Spray, Spill, Stencil: Experimental Applications
So sometimes I like to work very experimentally even beyond having any kind of resource image to work from maybe having an image in terms of working in a stencil. But then also sometimes using spills and spraying to create effects that I could never ever dictate. So we're going to look at some potential ways to make painterly effects that I highly recommend you. Just experiment with. And these are just a few possibilities. The possibilities are really endless. And many artists use the idea of spilling or stencils or spraying to create abstract images. So what I want to show you first is the potential of a stencil. And so what I've done, so I actually did a series of drawings that were very abstract that were kind of flowing line drawings. And then I went in and I filled in some of the shapes. So I actually did them on brown paper bags. And I went in and I filled in some of the shapes and that got me thinking, I thought, you know, I was I wonder what that would feel like or look like if...
I actually created um a cut out of that, like a stencil of that. So this image here is just a paper cut out of these of the white sections of this drawing. So I did a whole series of these. There are these abstract silhouettes and I really love the way that they are very stark and it made me think well what about stencils? You know, I don't really want to spray paint on this because to me this is sort of a finished pairing, but I rifled around some of my art supplies and I actually found um some stencil material, uh you know, just some plastic that you can cut out. And I love magnolias. I have a whole bunch of magnolia images, blew them up and I just ended up drawing a really simple magnolia and I took that simple drawing, cut it out of a little bit of plastic stencil material and I created a stencil. So I thought, you know, what would it be like to take a stencil and maybe do some kind of repeat pattern and possibly work with spray paint. And I have a whole bunch of spray paint in the studio. Um and in order to do that in order to work with the spray paint because it does sort of get everywhere first. You want to take the stencil and kind of secure it down like this. This stencil has a little hole in it up here. Um I want to make sure that like it's as flat as I can possibly get it. You know, I might end up having a little bit of the pain end up going beyond the boundary of it, but that's not such a huge deal. So I'm gonna place this, but I also have the stencil that I cut from this. So I'm kind of curious to see what the negative positive situation might be if I spray in the stencil, see what happens to remove it and then maybe play with this one a little bit as well paired together. So with stencils, the beauty is that you can make many, many, many repeat images and you can turn them mirror them, twist them, layer them in all different ways. So let's see what happens. I have some turquoise spray paint, love turquoise, love the, love the color turquoise with spray paint. You want to make sure that you shake it up. You also want to make sure that you're in a well ventilated area and that you spray from a distance where sort of a fine mist would be happening. So maybe six or seven inches away, maybe eight inches away from from your stencil image. So I'm gonna go ahead and start by spraying a bit of spray paint down on this and then I'm gonna lift the plastic to see how the stencil looks. Sometimes you have to nudge it a little, sometimes it goes beyond the edges but we'll just we'll just play and see what happens. All right, so I'm gonna spray it. I'm gonna put this color aside and I'm just gonna peel this up, Peel This one up. Let's see what happened. Oh I kinda love that. I think that's really neat and you can make multiples out of that for sure. But I'm still curious about this sort of other image here. Now granted this doesn't have a boundary um it's a little more free form but I'm curious what might happen if we just worked with this as a shape. And I'm also curious about trying out some red paint. Let's see what might happen with this. Just give it a little test. Yeah. Alright, here we go. Here's a second stencil, right? You know what's really nice is how these sort of overlap and are a little bit transparent. So let's pick this up, wow, that's kind of gorgeous. So, this idea of using stencils and repeat patterns is a really fabulous way to create abstract patterns, things that repeat each other, things that layer things that sort of bleed into each other. I love the way the turquoise sort of cuts through the red and that these are mirror images to each other. So stencils are a really awesome way to work with abstraction to work with, you know, a possibility of creating multiples and creating layers. So, but that's not all. Sometimes I like to work something with something that's just beyond image. So, right here I have an image that I did by just spraying and letting the paint just drip. And this is actually something that would involve gravity. Right? This idea of like being enough paint on something and then lifting it and just seeing what happens, you're totally not in control of the amount of drip or how it's gonna drip, but I thought that might be fun to try. So I'm gonna take a piece of white paper and here I've got a spray bottle. This is one of these like little spray bottles that are for water color. It creates a rather fine mist and what I'm gonna do. So I'm gonna start by just sort of spraying the top edge of this or this section of this and then I'm gonna lift it and spray it a little more. See if we can get enough pigment going so that it feels like it's gonna give us some nice drips again, this is just a possibility if you like the idea of things dripping that you might get a spray bottle put in a little ink and see what happens. All right, So first of all I'm gonna start spraying so I like this red but I sort of feel like I want to try a different color. So I've got a little purple on the side, let's see what this does. Alright, let's see. Oh yeah, so if you get enough pigment you can just see how it starts to drip down. And I love the way the spray gets lighter towards the edges and these drips, you can just let them happen and they really produce something completely unexpected and very, very abstract. And you can even turn the paper if you want and let the drips fall a different way or spray it in a different direction to make sort of more of a crossover effect. So this dripping, this spraying is another really liberating practice that you can do with a proper spray bottle. And just some ink to create new abstract effects. It's really fun to try one more thing I really want to show you is um the spill and it's a very straightforward situation and you know sometimes you think oh I spilled something, it's ruined now, right? But I actually think that the spill can be like a kind of fabulous um effect. So I'm going to take some ink. I'm literally going to just spill it on the page. Yeah. And this in and of itself could be the image. But I can also work with the spill to just tilt the paper a little bit. You can see how the paper is starting to absorb and making a slightly different color of blue. Wow, I love that. So that's really impactful. You know, you could use blue, you could use black, you could use brown, you could use so many different colors for spills but it took no time at all. You could do a whole series of spills. And sometimes in spilling, you actually start to find abstract shapes like this one to me, starts to feel almost botanical with an element moving this way. You can start to see things in the spills that can be inspiring as well. You can, even after it dries paint in the in betweens So between stenciling and dripping and spilling all of these experimental techniques. You can really move the work into a much more experimental place, a place where you can cannot control or predict the outcome. And I think that's an exciting place to be.