Thursday 4 June 2015

How to personalise commercial stencils and Thermofax screens.

This is the full tutorial that was feature on Create Mixed Media but with bigger photos.

Adding texture to pages with modeling paste is a really easy way to personalise a commercial stencil. Pick a section of the stencil that you really like, rather than using the whole image. The resulting page looks more as though it’s mine than the stencil designer’s.

I like to use lots of different techniques on my pages. I first learned to use a Thermofax screen with fabric paint on cloth. It is an easy form of screen-printing. It is a simple technique to transfer an image and you can have your own images created as a screen if you wish. I really liked how simple it is to do and how clear the printed image is on the fabric. It seemed obvious to try using artist’s acrylic paint and the Thermofax screen on paper and in my journal.

Materials list:
Substrate, pencil, gesso, modeling paste, plastic knife, stencil, acrylic paints, Thermofax screen, spreader (old credit card), Distress Inks, blending tools, cutter or scissors, pen, glue – I used Matte Medium. If you don’t own a Thermofax screen you could use a large stamp or maybe a stencil.

This journal page was inspired by a class I am collaborating on with 4 others called Faithart 101 at His Kingdom Come. The inspiration for each Creatives work is Psalm 139:23-24 and we have each produced a piece of work in our particular style.

1. Once you have gathered together all your supplies, start by journaling with a pencil on your page. You could use a waterproof pen if you wish. If you don’t like your writing (and who does?), covering it up as we will do, is a good way to express your thoughts without the writing being visible on the finished page. Put a thin layer of gesso over the whole page. If you don’t want your writing to show too much you need to put a little more gesso on. If you feel you’ve out too much gesso on, wipe some off with a wet wipe.

2. Choose where to put your stencil on the page. In the photo I have put it over the whole page but I only intend to put the modeling paste in certain areas. Using a plastic knife spread the modeling paste through small areas of the stencil. I don’t clean my stencils properly when I have used them and the modeling paste picked up the spray ink that was on the stencil.

3. When I removed the stencil the pink was rather too bright so I washed my stencil and dried it. I put it back over the page and scraped a very thin layer of modeling paste back over the pink layer. When the modeling paste has dried brush on a thin layer of acrylic paint. I used two colours – a pale blue and a pale green.

4. The Thermofax screen is made with a special material and the image is burned onto it. The ink will only go through the area that has been burned. Put the screen onto your page where you want to print.

Put a small amount of acrylic paint at the top of the screen and use a spreader to drag the paint down across the image.

I used an old credit card as a spreader.

This is the result of the first print on the left. I used black acrylic paint because adding black to a page makes everything ‘pop’. Move the screen a little and scrape some more paint across the screen. Wash the paint off the screen with warm water. Dry the screen before you use it again.

6. Using the same screen (now dried) put the screen in a different place on the page and scrape white paint through it. This will also help the image to ‘pop’. The Thermofax screen must be washed again so that the acrylic paint does not clog up the print section.

7. Print out the words you want to use on your computer. This is an opportunity to use any fancy font you choose. Colour the paper with Distress Inks and cut into strips or into individual words. Ink the edges of the strips of paper.

8. Glue the words to your page. Draw round the words or strips of words with a black pen.

Thanks for stopping by.

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