|Frida Kahlo journal page, made using a Crafters Workshop stencil.|
But, as I explored the mixed media artwork people were creating that incorporated stencils, I began to get hooked. They layered them. They were sometimes sloppy (in an artful way, of course). They were shadowy. They were backgrounds, they were foregrounds. Some were detailed and tiny, some were bold and splashy.
My favorite stencils are faces. Why? Because faces are tricky. I have taken figure drawing and portrait drawing classes, and understand the anatomy and mathematics of the face and body. But for a quick midday art fix, I don't have time to waste, so using stencils to get the basic features penciled in correctly is really helpful. Getting the proportions right is important. Getting the eyes right, for placement and size, is especially important.
Lately I have been using face stencils on my lunch break, putting in the lines quickly, but going beyond the stenciled lines and giving them my own scribbly, loose-handed twist. The same stencil can look entirely different depending on the color choices, hair, media (watercolor, colored pencil, paint etc.) or background choice.
|A Jane Davenport face stencil, with yellow lips and quirky eye makeup.|
|Jane Davenport's "Tilted Up" face stencil, with loose lines and wild hair.|
|Another Jane Davenport face stencil, with colors that reflect the medical greens and blues I see on a typical workday.|
Many of my Jane Davenport face stencils are from Artistcellar, and sadly, have been discontinued. However, Jane has her new line of stencil available at Michael's, and Artistcellar is about to debut a new line of Kylie Fowler face stencils, which I can't wait to try.