Stencil art is a traditional craft that dates back centuries. It's fascinating how this form has been preserved through the years. Today, stencil art is still being done. More and more artistans are adopting this passion and discovering the fulfilling nature of the craft.
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(Image Source: Royal Design Studio Stencils)
The Stencil Brush
One of a stencil artist's main tools in this art is a stencil brush. Many claim that if the idea is the heart of the design, and the stencil cutouts are the engine that would make the idea a reality, then the stencil brush is the steering wheel which the artist could use to drive the vehicle.
This tool comes in many sizes. Small ones are for detailed sections of the canvass, where meticulous and precise strokes are needed. Larger ones are for faster painting over a wider space on the said canvass. The shape of the handle is of no moment here, and should only be considered for handling convenience. Rather, it's the size of the bristles that should be of importance. The bristles, after all, are what will eventually control the application of the paint. These bristles, generally, should be short and sturdily bundled together for better command of the paint.
Circa 1830 Stenciled Bedspread located at Los Angeles County Museum of Art
It is highly recommended that you seek out real stencil brushes instead of creating makeshift ones from ordinary type of painting brushes. A stencil brush is specially designed for better control of the paint over a stenciling canvass, as we have previously discussed. It does this by making sure that the paint does not get trapped under the bristles, which would just result in uneven paint applications that would make the piece lose some of this stark splendor. Since the bristles are firmly packed, paint can be managed better, and precision as we all know, is key in stenciling.
It is also highly recommended that you should have different brushes for different paints. This would eliminate the rather tedious task of having to rinse your brush every time you want to apply a different color.
Once you're ready to paint, make sure that your stencil brush is dry. Excessive wetness would just make the paint scatter, and the result can be disastrous. Also, make sure that your bristles do not hold too much paint, as this can result in heavier-than-desired applications.