens, to the tags and drew little images to make each tag special.
Idea 2: Greeting Cards. For the background of these two A2 size greeting cards, I used   Squares Overlapping Filled L781 and alcohol inks over golden gel medium - regular gel (semi-gloss) onto Yupo paper.  Click here to see a video of the full steps for the alcohol ink technique.   I fussy cut the words.  I just love the results of the blending, contrast and texture!   The words are from Positively Positive S643.
The next greeting card is 5 1/4 inches square.  The background is made with alcohol inks on Yupo. I used canned air to create the shape of the flower petals. The words made with the gel medium technique as described above. I cute them out with a trimmer.  The words are from I Get to Choose L648.
In the A2 size greeting card below, I stamped the daisy. The vase is a die cut (MFT) of some design paper I had in my stash.  I used a Tombow marker through the  Opportunity and Progress S642 stencil. The stamped image is from RubberNecker Stamps. The watercolors are by Hydracolour.
Idea 3: In an Art Journal. Creating in my Dylusions journal, I used soft pastels (variety in my stash including Diane Townsend and Pan Pastels) through Mod Ovals and Circles Large Stencil L271 and the large stencil from Stencil Club November 2017 - Fragmented, and added some mark marking and blending to create the first layer of background. I sprayed it twice with a fixative (SpectraFix), letting it dry in between coats.  I added the next layer to the background using the pastels through Frazzled and Ruffled Feathers Stencil and Mask M073 - using both parts of the stencil, in a few random spots. I love how soft the edges are with the pastels. Because I had sprayed the first layer with a fixative, the second layer did not blend - allowing the detail of stencil to shine. I sprayed the fixative over the second layer and let it dry - two coats, letting it dray in between.
For the words, I dabbed a tulip sponge dauber in a VersaMark ink pad and lightly pounced it through the My Mind S641 and These Jeans L647 stencils. Next I used a make up sponge to spread pastels over the VersaMark. The ink is tacky and holds on to the pastels which creates a darker shade. I really dig the softness of the technique! 
Idea 4: On a Canvas. I started by painting gesso over a 8x10 canvas board from a previous project that had layers of acrylic paint and some circles made with a bathroom tissue roll.  I used a dry sponge technique with white paint through  Brush Alphabet L645 stencil to add another layer of interest to the background. After it dried completely, I drew/painted the vase and flowers with oil pastels (Crayola, Cray-Pas Expressions and some generic ones) and colored in the word joy from the I Get to Choose L648 stencil. 
 The scratch designs were made with a tiny screwdriver. 
Click here to see a video showing you how to use alphabet and word stencils in your artwork highlighting various techniques and art supplies.

TIPS/Suggestions on using Alphabet/word stencils: 

NOTE: I listed the supplies I used, however I recommend you use whatever supplies you have in your stash. You may be happy with the results and not have to spend any money. :)

1.           be mindful of your paper and supplies, wet supplies will run under the stencil on watercolor paper.  When you want a painterly look, the results will please you. If you want a crisp look, the results will be different than you expect.
2.           when applying paint, use a dry brush or dry sponge and dab off most of the paint to get crisp lines. If you want a different, more painterly look, use a slightly damp brush or sponge - totally up to you, go for the look you want.
3.           press the stencil firmly to the surface and follow along the letters just as you would if you were writing the words with your handwriting - as with all stencils, be mindful of the tiny bridges that make the connections for the stencil. 
4.           use a thin paint brush or same color marker to connect the letters to each other to make them look seamless
5.           if needed, smooth the letters with a thin paint brush or the same color marker
6.           for words/phrases "in the center of an area," count the letters and start in the middle. I actually write them down so I don't get lost along the way. hehehe
7.           for words ending at a specific place, start at the end of the word
8.           I encourage you to take your time, just like with hand brush lettering
9.           Use a light color paint to apply your words/letters through the stencil and then trace over it with black or white or a contrasting color.
10.       recommendation: test your technique on scrap paper before you apply on your artwork.
11.       Have fun!

Thank you for allowing me to share with you today!
Take care and STAY POSITIVE!


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