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Stencil Butter Finger Painting Background

Learn how to create this fun finger painted stencil butter background in 35 seconds.

5/27/21

Close up image of the completed stencil butter background painted using my fingers!
Close up image showing the finger painted stencil butters background.

Hello! Recently, we had a TCW Design Team meeting where our wonderful leader, Jaime, showed us a painting she did using stencil butters with her fingers. I wanted to use the same technique using stencils to see if it would work, and it sure does! Just be sure to go slow so that you don’t accidentally nip yourself on a stencil edge (like a paper cut, owie!).

The Crafter’s Workshop provided me with some product to create this project. The opinions I share are solely my own.

I started out using our Colorsparx powders in my favorite cool colors of turquoise, cerulean blue, lime green, and chartreuse, with the TCW932 Peruvian Lily stencil and our water spritz bottle. I lay the stencil down first, sprinkle a tiny bit of the powders over the stencil, then spritz with the water bottle. It’s great to leave it dry naturally if you can, because you get an amazing stenciled effect on the paper! You’ll notice I left a towel under the page to catch the run off and to protect my work surface. Be aware that it may also splash as you spritz, so cover anything around your work that you don’t want to get color on. For this project, I’m working on watercolor paper (300 gsm/140 lbs) hot pressed, smooth paper.

Close up image showing the Peruvian Lilies stencil with cool colored Colorsparx powders activated with water.
TCW932 Peruvian Lily stencil with cool colored Colorsparx powders, spritzed with spritz bottle.

Next come the stencil butters and finger painting. These butters are creamy, brightly colored, and so easy to use (but not edible, so please do not eat them!). I used the TCW924 Lush Petals stencil with the cool colored stencil butters in turquoise, ocean blue, terre verte green, and lime green. I love using stencil butters over ColorSparx powders because the stencil butters reactivate the ColorSparx powders in places, and create an even greater range of color variation in the background. I also love to layer different stencils to build up layers of pattern and depth for greater visual contrast and more interest.

Close up image showing the stenciled butters through the Lush Petals stencil, over the top of the dried Colorsparx powders.
Close up image showing stencil butters applied over the top of the ColorSparx powders.

I don’t know about you, but for me, finger painting is messy fun that reminds me of my childhood art days. I love to spread the stencil butters around with my fingers because they blend so easily together to make wonderful shades of the colors I’m using! Please, try it for yourself and play. Of course, if you don’t like getting your hands dirty, please feel free to use our plastic palette knife to apply the stencil butters instead of your fingers.

Image showing the completed stencil butters finger painted onto the page through the Lush Petals stencil.
Image showing the finger painted stencil butters through the TCW924 Lush Petals stencil.

Now, I wanted to add some additional patterns and colors on top of the background to add pops of color for contrast and also to add some more shapes to the composition and break it up visually a little. First, I applied Crimson stencil butter through the TCW922 Ethereal stencil randomly over the background. I had some stencil butter left on my fingers, so I smeared it onto the page too!

Close up image showing the Crimson stencil butter applied through the 'x' section of the TCW922 Etheral stencil.
TCW9069 Crimson stencil butter applied through the TCW922 Ethereal stencil.

I like to add yellow to my projects, because I think yellow always makes the other colors sing. In this case, I added the TCW9067 Gamboge Stencil butter through the TCW2303 Rock Wall slimline stencil randomly in places around the work. Again, after stenciling, I smeared the excess stencil butter from my fingers randomly onto the page.

Close up image showing the Gamboge stencil butter applied through the TCW2303 Rock Wall slimline stencil.
TCW9067 Gamboge Stencil butter applied through the TCW2303 Rock Wall slimline stencil

I used a heat gun to dry the stencil butters until they became bubbly and three dimensional. I love this effect!

Close up image showing the bubbled stencil butter created with a heat gun.
I used my heat gun to dry the stencil butters until they bubbled into a 3D effect.

Last, I used some TCW9001 White Gesso through the TCW5008 Random Dots stencil for a matte finish and to make them pop against the gorgeous gloss of the stencil butters colors.

Close up image showing the white gesso dots applied randomly across the page using the TCW5008 Random Dots stencil.
TCW9001 White Gesso was used through the TCW5008 Random Dots stencil.

And here’s the finished page (in the following image) without the white gesso dots added yet. I wanted you to be able to see just the finger painted stencil butters in their own gorgeous beauty.

Close up image of the completed stencil butter background painted using my fingers!
Finger paint a fun and colorful background!

If you’d like to watch a super quick fly-by video (35 seconds) of this process, please hop on over to my YouTube Channel @TealHareCreations.

By Michaela Butterworth

Mixed media artist and teacher. Owner of Teal Hare Creations studio. TCW International Design Team 2020-21.

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