stencil message


The brief for this project was to create a stencil artwork on a surface other than paper, that conveyed either a political or social message. Therefore my concept for the project was to design a wall stencil using Alice in Wonderland as my inspiration, in particular the dictator style grip of the Queen of Hearts.

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Fence: First step in this project was to find a suitable space to place the artwork; unfortunately I was at a loss as I did not have an external wall free at home (at least not one I was willing to brand with a playing card!) and I did not feel like being arrested for placing this artwork unlawfully in a public space! Therefore I decided to create a temporary fence, where I would be free to place the artwork and work on it at my leisure without worrying it would be washed away by the morning! The wood I obtained was, unfortunately, very new and clean looking; so I needed to age and weather the appearance before I could start the stencil. I used a mix of oil, ash, charcoal and ochre coloured powder paint. Once this had soaked into the wood and dried I was able to begin the stencil.

Stencil: For the stencil I used a mix of adhesive back rubber matting, cardboard, adhesive back plastic sheeting, it took some trial and error but once I tested various combinations I found which stencil worked best for the paint and applicators I was using. To apply the acrylic paint I used a mix of sponges, brushes, rollers and paint pens. The artwork was created by layering each colour individually, gradually moving from larger to smaller (e.g large black at the base, slightly smaller red and white); allowing each one to dry thoroughly before moving on to the next colour. This made for less bleeds and a more solid finish. The finer details and accents (e.g. eye and finger outlines), were achieved  by hand with a finer tipped brush or paint pen.

Props: To finish the look I added a few supporting props; a ladder for the card to stand on, a dripping paint bucket for the card to dip his brush into, a tree branch which crosses in front of the fence so that the flower the card is painting lines up with it.


Finished Product: I was happy with the resulting artwork, there were some spots with slight bleeds, but once I had sorted out which stencil material worked best for each area, the finish was much neater. The message is subtle but graphically interesting, so as to make the audience question why it is there and what it is trying to tell them (I know my visitors sure did!), it created discussion on a topic that can be a little uncomfortable