Use Art Stencils To Add Texture to Your Mixed-Media

We’re all well acquainted with creating textured art, and with using stencils in art. But have you ever combined the two? I’m a fan of art that looks juicy with paint strokes and has peaks and ridges that beg the viewer to touch them. That combination sometimes makes the artist’s vision seem more real to me, even more tangible than a completely flat surface. It took Seth Apter’s explanation of using fiber paste with art stencils for me to understand how to get the unconstrained feel of textured art within the confining (and sometimes comforting) lines of a stencil.

Artwork by Seth Apter

“Fiber paste is an opaque, white paste with a texture similar to thick frosting,” Apter says. “When dry, fiber paste is extremely flexible in form and provides a highly matte surface. It’s traditionally used as a ground on a substrate for the purpose of creating a textured surface.”

Apter is featured in Volume 6 of Art Lessons: Dimensional Stenciling. He explains in this download (which includes a step-by-step video demonstration) how to create stenciled images that have texture. His enthusiasm is contagious!

“Stencils are booming,” he says. “There’s no question that there are more artists and companies designing art stencils with a wider variety of designs than ever before. And this makes so much sense. Stencils are the perfect supply to use in mixed-media art, altered art, art journaling, and so many other creative domains. They’re relatively inexpensive, simple to use, easy to store, and the perfect addition to many different art projects.”

Download Dimensional Stenciling here, and scroll down for Apter’s “Tool Highlight” on using a putty knife in your mixed-media art.

How do you create texture in your art? Tell me about it!

Until next time,

Seth Apter’s Tool Highlight: Putty Knife

• Materials such as Fiber Paste are traditionally applied with a palette knife but I prefer using a putty knife.
• Using a putty knife to apply the fiber paste will allow you to create texture via peaks and valleys in the paste.
• You can use the edges or points of the knife to create marks, designs, or even letters in your Fiber Paste while it is still wet.
• If you think of spreading peanut butter or frosting when using the knife, you’ll quickly become comfortable with this technique.



Blog, Mixed-Media Painting Techniques


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