I love filling my home with colorful, happy art, especially things I can DIY. Most of the silhouette art I see out there is just a basic black cut out or solid background, which is totally fine, but just not my style. I wanted to explore a different take on this classic art form and came up with this fun project. Let me show you what I did.
WHAT TO GET:
Acrylic Craft Paint- I used these ones from DecoArt
I used this DecoArt fluid acrylic for the base coat
Wooden Board – I used this cute one from Walnut Hollow
Printed photo of silhouette subject or photo on a laptop/iPad to trace
White printer paper
Palette paper (optional)
Washi or painters tape
WHAT TO DO
- This is optional but I really fell in love with this Fluid Acrylic Interference, it dries a really pretty iridescent (it’s hard to photograph!). Paint the board you are working with and then let it dry while you work on your stencil. You could technically use any color paint for this or just leave your board natural.
- I’m a fan of saving on ink, so I decided to just trace the basic outline of my subject, my kitty Fiona, instead of printing the image out. Alternatively you could totally print a photo to size & cut out the stencil. It’s easiest to use a photo with the subject against a light background. I made the photo black and white so I could see her outline easier. To trace it, I laid my laptop on it’s side and the white paper over the screen and using my pencil lightly, traced her outline. Cut around the outline once you’re done to make your stencil. Then decide where you want your silhouette to be (remember this will be the negative space and we will be painting around it) and then put your washi/painters tape on the back and secure it to your wooden board.
- I really like using palette paper here since for me it’s a lot easier to mix colors and clean up when it comes to acrylics. You could use a regular palette or just squeeze your paint directly onto the wood. I try to paint intuitively, meaning I don’t think too much about it as I go along. Acrylics blend beautifully if you work while everything is still wet which is another reason to move quickly and not overthink it. I like to start by blending a few colors on my paper but I also blend as I go. If I’m using several colors like I am here, I like to work with a few different brushes at once instead of having to clean one brush every time. When I’m blending colors so much, I usually don’t completely clean my brush anyway, you get a much more interesting result when your brush has picked up so many different shades. This technique works best when you stay in the same color family though, too many different colors could result in a very muddy outcome. If you want to use completely different colors with a similar technique, I would suggest letting them dry more in between layers and cleaning your brush completely before switching colors. When you are painting around the edges of your stencil, it’s best to hold the stencil down with one hand and paint with your brush moving away from the stencil with the other, this should prevent paint being pushed under the stencil. Another thing I love about acrylics is they are buildable, if you’re not 100% happy with the result just let it dry and paint right over it!
- Once you’re happy with how it looks, let it dry completely. Slowly peel off your stencil, and you’re done! (Hendrix is mad that the silhouette isn’t of him, haha!) Another reason I love this wooden hexagon shape from Walnut Hollow is that it actually sits up on it’s own and can be displayed just like that right away! You could also hot glue a ribbon on the back from it to hang from, or install picture hooks on the back as well. The possibilities are really endless for what you can use for a stencil, and this quick and simple project would be perfect as a gift too. 🙂
Nik is a maker, day dreamer and potty mouth who loves cats, coffee and craft beer. She is a self taught hand embroiderer and will DIY pretty much anything she can get her hands on. You can see her work on IG @wastingthyme & @nikvphotography She lives in Long Beach with her husband and her three awesome cats (that she can’t shut up about).