September 22, 2004

Curious, George: Stenciling? Anyone know any good 'net resources and how-to's on stenciling? Particularly portrait stenciling?

I'm interested in learning about the type of craft typically employed in underground stencils, not in putting cupids and vines on the nursery wall. I came across this site, which has some interesting interviews, but most other stuff I came across is aimed at home decorators. Anyone got the inside track? Particularly on computer design techniques for stencil portraiture?

  • You could try this pumpkin-carving technique. (There must be better ways to do steps 5-8 with modern versions of photoshop - adjust contrast, do outline effects to it, and so on.) I think the first step would be getting the portrait into a simpler version (posterizing?) But I am no stencil-artist, although I do carve stamps.
  • Ever try the shadow portraits where you project a profile shadow on the wall using a light behind the person and then trace it? You can cut it out on black paper (something which is a fine old tradition) or cut out a stencil, lay it on a sheet of paper, then use a screen and paint brush to put paint spatters around the stencil in a kind of halo or outline effect. I did cutouts of my kids when they were young this way. Fun mementos. You can probably google and find something on these--I be too lazy today.