Friday, April 30, 2010

Two Features - in one week!

I'm feeling quite chuffed today because I've had two features on different websites in the past week. 

One feature was teeny tiny - about miniature art for small apartment spaces.  It was on a very cool website called Apartment Therapy, and showed a mini portrait of my nephew Callum.

(Remember that hilarious episode of Seinfeld where George fancied himself as a hand model? I was thinking of that while I was taking this photo...somehow I don't think I'm going to get approached by a hand modelling agency!) I'm waiting until Callum is old enough to be bribed into holding his own portrait.  At the moment, I think he'd eat it .


The other feature is on parenting site, and lists The 11 Gifts You Really Want for Mother's Day and mine is number one!  Yay!  It shows a big stencil I did a few months ago, of one of my other nephews. 

So, a good marketing week for Blue Day Designs! 

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

New Stencil Design - your preference?

I've just started working on a stencil design of one of my sisters. (She doesn't know yet, and I don't know whether she'll be pleased or mortified to be immortalized in spray-paint.)  

I've got two designs that I've done some rough work on, but I'm not sure which one I like the most. 

Here are the original photos:

The first is of my sister holding our nephew, and in the other she's with our dad.

I put them through a few filters in Photoshop (changing them to black and white, and mucking around with the contrast) until I got something that looks stencil-like. 

Here's the first one.  (With dad cut out - I'm fairly sure he wouldn't like the spray-paint treatment!) I've done about an hour's work on this, and it's still pretty rough - but I think it's got potential.  I really like the hair, and I've changed the way her shoulders slant, putting the LH shoulder higher, to give her a more relaxed, spontaneous look.  (Amazing how just a few little strokes can change the overall look.)

The other design is still very basic, not even a proper stencil yet, just a black and white photo.  But, I can see it would probably come out ok, because my sister's face has some strong lines in it, and I also like the overall shape - an adult, wrapped around and looking over, a child.

So, I'll just keep playing around with these two and let you know what happens.  I'm thinking of spraying it in bright green - just for something a bit different.  Love to know what you think!  Which picture appeals to you more?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Stencil Tutorials

Here's a list of stencil tutorials that I used to help me get started. There's a heap more out on the net, but these are some of my faves. Enjoy!
This Stencil Graffiti tutorial is a fantastic and in-depth tute on designing, cutting, and spraying stencils. 
If you've always wondered how to make a stencil of Dick Cheney using Photoshop, today's your lucky day -  here's a tutorial.

Another Photoshop tutorial, but this time with more appealing subject matter - Blondie.  Part 2 of this tutorial is about cutting and stencil design and putting it onto a t-shirt.

From Black Kitty blog, a very cool little tute on doing your own stencil portrait. A great tute for beginners.

Here's a tute on spraying a multi-colored stencil, and another with lots of information about stenciling materials, and photos of stencils to inspire you.

Also check-out You Tube, which has a heap of stencil tutorials.

Banksy - Maid in London.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Baby Elephant Stencil

I've had a sweet victory over a problem I've had stenciling onto stretched canvas, so I thought I'd share my new stenciling technique here.

Stretched canvas like this -  

-is on a wooden frame.  The problem I've had is that when I  press the stencil design down onto the canvas the design becomes unstuck because the canvas has too much 'give' to it.  This results in more underspray (where spray paint finds its way underneath the stencil outline).  It's bad...very bad.

It's much easier to press a design down onto a completely flat surface and I've just come up with a solution where I can have my cake and eat it too - stencil onto a flat surface, and end up with a stencil on a stretched canvas.

I started off with this baby elephant photo -

and made this design -

When I'd cut out the very fiddly little stencil it looked like this-

Then I got this flat canvas panel -

and spray-painted onto it instead of a stretched canvas.  I sprayed adhesive spray on the back of the stencil, pressed it down with my fingers, then rolled over it with a rolling-pin and got that stencil well and truly stuck to the canvas.

The result?  100% success!  No underspray at all. A totally clean, clear, spray.

Then, I got a stretched canvas, spraypainted its sides black, and glued the canvas panel with the elephant on it, onto the stretched canvas.

Below is the final product.  I think it looks good - having a black border to the stencil gives it a sharp look, and, although it costs me a few dollars more to use a flat panel as well as a stretched canvas, it's worth it becuase I can get a perfect result.