January 15, 2021

Sun Stencil with Watercolors

by Kris Hurst

About Sun Stencil with Watercolors

Combining found objects with traditional mediums like watercolor can lead to spectacular results. This sun stencil with watercolors project does just that. I have this habit of rescuing discarded items from the ‘trash’ that I just know will come in handy for a for a yet to be determined art project. For this particular project, inspiration came in the form of an old ‘paper plate holder’.

For those of you unfamiliar with these, back in the 80’s and 90’s, these wicker and plastic holders were used to support flimsy paper plates when you were dining al fresco or, perhaps, in front of the TV. I decided to use this paper plate holder as a stencil. In the cut design, or negative space, I saw a potential sun.

How to Make Sun Stencils with Watercolor

I incorporated two techniques, using Ignite Studio’s watercolor kit, to highlight the negative and positive space. For the first ‘sun,’ I taped the plate to a piece of watercolor paper. I then painted the ‘rays’ of the sun using different shades of yellow and orange. I really saturated the pigment on the edges of the rays, and then watered down the paint the closer I got to the center. For a final touch, I loosely outlined the rays in gray sharpie.

For the second ‘sun,’ I again, taped the plate to a piece of watercolor paper. I then ‘painted’ the negative space with rubber cement. The rubber cement acts as a resist, meaning the paint will not adhere to the cemented surfaces. After, letting the rubber cement dry, I pulled the plate from the paper. Next, I painted over and around the rubber cement using various shades of yellow and orange. When the paint was dry, I peeled off the rubber cement with my fingers and revealed my second sun.

I was so pleased with both suns that I incorporated my images into a calendar design for the year 2021, using a scanner and digital editing software.

See what you have around your house that can be turned into a stencil. I have used punched out chipboard from games and packaging material from gifts or grocery store items. I have also discovered ‘stencils’ in Ignite’s Fab Lab, using leftover materials from the laser engraver to make stenciled wrapping paper and cards. If you find a way to turn trash into art, feel free to share your creations on Facebook in the Ignite Community Discussion Board! Happy Making!