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Stencilling - Clarity & Charcoal Tints

I've bought a few stencils from Clarity Stamp over the years. I like the quality and I love the range of designs they offer.  I'm a little reluctant to use them with alcohol or acrylic inks because I want to keep them as clean and tidy as I can for as long as I can.  They're great for stencilling/mono printing with acrylic paint or texture paste, or as templates for parchment craft, and for my old pal the Cuttlelola pen.

Leaf Stencil for pointillism
I like the simplicity & texture of black & white pointillism.  This would also be a great starting point for the application of colour - pencil; alcohol or aqua inks; watercolour .....

Birch tree wood pointillism
I particularly like the atmosphere of this stencil - it makes me think of later winter afternoons when I'm out walking the dogs - and the promise of hot chocolate & a slice of hot buttered toast when we get back!

This got me thinking (the stencilling, not the toast!) about applying pale, winter colours.  Very pale; very lightly applied, so there's just a whisper of pigment.

I decided to use Derwent's tinted charcoal pencils.  I like the shades - very muted, natural colours - and I like that they may be applied very softly and then smudged/blended smooth.

Derwent Tinted Charcoal tinDerwent tinted charcoals

I taped down my Clarity stencil with washi tape (wonderful stuff!), and selected 3 or 4 pencils:
selected colours
I did a little colour test on the left-hand side of the page, and in the end used only two (ocean deep and mountain blue).

It's worth taking care, when applying colour, to avoid creating a hard line against the edge of the stencil.  You may be able to smudge most of it away, but it will still draw the eye.

Hold the pencil loosely, by the end, and just stroke the side of the coloured end across the paper, filling part of the stencil 'cell'.  Repeat the process to build up layers.

Colour applied, waiting to be blendedapplying colour - gently hold the end of the pencil

Use the tip of your finger, or an estompe, to smudge the charcoal tint around the stencil.  I tend to colour a small area of the stencil and then work it in, before the colour 'sets' on the surface. ( Have I  made that up?!)  Remember to hold with your free hand any delicate or exposed areas of the stencil, so they don't move or tear.

When you've finished laying and blending colour, carefully remove the stencil.  In the bad old days it was necessary to spray with fixative or hairspray any drawing with charcoal on it (or near it!)  I don't think that's necessary with these pencils; they don't produce any dust, and I'd imagine the charcoal is stabilised inside the pencil.

Finished image
This is the finished image.  You can see where I've created hard lines at the bottom of the image.  They're not too bad there, because they're at the front of the scene.  There's also a little triangle almost in the middle of the image where I've got a hard line below a branch - and then a couple of inches below it another bit of a line.  Hey ho.

I'll scan it and keep the image - maybe tweak it in Drawplus - layer it and make a wider image. 

This post first appeared on Tanglings, please read the originial post: here

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Stencilling - Clarity & Charcoal Tints


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