For reasons that are not entirely clear to me, I am on a quest to make as many of my own art tools as possible. I have been playing with stencils lately, and I decided that I wanted to use some face stencils and that I would make my own for collages, journaling, and possibly for fabric. This, I might add, is easier said than done.
I started by making line drawings of faces on blank stencil sheets. I used magazines and family photos as a starting point.
I thought that using a hot stencil cutter would make things easy. Well, it burns through the stencil blank quickly, but it leaves blobs and ridges. I tried two different burning heads on the tool. I went slowly. I went quickly. No matter what I did, I got blobs and ridges. So, I got out my trusty Xacto knife and tried to cut away the blobby parts and even out the cuts (I also sanded down the ridges). I used just the exacto knife for the rest of my stencils. I have to admit I had to tape over some unwanted slices (and burned out blobs), but I think practice will take care of that.
Below is a face I based on a magazine photo (hint, the fall Vogue is full of great images for collages, masks, and art inspirations). I used the Xacto knife for this.
Below is an attempt to make a stencil of my older daughter's face.
This is how it looks stencilled onto a piece of paper.
This one is supposed to be me.
And below is my attempt to capture my younger daughter's face.
I used paint instead of stamping ink when I stencilled this image.
Below is my effort to clean up after making the cuts with the hot stencil cutter. I used a magazine face as my model.
Another burned magazine image that I tried to clean up with the Xacto.
Below is another burned stencil of a magazine face.