Stencils are lifesavers. You know this. They’re the best way to beat a queue, get a design on a squirmy child AND they look incredibly effective when done right. No, they’re not ‘cheating’, no they’re not ‘the easy way out’ and no, they’re not ‘simple to use’ (who hasn’t overloaded their sponge and dabbed on a watery mess? I know I have.)
Quick guide to using stencils;
Use an almost-dry sponge, it has to have the least amount of water on it, otherwise you know what happens – the water runs everywhere….and no stencil pattern.
Use quick tapping motions, don’t overdo it!
Peel the stencil away carefully.
The stickier the paint the better, some brands just don’t work well and are tricky to use.
So what stencils should you have in your kit? Because I’m an on-the-job working face painter I need to paint a lot of young children fast. The best stencils are designs that you just can’t do quickly on a squirmy 4 year old. Think footballs and superhero logos. Done on the arm is even better, they love being able to see them and you can knock out a ‘tattoo’ in seconds. If you want to get more creative the tyre stencil is good for gore and sfx. Mermaid and reptile scales are essential, large and small. Any geometric pattern is great for adding texture over a one stroke for grown up eye designs. Graffiti Eyes by Leah Selley is perfect for this. Your stencil can be a main feature if you prefer; the Frankenstein is one of my most popular and can be glammed up with glitter or smothered in fresh scratch.
The stencils I’m looking forward to trying are the new Oooh bar stencils, designed by Clayton James from Marvellous Masks. They’re circular so crowns and crescent eye design stencilling will be so much easier. Keep a lookout for a review of these in a future blog.
What stencils do you swear by? Any tips? Leave a comment, I'd love to hear from you.