Living on the Edge

Video password:rainbow

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We’re living on the edge in this video. Well, actually more like being aware of the edges as we create an organic/random look with a stencil.

Variation 1

Putting paint in varying amounts to the edge of each element in the stencil. In my case here, the circles.

To create a random/organic look:

  • Vary the amount of pressure/paint you use with the cosmetic sponge.
  • Use different parts of the sponge (edges, corners, or the whole thing).
  • Rotate, twist, or turn the sponge as you’re doing it.

Variation 2

Not going to the edge of the elements on your stencil. You get a different look when you don’t go to the edge of each shape. It’s hard to see the circles if you don’t go to the edge of each one. But see what happens when color is what goes to the edge and not the black paint!

Adding color to both variations

On the larger paper, the color added more interest, but the circles were defined by the black ink.

On the smaller paper, it’s the spray ink that went all the way to the edge to define the circles. Without it, it wouldn’t have looked much like the stencil.

Now it’s your turn to play! Grab a stencil and experiment with going to the edge and not going to the edge! I will see you in the next video where we’re exploring texture and stencils.

While you’re stenciling, grab your camera and take a picture to share with us all here in the comments below!

Supplies used in this lesson: I encourage you to substitute whatever you want whenever you want! A word about pricing- if a supply seems bizarrely expensive, substitute with another supply. I’ve found prices, especially on Amazon can really fluctuate.

The other colors of Art Spray used are Tangerine, Raspberry, Lavender, and Apple. As I’m writing this, these colors are out of stock so I can’t link them for you or they are crazy expensive. Substitute with any sprays you have on hand.

*****Supply Update! Turns out Blick is not currently carrying the Art Spray- not sure if it’s a supply chain issue or something else. Here’s a link to a search on Amazon for them, but be sure that it’s the Art Spray you are clicking on – since they also have Fashion Spray for textiles.*****


Course Overview


  1. Fun today playing with different effects: fuzzy and defined, angular and round, fading in and fading out. I like how this technique lets you explore texture as foreground and background – I rarely use black and will be doing more so in future. I like the tyre-track on the right – recognise the stencil, Carolyn?! :0)

    1. You’re knocking the play out of the park! Love that you’re exploring and noticing and trying something (the black) you rarely use! And that does make a great track- hadn’t thought of Aqueducts that way before!

  2. I am IN LOVE with this particular technique! I did it as you described, Carolyn, then I played with adding lines with a paint pen before AND after stenciling. Then I cleaned my stencil and became enamored with the smeary, stripey patterns that the baby wipe made and had to experiment with that! 🙂 And of course I had to add splatters! Just black & white now, but NEONS are next! I promise to share. <3 Thank you, Carolyn!

  3. This is a great lesson how to turn undefined areas into defined areas! The links to Blick for the Art Sprays say
    “navigation error – not found” I have Distress Sprays handy. Would these work the same way?

    1. Thanks for the heads up on that Amy! Turns out Blick isn’t carrying them at the moment, not sure if it’s a supply chain issue or something else. I’ve included an amazon search for them for anyone who wants it, but you can use any spray that you’ve got for this technique.

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