Thinking through a stencil design

There are generally four ways to approach the design of katazome stencil - negative (dyed background), positive (dyed foreground), outline (resist lines on a dyed background) and string (dyed lines on a resisted background).  Here's a simple design illustrating these four approaches. I've added bridges where necessary so the structure of the stencil holds together.

 1. negative 2. positive 3. outline 4. string

1. negative 2. positive 3. outline 4. string

Oftentimes a single stencil will contain more than one of these approaches.

I am working on a stencil I call  "Spring" - some trees with branches and buds. I want to shift the shapes from negative on the bottom to positive on the top. The problem is how to navigate this transition gradually - I don't want an abrupt break. I added a area of grass-like lines in the middle area of the composition. After attaching my cartoon to the surface of the shibugami (stencil paper), I sketched in some lines to clarify where I want to make my cuts. I made black marker lines to represent the positive leaves of grass - these I cut between -  and red marker lines to represent the negative leaves of grass. These I cut away.

 cartoon adhered to stencil paper

cartoon adhered to stencil paper

Here's the middle section after cutting.

 after cutting the transition area

after cutting the transition area

It's now ready to reinforce. (See the two "V" bridges at the top edge - these will be cut away.)

 Spring stencil © Kit Eastman

Spring stencil © Kit Eastman