How to Use a Stencil to Spray a Design Over Your Painting

Sometimes, our paintings don’t come out quite like we hope. Not terrible, but not awesome. If you have an amazing talent you can paint designs or images on top of the poured backgrounds and I am constantly blown away by the talent we see in our facebook group. I don’t have this talent so I’ve been working on a few ideas for how to use poured backgrounds.

An idea for using your less than awesom acrylic poured paintings as a background using stencils to add on lettering or designs on top and letting the pour show through

In this one, I’m taking an old painting and just quickly testing out an idea. I’ll be using a stencil and some black spray paint I have hanging around and just seeing what that might look like. I’d suggest you give this a bit more thought and planning than me and get a nicer stencil. Maybe a mandala pattern, something that would fit better onto the size and shape of your painting.  I only had a choice of one stencil in my local art section, but there are some awesome ones that would look cool.  Check out some that have lettering or mottos or seasonal slogans. Or trees and other organic shapes you can easily add without painting them by hand.

You also don’t have to go with black. Choose any color. In fact, choose lots of colors! You can spray paint or even paint with regular acrylic paints in any colors to build up your design. I’m sure you can be much more arty and inventive than I was.

Top Tip – try a spray of that temporary adhesive on the back of your stencil to make sure it’s stuck to the painting when you paint or spray, so that you get a nice crisp and clean edge (not like mine that is!)

Materials used for this project:
An old poured painting you aren’t totally in love with
A stencil – try some of these or in the box below
Recommended – temporary and repositionable spray adhesive
Spray paints (or acrylic paints & brush)

Check out these cool stencils that could work on your pours:

After being told in high school that she was so bad at art that she should switch to another subject, Deby didn’t paint again for 35 years. Then a stroke released a new wave of creativity and she began exploring with dot painting, abstract and eventually acrylic pouring, and at last the joy of working with color returned.

You don’t need ‘talent’ to be an acrylic pouring artist – just enthusiasm, some basic instruction, and a willingness to try, fail and try again. Paint along with her and learn from her many mistakes, and you’ll soon make great art together.

Comments

  1. I love the idea and I have some stencils to try. I got them to use on some alcohol ink pieces. I’m a beginner and I have several paintings I’m not crazy about.
    I love watching your videos.

  2. I love your creative ideas..I am a retired art teacher with a studio. I have tried the pour with my elementary students,and they love it!!!
    I am a new beginner.. and love experimenting with it!

  3. Have been watching your vidos and have tried several pours. Early ones were lousy but I’m beginning to see some improvement. I’m at the point now where I’m thinking about composition and focal areas. Do you have any thoughts on those topics? I would love to hear them.

    1. I find that composition with flip cups and dirty pours is difficult because its so uncontrollable other than the tilt. You may want to consider more with with swipes and dips, or flip and drag to get the look you are going for. Or perhaps a puddle pour. I’d love to see how you get on. Come and share in our Facebook group.

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