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Tutorial

Stencil Butter Finger Painting Background

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.

Categories
Tutorial Uncategorized

Stencil Butters

Close up image of the background that this post is going to teach you how to make.
Close up image showing the completed stenciled butters background.

Hello! Recently, I created this fabulous background using our stencil butters. For fun, I made up a bunch of postcards and mailed them to art friends to see if any of them could guess how I’d created the background. While there were a few elements guessed correctly and some pretty close guesses, no-one actually guessed the correct combination of products or techniques. Today, this post reveals the process and products I used that kept them guessing!

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

I decided to use some dark blue textured drawing paper, TCW926 Bubble Rebound stencil, and delicate surface tape (which is less sticky than painter’s tape and less likely to tear the paper when removing). Now, the real trick with this background technique is to choose an analogous color scheme (colors next to one another on the color wheel) that matches the color of the paper that you are using. Since I chose royal blue paper, I decided to choose three cool colors to match, and white to provide contrast against the darker blue paper. I chose shades that were lighter than the paper in order to have the paper texture show up and be more visible in the end design.

Image showing Fabriano Color Drawing Paper 160 gsm, 98 lbs
Textured Paper
Image show TCW926 Bubble Rebound Stencil
TCW926 Bubble Rebound Stencil
Image showing the paper taped down over the stencil using 3M Delicate Surface tape.
3M Delicate Surface Tape
Image showing the NeoColour II water soluble wax pastely crayons (aquarelles).
Caran D’Ache NeoColor II Aquarelles (Water soluble wax pastel crayons)

For this technique, you’re going to work with the stencil under the paper. Tape the paper in place over the stencil. For the first step, I chose to work with NeoColor II water soluble, wax pastel crayons. I wanted a water soluble product so that it would react later in the process, as you’ll see. Laying the crayon almost horizontally on the paper, color random patches of each color over the entire paper. Don’t press too hard, or you’ll lose the paper texture, yet press gently enough so that you can see the edges of the stencil’s outlines on the paper, as shown in the image, below. (You might want to try a couple of practice pieces first to get the amount of pressure just right).

Close up image showing the stencil beneath the paper. A white NeoColour II crayon is laying on top of the textured paper which has had the crayons applied to it.
Close up image showing the stencil taped under the paper, and the NeoColor II crayons applied to the top of the paper.

Next it was time to apply the stencil butters. Again, I stuck within the same analogous color palette, so I chose to use the TCW9064 Turquoise stencil butter and the TCW9066 Orchid stencil butter. Using a fairly wide palette knife, I applied the orchid stencil butter randomly over the page first, immediately followed with the turquoise stencil butter randomly in other places (yet overlapping here and there so they blend a little). The trick with this technique is not to load the palette knife with too much stencil butter, don’t press hard with the palette knife, and just lightly scrape the palette knife at a 45 degree angle across the top of the paper. The stencil butter will get caught by the stencil cut out areas, showing the shapes and outlines of the stencil. It’s important that you don’t cover the paper completely, you still want to be able to see some of the Neocolor areas through and under the stencil butters in places. This is what gives the background depth and dimension. Do not wait for the stencil butters to dry!

Use a wide palette knife to apply the stencil butterrs
Use a wide palette knife to apply the stencil butters
Turquoise and Orchid stencil butters
Stencil butters – metallic, pretty, creaminess. Goes on just like buttah!
Orchid stencil butter on palette knife
Orchid Stencil butter – just look at that sheen!
The paper showing the applied stencil butters
Stencil butters applied to the paper

The next step is to use a spritz bottle to add water drops to the top of the entire paper. You want random drops in different sizes scattered across the page, not a shower or a soaking. Think of the drops as adding a new layer of design to the background. Let the water drops sit on top of the butters and paper for 2 minutes. Note: The water will activate the NeoColor II crayons, blending them where the drops have landed.

Lay a dry piece of kitchen paper towel, with the embossed design down, over the stencil butters, and the entire paper. Using your hands horizontally across the paper, very gently pat the paper towel to remove the water drops and impress the paper towel texture into the stencil butters. This creates two levels of texture, one from the water drops (where the stencil butter will lift off the paper when you remove the paper towel), and one from the paper towel embossing impression pressed into the stencil butter.

spritz bottle waiting to be applied to the page
Love this adjustable spritz bottle!
Water droplets sitting on page
Close up image showing water droplets on the page
Water droplets rested for 2 mins, about to be removed from page using paper kitchen towel
Page resting for 2 mins with water drops. Paper towel at the ready!

Your background is now complete. It is also able to be reactivated by any moisture or wet product, so keep that in mind if you want to be able to work over the top of it. You will want to apply a coat of matte or gloss gel medium to seal it. I would use either an old credit card or a silicon catalyst blade/mini scraper to apply the medium, but you’ll have to work fast and light so as not to smear or reactivate the background design! Pro Tip: Get your medium set up on the tool first, and start it on a scrap piece of paper to adjust it before applying it to the actual piece.

The finished background
Close up image showing the completed background.

If you’d like to watch a super quick fly-by video (56 seconds) of this process with captions, please hop on over to my YouTube Channel @TealHareCreations.

Categories
Uncategorized

How to create a faux batik effect

4-12-21

Hero shot showing title "How to create faux batik on rice paper". Close up image in background of finished paper
Close up image showing the completed faux batik effect.

Hello! My art friends like to call me the Queen of Texture (AKA The Texture Queen). That’s because I’m always trying to create the most texture possible in my art works. To help develop my skills, I try to devote at least one evening a week to experiment with our products, to see what effects I can create (which also happen to be known as the occasional happy accidents, ha ha!).

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

Recently, I gifted myself some absolutely gorgeous hand made rice papers from Japan. These papers are so amazing to work with as most of them are created using mostly natural fibers which gives them some incredible texture, including some that have leaves, petals, grasses, and more embedded within them. Just take a look at this beauty in the following image; since I’m such a nature and texture lover, these hand made rice papers with embedded textures are just perfect for me!

Close up image of a piece of Japanese rice paper, hand torn, showing leaf fragments and fibers embedded within the hand made paper.
Close up image of Japanese rice paper containing leaf fragments and fibers.

These rice papers also happen to be super absorbent due to the natural materials such as the rice, cotton, and grasses that they are made from. With these embedded textures, this can create some amazing and sometimes unpredictable effects when working with water based products, because each of the elements absorbs the colors and water in differing intensities.

For this project, I had a piece of paper with small grasses and flower fragments embedded into it which I had been dying to try. In my experimentation nights, I like to play the “what if” game; what if I tried this, or that. What would happen if I… and so on. On other nights, I find a photo or a reference image of a texture and I attempt to replicate it as close as possible with the materials I have on hand. This practice pushes me out of my comfort zone, and puts me in the position of taking a lot of risks and creating a lot of failures, however every once in a while I hit the texture jackpot, where something works out better than I could have imagined. This is one of them!

I also like to try ‘new to me’ supplies on these nights, which means I try to release all expectation on myself to ‘get it right or perfect’ and just ‘let it go, let it flow’ to see what happens. The pale purple tape I used here is a new to me product, it’s called “delicate surface tape”, which is less adhesive than the blue painter’s tape I traditionally use. This is important for this project because rice paper can be somewhat delicate due to the natural fibers, and even more so when wet. I loved using this tape, and will likely switch to using it full time as it’s so easy to remove and doesn’t tear the paper.

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TCW2301 Harlequin Slimline stencil with delicate surface tape on Japanese rice paper.

I’ll be honest, I’m really not a card maker, but I have these slimline card stencils that I really wanted to try. In my “what if” game, I decided to test if our TCW9006 Gel Medium Gloss finish would act as a water resist on the rice paper when it was dry. I decided to conduct the experiment using a simple, repetitive pattern stencil and so I chose to use our TCW2301 Harlequin Slimline stencil. I used my catalyst blade to apply the gloss gel medium to the rice paper in a thin, even layer, then I removed the stencil and dried the gloss gel medium using my heat gun.

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I used my Catalyst Blade to apply the gloss gel medium through the stencil.

I then spritzed the rice paper with some water, and dropped some diluted ColorSparx powders onto it to see what would happen. It failed the resist experiment fabulously, but it sure did look pretty, so I saved it for collage paper to use later. I then wondered what would happen if I applied the gloss gel medium to both the front and the back of the paper using the stencil (which I had to line up exactly)? Again, I applied the gloss gel medium, removed the stencil, then dried it with my heat gun, I repeated this process on the back side. Then I spritzed it with water and dropped the color in. This time it worked fabulously!

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Yes! It worked when I used the gloss gel medium on both sides. Still wet, here…

But the best part? When it was dry, I held it up to the light, and it GLOWS just like stained glass or a lamp shade with a light on behind it. (See the top photo!) Just think of the possibilities! Now, it’s YOUR turn to try something new to you! Until next time, happy experimenting and happy day.

If you’d like to watch a quick fly-by video (45 seconds), which includes a variation on the theme, please hop on over to my YouTube Channel: Teal Hare Creations.