View Full Version : Stencil Fun and Art Composition

05-12-2009, 05:23 PM
I was just playing around with red, black, and white because I like the contrast of the colors and ended up playing around with the stencils too. If you have not experimented with the stencils, now is a good time. :) It takes little time and it's fun! : ) Just a little hint -- using the same colors and shapes, but in different ways -- is a good way to create harmony in your work. Georges Seurat did this in "La Grande Jatte," with umbrellas and so forth. He used a lot of the same shapes but in different ways. In my piece I used similar shapes in different colors and sizes. Also, I used feminine (curvy) lines in this one to give it a little more harmony, though both feminine and masculine (straight) lines can work well together too, depending on what you are aiming at. Or, just goof off and see what happens! :D If you don't have an idea for a color scheme you can use a color wheel (there are probably some, which can be downloaded online), or you can try your favorite colors. Another way to get good color is to find a photo or another piece of art online with a color scheme you like. Sometimes I enjoy just throwing together colors that I don't think will work together and now and then I get a nice surprise! I know there are lot of you out there who know a lot more than I do :p, but these are a few hints for anyone who has not studies art appreciation and composition. It's a simple explanation and makes it easy to begin creating basic art compositions. This technique works well in both abstract and realistic work. Anyhoo, just have fun with it! ;)

NOTE: USING STENCILS ON A MAC> I put together some info. on this subject and it is posted in "Tips and Tricks" of the forum at the following link: http://www2.ambientdesign.com/forums/showthread.php?t=19631 I hope this helps! :)

05-13-2009, 01:46 PM
Cathy, it is both bold and fun....quite lively.

05-13-2009, 03:04 PM
Hi Cathy. Great fun, well designed - basic stencils put to great compositional use. I'll make one for fun when I get a break here from the next couple of hectic days.

Best, Byron

05-13-2009, 03:29 PM
Thanks to both of you. I'll check out those stencils, foxytocin. And Byron, I'm looking forward to seeing what you are going to do with the stencils. I'm sure it will above and beyond mine. :) Blessings, Cathy

05-13-2009, 10:13 PM
Well, I found a couple of hours to work this evening so here's a quick entry using 5 most basic shape stencils (it seemed shape stencils was the project idea???) and an oddball composition. I might try something more complex/comprehensive later. This was just to help kick-off the project. Hope you enjoy the rather quick, far from polished effort.

05-13-2009, 10:45 PM
Woah, Byron. I love the color blasts. Beautiful design. :) Thanks a lot!

05-14-2009, 12:19 AM
Here's a new one for your thread, Cathy and Byron:
A mermaid?????

05-14-2009, 02:44 AM
Foxy - fabulous. Elegant and refined. I especially like the delicate gold and metal foil looks. A lovely expressionist mermaid and creative use of your stencil selections to construct your forms on a simple but dynamic background. Very cool. :cool::D:)

05-14-2009, 03:17 AM
Dear Cathy, beautiful design and great idea, so glad to have your knowledge shared with us, no art education on my side but just love art, sure wish i did know the things you mention about composition and color, but always ready to be an old dog with new tricks, this one is just a qiucky for the daily fix , thank you!:)

Dear Byron, as always, true to your style, great colors and design, something about it reminds me of opening a pencil box full of great tools:)

Dear Foxy, wonderful colors and imagination, great watery colors and irridescent look, :)

05-14-2009, 08:12 AM
Beautiful work, foxytocin. Very whimsical. Love the colors and metallic work. Thanks a lot for posting. :) Byron, thanks a lot for your support and your plug on the gallery for this thread. :) Lee, I have been following your work and find it wonderful. Very original. Great design you posted here. :) There is something about it that holds one's attention. I like the colors too, and your use of light and shadow. Thanks a lot for your generous comments. I know a little, but there are so many on here who know so much more. :p Blessings to all of you, Cathy

05-14-2009, 09:26 AM
Lee, that's wonderfully inventive. You dreamed up a good one. Lovely, balanced colors and compostion. Cool.:)

05-14-2009, 12:47 PM
Thanks for the comments....mostly, I just had fun and then chose foil paper for kicks.
Lee, your post made me want to drink a glass of water...those pills look like they'd go down hard.

05-15-2009, 03:50 AM
Dear Foxy, thank you,, what a great take!:D never looked at it that way, sure does now look like blister packs of pills,,,:D:)

05-15-2009, 03:56 AM
one for CathyD's corner,,, just a qiucky again,, our neighbor has a beautiful Dogwood tree in full bloom in shades of pink, :)

05-15-2009, 06:39 PM
Lee: Replied in gallery, but repeat here, wonderfully fanciful and mega-charming. Fabulous project payoff. Love it.

05-15-2009, 11:00 PM
Hey, thanks for posting again Lee. That is really beautiful. I love the colors and the design! ;)

05-16-2009, 12:04 PM
Dear CathyD, thank you so much,, stencils are so much fun, only took me two years to figure them out!!!!:o:D:D:D:D:)

05-16-2009, 01:18 PM
You're welcome, Lee. Hah! LOL! :D ;)

05-25-2009, 08:49 AM
Okay, help!!! I can't figure out how to use the stencils... they do come up with a pin on them at first, and then I can't figure out how to move the stencil, the pin disappears and I can't figure out how to enlarge them to fit the right size. Am I losing my mind? This stuff used to come EASY to me! :(

05-25-2009, 09:52 AM
Hi Irishrose, your 'modifier' keys on your keyboard are your friends! On my mac, they're control, option, and command... PCs have control and alt (maybe shift is the third?). Anyway, put your mouse cursor over the stencil, hold the control key and see if the cursor changes (or if clicking and dragging has any effect). One resizes, one rotates, one lets you move the stencil as you hold down that key while you click and drag with the mouse.

05-25-2009, 09:58 AM
I use a mac too... will give it a try. What I'm trying to do is load a stencil from disk and then using the tablet and stylus, there doesn't seem to be an option for me to move it. If i try to pick it up and move it, it just sits there. So maybe I'm just brain dead today! ;)

05-25-2009, 11:46 AM
Hi Rose!

It took me a bit of time to figure it out with the stencils too...I still get mixed up from time to time with the scale and rotate on them. I especially have trouble with accidentally rotating the entire page that I'm working on.
Have you looked at the manual? Page 75. Rt Click with your mouse to move the stencil.
It's easier to learn to work with simple, "wide" stencils.....thin, small stencils can be hard to grab.
You'll get it, I'm sure. I well know the feeling of having a day where stuff just doesn't click. Once you get the knack, you are going to have so much fun! The stencils are such a simple design element and are so versatile...quite rewarding.
If you still can't get it to work, let me know and I'll try to walk you through it. I use a Windows XP, not a Mac. Wonder if it matters?

05-25-2009, 12:43 PM
I use a mac too... will give it a try. What I'm trying to do is load a stencil from disk and then using the tablet and stylus, there doesn't seem to be an option for me to move it. If i try to pick it up and move it, it just sits there. So maybe I'm just brain dead today! ;)

You'll get there :-)

I use a tablet too... and when you 'click' with the stylus, it's just a mouse-click in this case. So the control/option/command keys work there too. I've also set up some of the buttons on the tablet to add the control/option/command modifiers, so I don't have to reach for the keyboard.

05-25-2009, 12:57 PM
Thank you Foxy and Yachris... I know I'll figure it out. Will modify the stylus to do different things so I have a shortcut and I will get to work tomorrow since I have a day off. Some days I just call them my STUPID days.. :) Today was one of them! I truly appreciate your help. I'm kind of figuring it out but taking a while. Will look with a fresh pair of eyes and new brain tomorrow! ;)

05-25-2009, 07:52 PM
Hi all, Thanks so much for all your beautiful work and comments. :D I put together some basic information for using, loading, and managing stencils on a Mac. It is now located at the following link in the "Tips and Tricks" section of the forum: http://www2.ambientdesign.com/forums/showthread.php?t=19631
I hope this helps. :) Blessings, Cathy

05-26-2009, 01:11 AM

You are awesome, thank you!!! So once again WOO HOO! Something to print out! I am definitely going to study this... i appreciate it so much. This should be moved to the tips and tricks section of the forum. It is a winner! I hope to post something later. I have all day! YEAH! God bless you so much! Rose

05-26-2009, 09:33 AM
Hi Irishrose once again! :D I guess you are right. Perhaps I will put that info. on the forum. Thanks! So glad it is helpful. :)