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(EDIT: Our internet went wonky so this is super delayed today – sorry for the wait!)

Are you ready to play with paint? Today, I’m going to show you some of the effects you can get with paint and stencils.

Since paint is obviously more fluid than ink, the image you get will generally be less sharp and defined, but a little more dimensional. Depending on the style I want to achieve, I like both effects.

For the first sample I used Jenni Bowlin Paint Dabbers, though any acrylic paint dabber will work in a similar way. For the top of the tag, I kept the dabbers fairly dry, ie. I didn’t squeeze any paint out, and dabbed lightly over the surface of the stencil. For the bottom half, I squeezed out paint and dabbed it over the stencil, in the way you would normally use the paint dabber, laying down a thicker, more opaque layer.

As you can see, the dry technique gives a fairly good image even though we are using a wet medium, but the coverage isn’t as solid as it was when we used the Distress Ink. The bottom half has more even coverage but the paint seeps under the stencil and leaves a less defined edge. Also, you can feel and see the slight dimension of the paint, which is pretty neat!

The second sample still uses acrylic paint, but I moved to the Claudine Hellmuth Studio Line. These paints, my friends, they’re dreamy. So creamy and rich and the colours are yummy! Anyway… The top half is my favourite way to use paint and stencils – I just smear the paint over with a palette knife or craft scraper (or Pampered Chef scraper, whatever!).

For the middle I just used a paint brush and for the bottom, a cosmetic sponge.

The technique for the top part does allow seeping under the stencil, but it also gives a super defined and raised edge – very cool in real life but hard to show in a picture. The middle also has some dimension and, because you can better control how much paint is on the brush, it has less leakage. Finally, the cosmetic sponge is able to give a very defined and solid image or a gloopy, painty one – it depends on how wet or dry you make the sponge. For this sample I added a little paint, then dabbed it off on my craft mat until it was almost dry, then pounced it over the stencil until I was happy with the coverage. This is how you can do “dry” paint to get precise images.

The final sample uses watercolour paints. This happens to be my least favourite method, because I don’t get defined edges, or dimension, but it can be pretty cool as a background. Since watercolours require water, this is generally the most fluid of the paint techniques. Of course, you can make them creamier rather than runnier by using less water, but they also become less easy to use.

Myself, I like to do a wash of colour for building background layers so the seepage and undefined images are fine. In this sample, I used a heavier layer of colour than normal so you can see how they usually work with stencils. Mine are normally less precise than this as I use a runnier wash of colour.

My finished tag started with a background layer of Distress Ink, then the palette knife technique (my fave!) and the cosmetic sponge (fairly wet) technique. Some stamps, Perfect Pearls Mist, and tissue tape finished it off!

Have I mentioned how much I love the dimension and sharp edges the palette knife gives? Sweet!

All in all, you can have some great fun with paints and your stencils! There are also fluid watercolours, with a consistency more like acrylic, and oil paints, neither of with I used today. Go try some paints, steal them from your kiddies if you have to (the blue in the Crayola set is incredible!), and leave me a link so I can see what you’ve done!

Enjoy the rest of your day and go get painty!