Paradise: Using a Large Stencil to Create an Art Journal Background

“Do not meddle in the affairs of wizards,
for they are subtle and quick to anger.”
J.R.R. Tolkien

In this video, I create an abstract, textured background using a large floral stencil. I use the stencil several times to add texture and layering, and I even tear the paper to add a bit of distress and destruction! A peek into what can happen when creating an art journal page, when you let the page flow without planning ahead.


9x12" loose art journal page on the heavy back cardboard cover from a Strathmore journal

The texture is from heavy body acrylic paints and Traci Bautistia's Stencil Girl Floral 1 stencil. Traci sent a box of goodies to explore as part of the launch for her new book. The first thing that came to mind was to create a yummy textured background with the stencil.

I made a video to show you how this page bloomed, to give you ideas for using a large stencil to create abstract shapes and forms on your art journal pages. Stencils can be used to imprint not only the actual shape of the stencil but can be overlapped to create interesting lines, marks and texture. You could try this with something thicker like molding paste or gel and get even more texture!


This is a loose art journal page - technically on cardboard!  I started with a background of Golden heavy body acrylics, then moved the stencil and stenciled more heavy body acrylics. So you can't really tell that it is a flower stencil, but you have the groovy curves.

To see how india inks would interact with the texture created by acrylics and a stencil, I used a chopstick to drip/paint J. Herbin and Dr. Ph Martin's india inks. Total experiment! After removing the stencil I was thrilled with the texture. When I removed the stencil, some of the cardboard separated, and that result actually lead to the next step, where I squinted to decide what to do next. Seeing the lines of the torn cardboard, I added collage elements from magazines and embellished with neocolor wax crayons. One thing leads to another...

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