Showing posts with label stencil art. Show all posts
Showing posts with label stencil art. Show all posts

Roller Skating Robot Santa Christmas card

Roller Skating Robot Santa Stencil art
Roller Skating Robot Santa.
Scanned stencil art.

There is no reason for Robot Santa to be on skates. No underlying metaphor, or commentary on the Christmas season. It's just how he rolls.

Visit Pixbyrichard on Redbubble to shop for
Roller Skating Robot Santa as Christmas cards,
t-shirts. mugs, tote bags and other decorated gift items

Christmas Beetle Christmas cards

stencil art Christmas beetleChristmas beetle flying stencil art

Christmas beetle flying and Christmas beetle.
Originally designed as stencil art styled Christmas cards, now available on a whole lot of gift items.

Visit Pixbyrichard on Redbubble to shop for Christmas Beetle
gift cards, t-shirts and other decorated gift items

Christmas beetles Anoplognathus pallidicollis can appear in large numbers approaching the Christmas holiday season in Australia. They are large beetles, often appearing shiny gold or metallic green.

The original versions of these Christmas beetles were hand printed by sponging paint through stencils. The prints looked lovely but didn't scan very well thanks to a very thick bumpy paint application. I needed clean well defined digital files to sell the artworks online, so I actually scanned the hand cut stencil forms and coloured the resulting shapes digitally. So these beetles are a bit digital and a bit hand made. I do a lot of combining digital and hand made art. Hopefully I am good enough at this that it is hard to tell where the digital ends and the hand made starts.

Stencil print - Rufous Songlark Sings

stencil art of a Rufous Songlark

Rufous Songlark is singing about the good things of Summer.

The Rufous Songlark is a small bird native to grasslands of Eastern Australia. Each Summer the male bird sings almost constantly.

This 2 colour stencil design was originally cut and hand printed to be part of the Bimblebox 153 Birds Project. 153 printmakers have each represented one of the 153 birds known to use the Bimblebox nature refuge. This nature refuge in central Western Queensland, Australia, is to be destroyed as it is in the path of a mega coal mine.

The prints contributed to the 153 Birds Project now form a touring exhibition raising awareness about the plight of the nature refuge and the potential threat these vast coal mines represent to the biodiversity of the region.

Visit Pixbyrichard on Redbubble 
to shop for Rufous Songlark Sings on gift cards, giclee art prints and home decor

zoomorph animal cards and t-shirts

Deer cat

A cat with deer antlers

deer cat stencildeer cat

Horned dachshund

Dachshund with the horns of an oryx.

horned dachshundhorned dachshund

Moose mouse

A mouse with moose antlers
moose mouseMoose Mouse

Winged rabbit

A rabbit with bird wings

   winged rabbit stencil


A pug with the body and tentacles of an octopus
octopug stenciloctopug stencil

devil prints

tasmanian devil stencil
Spent this morning printing some devils. No, not demon figures with horns, but the furry marsupial variety. Tasmanian Devil - marsupial carnivore the size of a small dog with a large mouth and big teeth. They are facing extinction in the wild because of Devil Facial Tumour Disease.

I designed this stencil as one of two options for a joint show I am involved with. I ended up going with the other option, a linocut of a wombat's foot, but now I am unsure of my decision. Such nagging doubts.

The stencil is based on a photo I took ages ago.

stencil paper
acrylic paint
elephant dung paper

tasmanian devil stencil

tasmanian devil stencil

tasmanian devil stencil

tasmanian devil stencil

tasmanian devil stencil

Tutorial - How to stencil print gift cards

stencil printed christmas beetle cards

A thorough step-by-step description
of how I print stencil art gift cards

People appreciate it when you hand make cards to give out for birthdays and Christmas time, but there just aren't enough hours in the day to make personalised cards for everybody. So as a happy compromise I hand print cards in batches.

Stencil art is simple, fun, inexpensive, and creates unique art with a lovely hand crafted finished result, so is a great print method to use for making cards. There are three parts to the process: making the stencil, preparing materials and surface for printing cards and printing the cards.

*WARNING* stencil art is addictive! Once you start painting it's hard to know when to stop. You might just start stencil painting every available surface at hand - wrapping paper, walls, pets, vehicles, family members, and so on.

What you will need to design and cut out a stencil
  • a pencil
  • paper to sketch on
  • a design concept! - a star, a fish, a face, what-ever takes your fancy.
  • some 'ezy cut stencil paper' and a ball point pen or acetate and a fine permanent marker
  • a sharp craft knife or good scissors
  • cutting mat

What you will need to print the stencil design onto gift cards
  • your beautifully cut out stencil design
  • nice thick card to print the design onto
  • paint - acrylic dries quickly, which is good
  • some water
  • a sponge or rag to paint with
  • a bench or table surface to print upon
  • old news paper or large sheets of waste paper to protect the bench or table
  • paper towel to keep things clean
  • somewhere safe the cards can sit undisturbed while the paint dries
  • envelopes for your cards

Designing and cutting out the stencil

Use the pencil and paper to sketch your design. It can be anything you like - a star, a word, a flower, a fish, a robot, a face, what ever you like. For my cards I designed a Christmas beetle, as it's a little seasonal without being religious or tacky.

christmas beetle sketch

Important!  Make sure you don't design any 'islands'. For instance, if you are cutting out a stencil of the letter 'A' you can't cut out the entire outside shape and then leave the middle bit of the 'A' remaining, as the middle bit will just drop out. That's an island folks! Instead, join the centre shape to the outside shape with bridges. The same applies to all stencil images, not just letters. Have a go, you will see what I mean.

When you are happy with your design, trace it onto some ezy cut stencil paper with a ball point pen (or onto acetate with a permanent marker). Trace using a lightbox, or tape the design onto a window and use the outside light to trace. You want your stencil paper to be bigger than the card you are printing on to, so you don't get paint on your card where you don't want it.

Now with your stencil paper on the cutting mat, slowly and carefully cut following your traced design, turning the stencil paper around as you go to make the cutting easier. Be sure to cut the corners cleanly, don't just wrench out the almost-cut shape.

A simple shape will take only a couple of minutes to cut out, a complex one can take an hours - seriously!

So now you have your beautiful shape cut out of stencil paper (or acetate) and are ready to start printing.

Preparing to print your stencil design

There are a few things to prepare before you start printing.

Make sure you have your cards ready to print on. A5 sheets of thick paper work well as they fold in half to make A6 cards, a common size easy to find envelopes for (use C6 envelopes). To make the folding bit neater and easier I 'score' or put a crease in the cards where they should fold by running the edge of a tea spoon firmly along the edge of a ruler.

Put down some newspaper or scrap paper to protect the bench/table surface you will be working on.

If you want the print to be in exactly the same place on each card you need to draw a placement guide on scrap paper to help you position your card and stencil during the printing process. The technical term for this is print registration. On top of a large sheet of scrap paper, line up your stencil design on one of the cards exactly where you think it should go. Trace around the edges of the card and then the edges of the stencil paper. You will now have two overlapping rectangles drawn on your scrap paper. Use this as a guide and every print will be in the same place.

Put a big glob of paint on a palette. For paint I use acrylic, as it dries quickly. Fabric paint works well too and comes in sparkly colours! For a palette I use a plate covered with tin foil, making it easy to clean up when you are finished.

Dampen your sponge with water so it is soft and malleable, but squeeze out as much of the water as possible. You don't want the water in the sponge watering your paint down as it will run under the stencil paper when printing.

Put your first sheet of card in place, and lay the stencil design over the top. Get it all lined up to print.


Put a swipe of paint on your sponge and dabble it up and down a few times elsewhere on the palette, to spread the paint evenly on the sponge surface.

Printing your stencil design

Let the fun begin! Hold down the stencil design onto the card surface with one hand and, using the sponge in a rocking, padding motion, apply the paint through the stencil and onto the card. Don't push down on the sponge too hard as it will push paint under the edges of the cut stencil shape, creating nasty blobs where you don't want them - just pat the paint on. You will get the hang of this.

When you have filled the cut out area of the stencil design with sponged-on paint, put the sponge aside and gently peel off the stencil paper. There you go, your first print! Now simply repeat until all your cards are done.

During the printing process use the paper towel to keep at least one hand clean of paint, so you can handle printed cards, transferring them to your drying space without finger-pints. I use a clothes drying rack to peg my prints up - keeps them neatly in a small space and out of the way. If using acrylic paint your prints will probably only need about a day to dry.

Once the printed cards are dry remember to photograph your efforts! Photographs of repeating printed artworks always look cool.

Now you only have to fold the cards, write in them (the hardest part of the process) and post them to friends and family - who will all be utterly delighted to receive them.

hand printed christmas beetle card

As you can see I made two-colour cards. This meant I had to print one colour onto all the cards, let them dry and then print the next colour over the top and allow them to dry again. So setting up print registration and allowing lots of drying time was important.

I also used multiple paint colours on the sponge at the same time, allowing the paint to mix on the actual surface of the print - bit arty, eh?!



Remember, this is just how I do it. Have a go, play and experiment, and see what works for you. 

Feel free to send a card to me!

This has been my very first tutorial, so if you like it or even if you hate it please leave a comment and let me know. Thanks.

R :)

Illustration Friday - mesmerising deer-cat

Look into the eyes of the deer-cat. Look deep into its eyes. 

Feel the mesmerising power of the deer-cat. 
The deer-cat wants you to leave a comment. 
You know you will...

This is a scan of a stencil art Christmas card I sent to friends and family. The original had glow in the dark eyes! For this weeks illustration friday theme 'mesmerising' I scanned a print and gave it a slight animated tweak.

Its okay. The deer-cat says you can look away now.