Using A Stencil for Collage Pages | Daniela Mellen | Skillshare

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Using A Stencil for Collage Pages

teacher avatar Daniela Mellen, Artist & Author

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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

11 Lessons (25m)
    • 1. Class Intro

    • 2. Class Supplies

    • 3. Prepping the Paper & Stencils

    • 4. Technique #1: Easy Peasy

    • 5. Technique #2: Mottled Design

    • 6. Technique #3: Offset Design

    • 7. Technique #4: Light on Dark

    • 8. Technique #5: Dark on Light

    • 9. Technique #6: Neutrals

    • 10. Technique #7: Hidden Stencil

    • 11. Class Wrap Up

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About This Class

Stencils are versatile art supplies that come in patterns and shapes as varied as the artist. They offer ways to add images to papers using paint and other media (ink, crayons, pencils, chalk) and the results can be altered using so many methods and tools. In today’s class, I’ll show 7 very simple ways to use a single stencil and get different results. Each method is easy and gives a great opportunity to play with paint and let your mind wander, and you may find one of these techniques that is new to you.

The resulting painted pages can be used for many projects, including cutting out shapes for collage, as backgrounds for paintings and drawings, and as the base layer for more stencil work. Vary the colors of paint and get different results.

Meet Your Teacher

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Daniela Mellen

Artist & Author


I'm an artist and author living in coastal Florida and surrounded by plants, animals, marine life, and the warm sun - all things that inspire me.

I am drawn to creating things and love to get lost in projects. Each day is a opportunity to learn something new, build on existing skills, and branch out to new ones. I was formally trained as a educator which is my passion and incorporating art into teaching makes my life complete.

I upload art classes every Friday, here on Skillshare. You'll see handmade books, memory keeping, watercolor, acrylic paint, unique art supplies, and photography composition. Thanks for joining me and I look forward to seeing your work.

Check out my blog for additional info on my website or my YouTube Channel for additional c... See full profile

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1. Class Intro: Making your own collage pages is not only a great way to make your own supplies, it's a way to make papers that suit your needs. You can choose the exact colors that you need for a project and then make the pages. Stencils are one of my favorite art supplies. And in today's class, using a stencil for collage pages, I'll show seven simple techniques for using a single stencil for each page. Hello, I'm Daniela Mellen, an author and artist. The techniques are straightforward because they are so easy. They give your mind a chance to bask in the process. Each page takes only minutes to make and uses three shades of matte acrylic paint and just a few other tools. The techniques start with the most basic and become only slightly more involved. The results are unique and fun to create, making it easy to get carried away with making collage pages. Find your favorite stencils, and let's get started. 2. Class Supplies: Now here are the supplies that I use to create my stencil and collage papers. Firstly, I start out with is my papers. I'm using some copy paper that has a little bit of water damage to it and I cut it in half. So each page is about 5.5 by eight inches. And then I have, today, I'm going to use some old music paper that had a little damage itself. I got it from a library that they were disposing of. And so I cut these into about the same size sheets as the copy paper. The beauty of this it is, it has these beautiful musical notes on the background. So some that will peek through and add a level of interests to my collage pages. Both pages are fairly light. They're not as late as tracing paper or tissue paper, but their light paper, they're not card stock. You can use any paper you'd like, including scrapbook paper. But I just like the weight of these papers. I also have some full-size sheets, 8.5 by 11, and I use this basically to clean off my tools. I have some painters tape, you can use masking tape or any tape. Washi tape is great too. And this is just to attach my stencil to my work. And I do this so that it's easy to take off and put on. And that's why the painting tape works well for me. I don't use a brush to apply my paint. I'll use a makeup sponge. And here I have a large makeup sponge that I just haphazardly cut into three pieces because I like to use them in different shapes. If you don't like the feeling of paint on your fingers, you can use a one of these little brushes here with the sponge on the end, and that works fairly well. I also use a brayer. This is just a hard Breyer to apply the paint in some of my examples. Now for stencils, you can use any stencil you have. Ideally, the stencil should fit across the paper to make it easier. But if it doesn't, that's okay because you just move the stencil around. Like I'll show you in the using the small stencil. But any stencil that you like well work. So I just took three for my stash, all different sizes and we'll use these today in class. The last thing I use is just some pallet paper. And I buy this just where I buy my watercolor pads, but it's pallet paper. So it's very much has a feel like freezer paper where one side is shiny and one side is dull and the shiny side is Lee. What they consider the palette. It's very thin and you tear each page part to use it. All you do is you pour your paint onto the palette and then you can spread it out with your brayer, pounds it with your sponge or what not. You don't need this. You can use an old piece of cardboard as well. I just find this to be very helpful. And lastly, for paints, I just use these little craft paints. I always get the matte finish ones and I tend to make my pages in color families. So one page will be all greens or all reds. And it doesn't matter what colors I use, but I try and use about three colors, light, medium, and dark. They don't have to fit into those categories. You can use three that are dark if you want to go dark, darker and darkest, and so on. But I just like the variation of having multiple colors on my single sheet of paper. I'll include all this information on a download for you in class as well. In the next chapter, we'll start our collage pages. 3. Prepping the Paper & Stencils: Now to start off all my pages, I just do a little bit of setup. So I take whatever paper I'm going to use and I just put a little bit of tape on either side of it, leaving an overhang so that the sticky side overhangs the paper. Now flip it over and set up my stencil. So just take my stencil and place it where I want it on the paper. And I just make sure I press it down onto that sticky paper. And this holds the stencil in place fairly well. So this is how I start off most of my papers. So the first tech few techniques we'll use with this formation. 4. Technique #1: Easy Peasy: So the first technique is just the basic technique for using your stencil and your paper. I'm going to put my brayer aside for the first technique, although you could use that as well. But all I do is I take my sponge, my makeup sponge here because it's very delicate. And I'll put a little bit of color on it. And this is just the basic way I transfer my pigment to my paper using pencil. And then I pounds off quite a bit of paint. Less is more or less is best here. And then I just pounce the color rate inside over the stencil. Because I've taped this Denzel. I can peel it up gently and see how much image I have. And so that works out well. So the first way that I can do my collage pages is just a stencil, one color in a section. And because I cut these images out, it makes it easy. I can either fill the page with the same formation of the same color, or I can combine colors on the same page. And that way I get a little bit of variation that I can use in my work where if I want to make shadows or highlights. So I do like to have a little overlap on some of the stencils of the color because that gives me even more variation. So instead of just having three colors, I'll have the blend of the medium green and the dark green. And then I'll have the blend, the light green and the medium green. And again, less paint his better because that way you can go in there and pounds on your stencil and it doesn't leak through. This technique will not give you a perfect image of your stencil, but it gives me a very effective one. I can come back in any areas that look like they didn't get enough pigment for my taste of this dab a little more in. And then I can very carefully remove the paper and the stencil. So I'll just flip it over, peel off the tape, leaving it on the paper at first. So there I have the first technique where I just take one color in, pounds it onto my paper. Now my stencils dirty here. I don't mind that. I usually just let it dry. I'll take it and put it down on my full sheet of paper. And then I can either Breyer across it or just rub it with my hands. It creates a little bit of transfer. Not a lot, but it removes some of the paint for my stencil and it makes it dry faster. Some people are meticulous, they clean their stencil immediately and that's the way you would keep the paint from forming on it. You can soak it in just some water. If you get a tub of water, you can slip this in and clean them off when you're done. You can take a like a baby wipe and scrub your stencil as well. But like I said, I just let my end dry just like this. The next chapter we'll come back and do a second technique with the same stencil and the same colors. 5. Technique #2: Mottled Design: Now for our second technique, I have my stencil setup with the tape on the side of the paper, and I'm using my little musical notes paper. I have my stencil down in the same formation it was for the first technique. And now I'm just going to take my color. Again. I'm going to load up my sponge, pounds it off so I don't have too much paint on it. And now I'm just going to pounce and I'm just worrying about partially filling in the stencil, not looking to fill it in completely. If you have a very detailed small stencils, it might be a little different, but it's the same technique. You just pounce a little bit of paint all over. And as you can see in this particular stencil, it's very good for demonstration purposes because you can see that the stencil is only partially filled in the areas around the stencil. And then I'm going to take a second color. I'm going to jump right to the lighter color. Here. Again, I load up my sponge and now I'm going to finish filling in that stencil. And you'll get a nice blend. Again, I'm just pouncing with a little bit of paint on my on my sponge here. And I can come back in with the darker color if I feel it's too light and just add a little more color. This will give a nice little variation as well. When you're happy with bad, can flip your paper over carefully, peel off your tape. Then you have a very modeled looking piece of collage paper, and that's a very interesting effect. The next chapter we'll go over the third technique using the same stencil and the same colors. 6. Technique #3: Offset Design: So now for this technique, I've set up my paper the same way where I have my tape on the underside of the paper. It attaches to the stencil. So I'm gonna take my lightest color first. And I'm going to pounce all over my stencil here. When I'm happy with the results that I have, I feel like I've covered this paper very well. Good. Give me just a moment to dry. Then I'll flip it over and peel off the tape because I use just a little bit of paint. And because it's acrylic paint, it will dry very quickly. So now I'm going to keep my tape on the paper just like this. And I'm going to take my stencil and I'm going to try and line it backup more or less the way it was. And then I'm just going to offset it a little bit. So I put my stencil back down, press onto the tape, and now you can see it's offset these little white lines. So I'm gonna come in with another color and I'm going to use this medium color of green. And I'm going to pounds over the stencil again. Get not loading up my sponge with too much paint. I'd rather go back and completely reapply it and have it be messy and work its way under the tensile. So in a way I'm treating the acrylic paint as if it's ink. We're trying to make it appear as if it's ink. Once I'm happy with the results, gently peel off the tape and then take a look at seen this technique. And so there's the offset technique. It's kinda interesting. It kinda looks like blurred vision, but it's definitely very effective for using as collage paper. In the next chapter, we'll work on our next technique. 7. Technique #4: Light on Dark: Now for this technique, we're going to do light on dark. So the first thing we have to do is set up that dark. I'm going to use my brayer here and I'm not using my stencil just yet. So I have my piece of paper and I set it down just on a piece of scrap paper. And now I just want to color this entire sheet with dark color. Then that doesn't mean it has to be just one color. I can use multiple colors, but I want primarily it to be a dark results. So I'll start by using my brayer with the darkest green that I'm using, colored most of it. Then I'll pick up a little of this medium green and just add it to some places. It's just gives a solid background with a little variation. And if you keep the paper down and push the brayer and only one direction, you won't get that warped view that I created. I'm going to set this aside, let this paper dry, but I am going to clean my brayer. So to do that, I just take a piece of scrap paper and I'll just roll the brayer back and forth maybe a dozen or two dozen times. That removes most of the wet pigment. Because this is acrylic paint, I can let this dry after I've removed most of it, and then I can peel off the acrylic paint or I can take a damp rag and just scrub it off in between uses. But either way I try and work off most of the paint while I'm using it. So now our paper is dry and I put the tape along the edges just like we did in the first few techniques. And now I'm gonna take my stencil. I can use any stencil I have. Just going to use this tensile, going to place it right down on my painted page. And then I'm just going to pounce along here with a light color. So I have my dark background and now I'm going to use my light color and I'm just going to pounce it along. When I'm done. I can just remove the tape from the stencil. And there I have my light on dark. And to create, creates a very interesting effect. Again, it's all green, but yes, I have the nice tensile and it's really crisp with that background. I'll clean the stencil in the same way I did the other one, setting it down on my paper and then burnishing it. And we'll come back and we'll do a quick review of dark on light. 8. Technique #5: Dark on Light: So using the same technique but just reversing it. And I'm going to put my light down here. So I'm taking my light green brain during a nice solid layer. Take a little bit of that medium green just to mix it in there to get a little variation. Let this dry. Now come back and prepare my paper by setting the tape on the back of the painted paper, adding my stencil and then I can start pouncing the dark color on the light. And then I have my dark on my light. 9. Technique #6: Neutrals: Another variation is to take the three colors that you have and pounce them all over your sheet to create a background. Here. Again, I'm not being particularly careful, just trying to create little swatches of color comeback in blending it out as I go. And because of this is the pattern paper that background shows through very nicely and it gives me a nice effect. I can go in there and continue to pounds to create a very interesting effect, nice blend on that background. And then I'll let this dry. So from here I do the same technique where I put my stencil down with my tape and then I'm gonna pounds. But instead of using the colors that I have, I'm going to just switch to some neutrals, so I'll use white or black. Take my sponge, turned it on its side. I'll do half of this with white and the other half of black. Pick up my stencil and move it around. They're not gently remove the stencil. And as you can see, it's a different effect using that additional color, the black or white and a neutral. Next chapter, I'll show you the last technique. It's kind of a subtle technique, but it uses a stencil very effectively. 10. Technique #7: Hidden Stencil: So now for this technique, I'm going to use my paints and my brayer. I haven't magazine here for padding, but you can use a stack of papers as well. And then I'm gonna put my stencil. I'm going to take my stance on the top and the bottom here, trying not to overlap with the actual stencil design. But if I do, that's okay. This is not a perfect procedure. I have my stencil down with my tape up, and then I'm going to take my paper and put it right on top of that stencil. This is better with a larger stencil because it covers more ground, but it's the same effect. Going to load up my brayer with pigment. And under start at one end of the stencil and press down. And you get a slight ghost image of the stencil that's underneath it. And you need to have enough pigment, but not so much on your Breyer that it's a mess. And I'll just keep doing this until I get that image. Can use any color you want. Just creates a little bit of a shadow. And I think that's a very fun effect for using your stencil. The next chapter we'll come back and take a look at the work we did today, along with variations with different colors. 11. Class Wrap Up: Now take a look at our finished collage papers with the stencil. We have the one that we did where we just spouts with our makeup sponge and got solid colors. And this is just by varying the color of the green. We have a nice variety here. And so when you go to collage, you have lots of colors to work with. The second technique, use the same premise except we combine colors. So it wasn't a solid color is kind of a mottled color. The next one is where we just took the stencil and offset it from the original imprint. And so we got kind of a funky look by changing the colors that we use for each layer. We added even more interest to our piece. And here's the model. We have dark background and we used our stencil to make it light on top. And this is a very effective piece. This is the next version of that. It's just an inverse where we had a light background and put dark on top. But from that one stencil, we've got quite a different feel and different looks. Here. We took that same premise. We had a light background and we stamped a neutral color on top, either white or black. And he was the last technique where we took our stencil and put it underneath our paper and then Brainard it with color. And as you can see with the three papers here, very subtle affects DEF, barely shading on each one. But for collage work, it is very effective. And I wanted to show you some variations on each of the techniques using just different colors. So we took the same technique where we have the stencil. It remained in the same place the entire time, and we just stamped multiple colors onto it and it's a subtle effect. You still see green squares here, or in this case yellow almost Wi-Fi signals. But if you look closely, you'll see a variation between the yellows and here, between the greens. Here we took the stencil stamped at the first time. Move this tensile just so it was offset slightly and stamped. It again seemed colors just deeper color or lighter color and it gives you a different effect. That's another way to use that same stencil to give a different design. So here we took the paper, created a solid background, in this case green or blue or orange, and then added a layer of this dense layer on top of it to contrast it in a lighter color. Here, we took the paper, painted it a quasi solid, lighter color, and then stencil LED in with a darker color for a different look. So here you put the stencil underneath the paper and then Breyer in an even layer of pigment on top of it. And when you add a nice even layer, you can see more than when the paint runs out on the brayer. But it still gives interesting effects that you can use in your collage work using just a single color of paint and a stencil. See how subtle the blue is. And then that beautiful turquoise. And then back to our green. I hope you'll try your hand at playing with your stencils to create different effects with the same stencil and just a few colors. Snap a photo of your work and posted in the project section. Please be sure to join me here on Skillshare to get notified of future classes and please consider leaving a review. Thanks for joining me today.