Creating stencils involves cutting out a drawing and painting or drawing through it. Screen Prints are a kind of printmaking technique that artists use to get flat, even colors. Some screenprints, like Dipped (shown above) by Allan D’ Arcangelo use bold colors, shapes, and lines. Screen Printing is one of the most common forms of printing and can be found in many places, from fine art prints to the designs on T-shirts. Creating stencils is an easy, fun way to try screen printing techniques at home.

In our current show, Prints and Protest, 1960-1970, many artists use printmaking as a way to show their beliefs and what is important to them. With your stencil print, you can create something that’s important or has special meaning to you.

Supplies Needed:

  • Cardstock or Thick Paper
  • Paper (For Printing)
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Paint or Markers

Steps to Make Your Own Stencils:

  1. Draw out a design for your stencil on cardstock. Stencils work best if your design is simple.
  2. Use scissors to cut out your stencil drawing. The parts you cut away will be the parts that paint or marker will go through. Fold or bend your stencil to cut out inside parts, or cut through the paper and tape up any cuts you don’t want to keep.
  3. Place a piece of paper underneath your stencil. Use markers or dab paint through your stencil to make your artwork.
  4. Repeat your stencil as many times as you would like.

Featured image: Allan D’Arcangelo (American, 1930-1998), Dipped from the portfolio Artists and Writers Protest Against the War in Viet Nam, 1967, screen print. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Dorsky, 1971. (1971.13)

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