Cut & Paint: Street Art Inspired Stencils | Morgan Lindsay Nelson | Skillshare

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Cut & Paint: Street Art Inspired Stencils

teacher avatar Morgan Lindsay Nelson, Writer, Essayist, & Illustrator

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

4 Lessons (20m)
    • 1. Getting Started

    • 2. Cutting

    • 3. Painting

    • 4. Tips and Examples

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About This Class

Join visual artist Morgan Lindsay Nelson as she walks you through the steps to make your own stencil painting. Devised from a method inspired by street artists, like Mr. Brainwash, you'll learn the tricks to cutting a perfect stencil plus discover how many fun and different effects can be achieved with this technique.

Meet Your Teacher

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Morgan Lindsay Nelson

Writer, Essayist, & Illustrator


Morgan Lindsay Nelson is a writer, essayist, and illustrator.

Her love of teaching began back as a teacher's assistant at the Pacific Northwest College of Art and has grown to help others learn new skills in some of her favorite creative topics: writing, art, graphic design, and comic creation.

Morgan and her work has been featured on such sites as HelloGiggles, StyleCaster, Design for Mankind, and Skillshare.

Learn more here:

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1. Getting Started: Hi there. I'm Morgan, Lindsey Nelson and welcome to cutting paint street art inspired stencils. I'm thrilled to share this class with you. It's a technique that I developed myself after being inspired by so many great street artists, especially Mr Brainwash. His stuff just really struck a chord in me and opened my eyes to this whole way of using paint and stencils and having a really rough on organic feel the same time and embracing all the goodness of pop culture. So this class infused with all of that inspiration, and I can't wait to share with you how to make your own. So that's coming up next and let's dive in tickets started. What you're gonna need is an Exacto knife, a self healing Matt cutting board. Or you can use a really thick piece of cardboard on. And if you do that, I would recommend putting it on a surface like a cutting board that you don't ruin your nice desk or countertops anything like that and just some paper and pen. And then, for the second step, you'll be meeting either some acrylic or markers. I'm going to show you one of my first stencil drawings. Now it looks a little interesting when you see it all painted over. But this is one that I did of Miss Marple, which is one of my favorite shows, and this is what it looks like. As you can see, it is all intact. There's no part of it that is missing. And that's one of the main keys of doing these stencil cutouts is that there are little joining points here that hold everything together. Some of the lines are stopped a little short because if this continued here, show you with the exact if I continue cutting this here than her eyeball would be completely one black hole which, unless you're doing a vampire kind of drawing, I don't think that's what we want to aim for. But if you want to, that is how you can create that look. So basically everything here that is cut out is going to be black, and everything that remains is going to be white when you're all done 2. Cutting: I started out with a drying to use this as an example. This here is a drawing that I did just in a notebook with pen. And I decided that I didn't want to cut this because I wanted to keep it. So all that I did and you can do the same is make a photocopy. And this is what you will be working the exact a magic knife on. To begin all that you'll dio is cut along the black lines. And if you want to see what it looks like, just make a cut across and pick it up, and you can turn it over to see on a dark surface what the line will look like when you put either acrylic or marker on it. So I'm gonna go ahead and do this and speeded up. They can see the process from beginning to end, and then I will check back in with you. Once I have all the lines cut out here . We have it all finished. It is all cut out, and I wanted to show you because sometimes despite your best efforts, you'll have pieces that become detached. Now you can take them on, if you'd like, or you can just place them where you would like them to be, and I'll strike you a special technique for you to paint them so they won't budge around too badly. And also just keep in mind that when you do this and you're cutting out pieces and chunks, think when you're cutting an area that has cut outs on all sides of it, say where can I anchor it? So here, if I cut this all the way around, it would have completely detached then it would have been one big dark spot there. So just you can also map out anchor points and draw them with pen before you start here. I kept the lips here and here so that they won't fall off and same thing with the head. The head is one. When you're doing Portrait's, you need to make sure to leave an anchor here because then you will cut the head right out , and that's not what you want. 3. Painting: we're gonna start painting. Take your favorite kind of paper that you'd like, or you can do this on any other surface. We're going to put this down with ink side up because that's how you intended to draw it. And keep in mind that you can take this down if you don't want it to move around, I'm going to be a bit of a rebel and do it without, so you'll really see how you can have it stay while you're painting. So if you're in a place where you I don't have a lot of supplies, you really just need the world's cheapest palette. Little plastic baggie I'm gonna do read. So it'll be really nice. Invisible just squirted out there, and then my favorite brush to use is a fan brush. I like it because it really puts the paint down without disturbing the paper too much. It's nice and light, and we will just start at the bottom here now. What you want to do is you just want to press very gently and almost in a dabbing like you're just dabbing it. If you get it right, it will start. The paper will start sticking and it will help hold it A bit of a messy painter. So I get all over my fingers. I don't know about you, but it makes it a lot more fun here. You'll see as we go, it'll kind of start toe, hold the paper down. Looks a bit like the Joker now, doesn't he? But when the paper is pulled back, it will be nice and crisp and clean. And when you have a point here, paint up towards it. That way you won't risk pulling it back and getting a big, big blob where you don't want it. No verbally delicate areas. I just tap, tap, tap, tap. Think of Bob Ross making little trees. I love watching Bob Ross pain. I hope this is a soothing to Yuhas watching Bob Ross. Pain is to me, it's over here, so we don't forget that. And here's one of those ones where you want to make sure that doesn't move, so it's press it and make sure that doesn't lift up with the pain. You want to get the best angle to, I think, and if you want to get some areas a little lighter, you also can experiment with that. I had a lot of fun with one that I did where I use the special paper that I'm going to show you coming up as an alternative. If you don't, you want to invest a little bit more in the process. It's a tacky paper. Um, actually, you do it on any kind of paper, but I recommend ah, thick kind of card card stock weight, which have used a little bit more muscle to get into to cut out with the Exacto knife. But it's really worth it. So the special paper is one that you adhere to the back of whatever paper you choose to use your stencil with. And so when you do that, you can adhere it to your final art paper. And that makes us that you can do all kinds of techniques with that one. I'll show you an example of that one coming up. I use color pencil, and that was so cool. I actually did graffiti style because, like I said, this was inspired by street art. How I started first discovered this process and kind of made it up is that, um, I just did like this cool graffiti lettering in all of the the cut outs of the color pencil . So it would be very tricky to do with this paper cause it's so lightweight. So here's the ones I didn't have. Someone hold them with my finger and just paint them over. That's the tricks that they don't budge is just hold and paint. The pain will start toe weigh it down for you kind of like before. But just with a little bit more attention, make sure doesn't lift up. And there it ISS Snuka's a bug. There are just like I just don't get it too saturated that doesn't seep through. And also the thing about this is that half the fun is not knowing exactly how it's going to turn out. So when that is the case, you just have to be open to just the possibility that it might be slightly different then you first imagined. But that is how some of the best things are created. Is he there? It lifted up just because I was holding it down. Look that to stay a bit more. Okay, Now the trick is is to pull this off before it dries to make sure that your little fingers aren't going to get on the finished paper. Now these are mostly one and done ones. Some of these will just completely terror and not be able to be reused by Miss Markle. One was an anomaly that one stayed intact by a lovely miracle. You can also clean these up if the lines aren't as clean than Crispus you'd like, um, some of the stencils hang around, and the cool thing I like about this, why I call it one and done is that it just has this organic quality to it. And it's one of those things that's just a one off. It will never be reproduced again the same way. So taking these pieces that have kind of hung around, take the Exacto knife and peel them at it's too wet. You might wanna wait a little bit. If not, just peel it off. You can see how quickly it dries. It's really fascinating. - Maybe pieces where the paper is just peeled off onto the paint where seeped through. You can just scratch that off or leave it behind. Whatever strikes your fancy, let me clean this up a little bit more and then we'll be back to show you some more options . Okay, Now I pilled a little bit more off of it, and what I'm gonna do is I'm going to let this dry and show you some other examples of how you can utilize thes areas that blood over a little bit on the stencil and happens basically how much speed you put into it. I put a little bit more speed into it than some of my others, but I wanted this more rough organic look. So with that in mind, what I'm gonna let it do is dry a little bit and use those things as shadows. So I'm gonna take a white pencil or crayon and go over it toe. Lighten that to give it some depth and some intrigue. Here it issues some oil pastel from Karan Dash, which are my favorites. I love them and just played around with giving it more of a painterly feel toe. Have you know, a different generation federation of the whole stencil look in appearance and vibe. So it really is like I said, the only limit is your imagination. Have a blast with it and I might even take this further. I'm kind of obsessed with adding in the softness to it and blending and making it its own little creation. 4. Tips and Examples: So now I want to say this other option. This is a really easy way to kind of map out how what you want to cut out is everything you want to cut, you put an X. And I did that here with this little Sheldon Cooper that I did. And this is the other paper. It's not quite finished, but you can see this is more of a heavy card stock that I'm gonna be using for this one. And this is the paper it is called Electra Attack. And it's very cool because what you dio if you peel off the sheet here and what it reveals is this little dotted sheet full of stuff Here. See, this is actually one I utilized here that you could see that all that's left is what it picked up so you can see a little bit of the hopefully the face that I had on here. And so everything that it picked up was adhesive that transferred onto that piece of paper . So I was able to then take this way to paper, stick it down to my final art sheet and then be able to use the stencil to a much higher degree and play around with it. Use lots of different media's and techniques and all that fun stuff. So, really, the basic principles of stents. Alain, I've gone over with you Here can take you so many places. There is no bomb way of doing this. Circle fun. Play around with it. Don't limit yourself and I can't wait to see what you come up with.