How to stencil with mists

Hello again wonderful Get Messians. It’s Zinia again joining you to share some tips and ideas on how to use your mists with stencils. There was actually a topic on the Get Messy facebook group a few months ago about art supplies we struggle using and a couple of people mentioned mists back then. I actually heard a few times that people don’t know what to do with their mists. They can be quite intimidating because of the big factor of randomness in the results, that’s why I decided to talk a bit about them here and hopefully inspire you to use them more. I’m only going to focus on ideas and techniques using stencils because it’s a great place to start. It’s easier to get a nice result when you have more control on where your color will be. There are many options of stencils and they are rather inexpensive. If you own a Silhouette machine, you can also use that to cut your own stencils. For all the techniques mentioned below you will need a porous surface that will soak the color as soon as possible. Never use this on top of gesso or layers of paint because you won’t be able to get refined shapes.

The Obvious Way

The first thing we are going to try is spraying right through the stencil. It’s a pretty obvious process but I want to mention two things for the beginners. First, make sure to cover the area around your stencil. If you don’t you will get some harsh border around the design. In some cases, you may want to have those lines while spraying over your stencil but we are going to take a look on that a bit later.

Mists & Stencils

The second thing to consider is the distance between the mist and your page. Usually you’d want 20-30cm to get a fine and unified coverage. It’s better to try it first on a scrap piece of paper and get to know your supplies a bit before you go ahead and use them in your art journal. Don’t be discouraged if the results you get are not perfect, we are not aiming for perfection anyway. Different brands of mists will give you slightly different results because they don’t always use the same nozzles. If you really can’t stand the way your mists spray, you should probably consider getting a replacement cap from some different company and trying that instead. For the most part mist bottles tend to be around the same size so you can mix and match caps from different brands.

Mists & Stencils

So when you spray directly on your page you have two options. You can either lightly cover the stencil or “flood” it for a messier look. In the second case you won’t get a detailed image of your stencil rather than an impression of the design. It’s a fun way to add “color with texture”. Here you can see the results of both techniques.

Mists & Stencils

Stamping with a Stencil

Another fun thing to try is to stamp with your stencil. It’s really a super simple technique but it creates a really interesting and unique result. First thing to do is spray on your stencil on top of a scrap piece of paper to avoid making a mess on your work surface. Make sure to add a fair amount of color as evenly spread as possible. Just remember the nature of this technique is producing messy results so don’t bother too much about getting it perfect cause it will never be.

Mists & Stencils

Mists & Stencils

Once you have that ready, carefully place the stencil face down on your page. This part can be tricky if you overdid it with the spraying. You may need to experiment a bit with it. We want enough color so we can stamp with it but not too much because it will start dripping all over the place and won’t give up the result we want.

Mists & Stencils

To make sure the color gets transferred properly put a paper towel on top of your stencil and lightly press through the whole are. Then just peel it off and reveal the magic.

Mists & Stencils

You can see the watercolor look that the design has. If you are not careful while picking the stencil up, you will end up with that smudge mark like mine but it still looks absolutely beautiful. To take this a step further, let your page completely dry and put the stencil on top of it again. Align it as best as you can and lightly spray with a different color to fill in the gaps of the outlined stamping.

Mists & Stencils

Mists & Stencils

Blending Foam

I’m sure many of you have those handy Tim Holtz ink blending foams laying around. They are absolutely amazing to work with. You don’t really need to invest a lot in them. You can just buy the foams without the handles and use some velcro to attach them on anything you have available. I use mine on an empty tape runner. If you don’t have access to those lovely foams or you don’t want to invest in getting them, you can grab some inexpensive make up sponges instead. Start by spraying a bit of your mist on a plastic surface or a palette. I used a piece of old packaging. Pick the color with your foam and dab it on top of the stencil. Make sure to tap the foam once or twice on a scrap piece of paper before getting in your stencil to make sure it’s not overloaded.

Mists & Stencils

Mists & Stencils

Flooding through the edges

Earlier I mentioned how you can flood the color through your stencil to get a messy result. Here, I’ll show you an example of how you can flood your stencil without covering the area around it and create a fun frame. This technique will work best with stencils that are smaller than your page.

Mists & Stencils

First thing to do is to place your stencil in the middle of the page and add a lot of color on top of it. Make sure the color goes all the way around the edges. You can even go ahead and spray with some water a couple of times to make the color flow even more. You will get an idea of what the stencil looks like but there won’t be well-defined lines and designs. Now let that dry completely and like we did on the stamping example, spray again lightly with a different color. I added some fine spraying with a red color and then I also came in with some bit splatters using a dark blue mist.

Mists & Stencils

Mists & Stencils

You can layer different techniques and colors as you like to create fun and unique results.

Stencil Layering

Now speaking of layers, the last technique I want to share with you is layering your stencils. Just a friendly warning, this technique won’t work great with any stencils. Try to experiment with what you have to see which designs work nice together. If both designs are too small you will hardly get any ink on your page and if one of them is too big it will almost look as if the second stencil wasn’t there. After a few fails I found some stencils in my stash that worked nicely together. I think using one stencil with stripes is a really good idea to get both designs to show through.

Mists & Stencils

Mists & Stencils

That’s everything! I really hope you found these ideas useful and you’ll start experimenting and making more out of your supplies. Mists are really versatile and fun, you just need to play around and combine them with other supplies too for extra fun results. If you are still not sure how these backgrounds can work on a page, make sure to check the linkups every week during this season because I’m gonna be using them (and possible more backgrounds created with mists) for my pages during this season. Let’s hope we will see more misting in the linkups this time 😉 Have fun and stay creative.

Zinia

Zinia is an art student from Greece. She loves everything about colors, cats, puppies, cupcakes and pretty paper products. Zinia dreams of one day being an art educator and spreading confetti of inspiration to the world.

6 Comments

  1. Vanessa Oliver-lloyd

    Some of these techniques I never even would have thought of trying!

  2. Sofia

    Thank you Zinia for this tuto !
    I have some stencils and mists that I have never used, because every try was a fail… But now, I will get them out of the drawer and play around ! 😀

  3. Molly Bennett

    wishing my to do list wasn’t so long today… excited to get out my stencils and mist and do some creating!

  4. julia Thomas

    Think I might have to get on this misting bandwagen!

  5. TC Larson

    I love these techniques! And I’ve wondered how those Tim Holz blending foams worked, so that was just another bonus of your tutorial.

    One question for you, when you’ve got time…have you ever tried to create your own sprays? I followed a DIY on YouTube because I wanted some sprays that were not activated by water and would stay put once they dried on the page. But mine ended up being way too watery and they just made a mess on my page. If you’ve ever tried or if you’ve got any ideas, I’d love to hear them. I really love the effect of sprays, but sometimes when I get going on another layer I schmoosh them all up and it’s a bummer.

    Thanks again for a great tutorial!

  6. Talia carbis

    Oh this is a wonderful tutorial – thank you ZInia!