-First take a photograph and block out the darkest areas with a pencil (so you can erase if needed)
-Then look at grey tones and decide which ones will become dark/black. Decide if an area is needed to provide a detail that helps to define the image
-There should be clear areas of black/shadow with clean edges. Try to break up large or long areas of black by creating “bridges” (see below)
-Plastic guard should be on the exacto blade whenever it is not in use
-Always have a piece of mat board under the image while you cut. Do not cut directly on table.
-If cutting, always make sure your thumb and fingers are out of the way of the exacto blade!!
-Copy image onto stencil paper freehand, using light table, using carbon paper, or taping it on and cutting through both layers.
-Start cutting away areas that will be black. Make sure no area is too long or big.
-There cannot be fully enclosed “islands” of white. There must be “bridges” to the “islands”.
-If you mess up in an area, you can cover it on both sides with masking tape to repair it and then recut it.
-You can tape thread to each side of a cut area to create a very thin bridge.
-Tape down stencil securely. Make sure paint is not too runny, but not too thick
-Put paint on the stippling brush (round/flat brush). Then dab on a piece of scrap paper
to get rid of excess.
-Move brush up and down like a sewing machine or jackhammer. DO NOT brush side to side.
-Make sure to go all the way to the edges with the paint to get the complete image.
-Leave the stencil to dry for a few minutes after painting, before pulling the stencil off the paper.