Friday, November 11, 2011

The Crafter's Workshop: "Ava" Stencil

Today over on Craft Test Dummies, I have posted my second review (here's my first) of the stencils made by The Crafter's Workshop.  You've seen me write about them here before, and I've shown you projects I've used them you already know that I love them.  Today I wanted to show you one of the face stencils - Ava is her name - and just how versatile she is.  I showed you an art journal page in my last post, where I used her in her most basic form...I simply traced her lines with a Pitt Artist Pen, then went over the lines a bit with some oil pastels.  I didn't color in her face, no paint, nothing...very simple.  But today, I'm showing you my very first attempt at something completely different (no judging allowed...I just told you, this is my FIRST ever attempt...!).  

I started out in a 9x12 art journal by scribbling all over the paper with Derwent Inktense watercolor pencils, and then adding water with a brush.  I love these pencils because once the color is dissolved and dry, it is permanent and is no longer you don't have to worry about it moving around on you as you work in layers over it.

Then I placed the 6"x6" Ava stencil on my page.  I decided I was only going to use the face and neck portion of the stencil, so I traced those parts with a pencil onto my page, along with just a bit of the hair as a guide for reference.  You can just barely see my pencil lines in the photo below - I wanted to keep them light so they wouldn't show through the paint.

Then came the challenging part...for me, at least.  I've *never* painted a face before.  Not ever.  Nor have I ever drawn a face.  I am clueless when it comes to shading and shadows and all of know, the technical aspects of art!  (I really do want to take some actual art classes someday and learn these things!)  So I just went for it and started adding paint.  And my first attempt was a hot mess...but fortunately, it's just I added some more paint, and painted right over her, until I found a happy medium.  I knew ahead of time that I wanted to put long, flowing hair on her (though I hadn't really planned on it being *quite* so poofy...but hey...what can I say...she wanted to have poofy hair!).  So this is how she looked after I painted over the traced lines.

And then the magic happens.  I placed the stencil BACK on her, and used a cosmetic sponge with some Claudine Helmuth Black Gesso (LOVE that stuff!), and I stenciled in her eyes, nose, lips, chin, and neck lines again.  It's AMAZING what an instant transformation just that little bit gives.  That gave me a guide.  Then I used my paint brush and continued from there, adding her eyebrows completing her mouth, and filling in all the hair lines.  (I also went back in with some white to add a few highlights on her face and seemed to help.)

Now the page is all ready for me to add some other elements and do some journaling.  While I know she's no masterpiece, having never painted a face before, I am pretty happy with how she turned out...and I owe it all to my friends at The Crafter's Workshop!  

For more details on this and other great ideas for using the face stencils, be sure to check out this great post on stencil designer Julie Fei-Fan Balzer's blog!!  And make sure you hop over to Craft Test Dummies to check out all the other things I did with these great stencils for my review!

Are you a fan of The Crafter's Workshop stencils?  I'd love to see links to projects you've made using them!

Supplies Used:

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