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Monday, January 24, 2022

Shine... StencilGirl® Self Portrait Collaborative

Hello friends! 2022 is underway and today I am excited to share a new StencilGirl® collaborative project -- the "StencilGirl® Self Portrait Collaboration"... a project in which we were challenged to draw/stencil/paint a self portrait using StencilGirl® Stencils.

I am inspired by so many artists and art journal styles. I recently celebrated a milestone birthday -- a perfect reason for a new spread in my Ranger art journal. I opened the book to this spread that had blue paint rubbed all over from a previous art adventure.

For my thirtieth birthday, my hubs and I traveled to NYC for a bucket list road trip. We saved up all year to attend the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Along with the parade we squeezed in as much of NYC as we could in the weekend, ending with our last night staying at the Plaza Hotel. In seeing the sights walking around Central Park, we came across an artist who was set up drawing portraits in pencil and chalk right on the sidewalk. I watched him work in amazement and sat with him to have my portrait done to document my milestone birthday.

Portraits have always been a challenge for me, and self-portraits just turn up the stress level. This project was certainly a challenge, and I am happy to have used this challenge to document this time in my life. Out of all the collab projects I have joined, this one is by far my favorite!!

Nestled in my book is this hand-cut self portrait stencil that I made many moons ago at my LSS for a "Creative Jumpstart Meetup" where we created these inspired by Natalie Kalbach's CJS episode that featured this technique.

Even in this simplified format, this was a challenge. I have never used this stencil. I find it interesting how serendipitous artful opportunities present themselves.

Follow along as I share how I built up the layers.

I get out my big bin of Grumbacher Academy Acrylic paints and apply Yellow Ochre and Thalo® Yellow Green using a recycled key card.

Then added some Turquoise Green. I love how buttery
and creamy the Grumbacher Acrylics paints are.

With a base of color, I begin stenciling. Using a triangle sponge applicator, I pounce Payne's Gray through StencilGirl® L517 Shaw -- Triangle Transitions 2 Stencil.

I continue covering the entire right side page.

On the bottom left side page I apply the Payne's Gray through my handmade self-portrait...

Then continue the Triangle Transitions stencil background around the face.

Now its time for adding flowing locks of hair in Dioxazine Purple pounced through the StencilGirl® S321 Stegmiller -- Whimsical Waves Stencil.

I applied some Thalo® Gold across the top of the pages to shape around the hair then pounced over a mixture of Unbleached Titanium White and Titanium White through the StencilGirl® S681 Walker -- Gaol Doorways Stencil making a repeating pattern.

Using markers and Stabilo pencils, I added some detail
to shape the edge of the curls and waves in the hair.

It's really coming along. Now to add detail and color to finish off the face.

Using pencils and some washes of paint and Stabilo pencils, I drew in the features on the left side of face, nose and lips. I drew in the word SHINE with marker within the right eye and added color with markers to bring out the rays.


Completed spread.

Detail of face.

Detail of hair and hand-drawn waves.

I added jewels to neck using StencilGirl® S735 Walker -- Stone Statue Small Stencil with Alizarin Crimson.

I love how the background is full of texture. It brings together my favorite colors and the stenciled patterns resemble how I see things through my mind's eye.

StencilGirl® Stencils Used : 

M058 Apter -- Stencil Square Urban Insiders

S321 Stegmiller -- Whimsical Waves Stencil

S681 Walker -- Gaol Doorways Stencil

S497 Kerr -- Starlight Starbright Stencil

S735 Walker -- Stone Statue Small

L517 Shaw -- Triangle Transitions 2 Stencil

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I hope you enjoyed this project. How would you use stencils to create your self portrait? CLICK HERE to jump over to see the other portraits made for the "StencilGirl® Self Portrait Collaboration".

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Have you heard?! I'm teaching at Collage-Lab's SPRING FLING Virtual Retreat! Join myself and 14 artists from across the globe, for 20 hours of instruction, Zoom gatherings, and an assortment of collage projects and techniques. Get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday and focus on mixed media collage techniques from the comfort of your home studio! The fun begins March 1st, 2022. For all the details visit:

Thanks for dropping by!  :) Sb

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Join me for some #Cre8time Playtime...

Hello creative friends! Monday is MLK Observed Holiday for us here in the US. If you are home for the day and looking for some creative fun – grab some scissors, glue and a pile of your fav paper scraps and join me Monday, January 17th at 1pm CDT (Chicago time) for a FREE Collage-Lab Play Date!

This is held via ZOOM so head over and register here... 
please tell them Susan sent you ;)

See you tomorrow!  Sb :)
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