October 1, 2009

Awesome Art Techniques

I’ve been fascinated with stencils and layering for quite some time. When I see paintings using these methods I see there is a richness and depth of color and texture that it simply begs to be touched and studied.

I was lucky enough to take a stencil class from Mary Ann Moss of Dispatch from LA a few months ago. Mary Ann is an excellent teacher, I would take another class from her in a heartbeat. She was funny and informative. She uses spray paint in her work and gives you all the pros and cons of using spray paint vs spray inks and the health hazards of each. Her class videos demonstrated many projects each, all the while telling you “here is how I do it, but there is no right or wrong way.” I love that.   The information in the class videos ranges from using found objects as masks or stencils to creating your own stencils out of stencil film or acetate.  After watching the videos for each class, I was inspired to create a myriad of stencils, some of which I have yet to use but am dying to. Since taking the class, I now have found stencils made of lace, punchinella, drawer liners, washers, and doilies. And cut stencils of birds, flowers, faces, swirls and borders. Not to mention paper stencils purchased from scrapbook paper aisle. 

If you’ve been reading my blog recently you know that I was also taking a class from Kelly Kilmer of Kelly Kilmer Artist and Instructor. Kelly is so supportive in her Prompt a day class that you never feel like you are making a mess with the layered paints and collage. She always makes you feel like you’ve gone a great job and that support is so important for new artists. OK you know by reading my previous posts that Kelly’s class wasn’t just about layering paint, it was really about journaling daily but paint layering is what I got out of it. The freedom to try splashing 6-7 colors on a page (dry page between colors) and seeing how dreamy it can look. She had us use colors I would have never thought about using together to create some really beautiful background pages, if I do say so myself.  :) What was really interesting was seeing the diversity of art work produced by the students, all of us using the same painting and collage prompts.

The best thing I got out of the two classes is the feeling that I can combine the information I cultivated from both to do what I’ve been wanting to do but couldn’t fathom how until now. To give you an indication of the style I’ve been lusting after here is a video from Gray Reef showing you how he creates his paintings, using the paint layering and stencils techniques.  His work was one of the reasons I really fell for the process in the first place.  His art is impressive. If you get a chance, click on his name above and view more of his technique videos.  He has a lot to offer.


I will probably take a short break from taking classes so I can practice my new found information.  However, I am looking for suggestions on classes. What are you taking and how do you like the teacher? Would you recommend the class to others?  I’m most interested in learning more about painting faces but I will entertain other ideas as well.


  1. Thanks Linda for the kind words on my class. The nicest thing is that while there are rules, it's fun to learn them and push them...to break, to change, to see how far you can push things. I hope that you have a great time exploring and expanding upon what you've learned. The key to getting all of it to 'work' is play. Sit and play and have fun doing it. The more you work hands on, the easier it will get...

  2. You can definitely see the influence from each class in your work. I've taken an online class by Gary Reef and I was quite pleased.

    I'm currently taking Sarah Whitmire's new journaling class. I'm not sure what I think of it just yet. I like the way Sarah teaches but it's in a yahoo group. It's only on the second week. I'll let you know how it goes.

  3. Hi, Linda! So much yummy class goodness! Glad you've been learning lots and feeling so inspired! :-)


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