Sketches to stencils

I usually start designing a stencil by doing some sketches of my idea. In this piece, I want to combine some pasted background imagery including a moon and some branch and leaf-like forms over the leaf impressions made by the eco-print (see my previous post) Then I'll add pigments in subtle shades of blue and green, let the piece cure a few days and then rinse out the paste. Over this layer I will paste a single stencil of branches and blackbirds. Here are my initial sketches on newsprint for the final stencil.

 grackles

grackles

 black willow branches in Januar

black willow branches in Januar

Transient
 red twig dogwood

red twig dogwood

Next, I work out a cartoon from my sketches, combining the imagery from the sketches. (I probably have no business making a stencil with this much open area (that is, area to be cut away), but I'm curious and committed to see how my idea works out - or not, as the case may be!) I make design adjustments both after tracing the stencil and while I am cutting it. This one will need lots of bridges to give it stability because of all the open areas. The moon is missing because it will be pasted from a separate Yupo stencil.

 cartoon for stencil

cartoon for stencil

A light coat of spray adhesive adheres the cartoon to my stencil paper, which has been cut to allow an ample margin on all sides. My image is larger than my stencil paper so will be spread across two pieces of shibugami.

 cartoon adhered to shibugami

cartoon adhered to shibugami

cutting the stencil
cutting the stencil
 two-part stencil, with bridges, before reinforcing

two-part stencil, with bridges, before reinforcing

This week I am pasting and dyeing the under-layers, and hope to share a bit of that work later this week.