Artool 8 - Craig Fraser- Mastering Sacred Heart

In the previous column we demonstrated the use of Flyballs and Martini Time, two of the six stencils in the new Artool Kustom Kulture series. I continue with the Kustom Kulture series not only because they’re the newest in the line, but I’ve been having a helluva lot of fun with them. The Sacred Heart stencil is, needless to say, heart-themed. But these are not your typical Valentine’s Day, garden variety hearts. We’re talkin’ bad-ass hearts with some serious attitude: barbed-wire tattoostyle hearts, hearts with crucifix’s, knives, and all kinds of funky goodies. In short, this stencil features enough toys to keep you way occupied. Let’s get busy!

Step 1:

step 1

Don’t let initial impressions fool you because Sacred Heart has a whole lot of hidden potential. A great feature of this stencil is that it has some pointand-spray patterns that require no freehand work.

Step 2:

step 2

To demonstrate some of the pointand-spray applications, I added a few borders to my panel—leaving the basecoat black underneath—and sprayed House of Kolor BC-26 in the barbed-wire areas of the stencil. With the barbing sidling one of the hearts, I masked to isolate the images for spraying.

Step 3:

step 3

On the other side of the panel I flipped the background and sprayed white first as a base, and then, using BC-25 black, I airbrushed a collection of broken hearts and crucifixes.

Step 4:

step 4

Another cool point-and-shoot section of this stencil is the flying devil hearts.With permission, I borrowed these designs from Deborah Mahan, one of the artists here at Air Syndicate. With two sizes to choose from, these make for very cool graphic fillers.

Step 5:

step 5

In this demo, I added the flying devil hearts into a separating flame graphic to show how the stencil and some violet pearl is all you need to give a simple flame job some serious attitude.

Step 6:

step 5

Because I wanted to show this stencil’s use on light and dark surfaces, I split the middle of the panel with the flame, and faded in a nice white gradation with my trusty Iwata TR-1 pistol trigger airbrush.

Step 7:

step 6

Using the Love and Hate tattoo heart and a few of the devil hearts, I airbrushed the patterns with Alsa’s black kandy. This black has a very cool violet cast and is perfect for shading and very fine detailing.

Step 8:

step 8

After spraying in a few of the broken heart emblems, I worked my way to the bottom of the design and finished the white side with the Thorn Covered Crucifix Heart.

Step 9:

step 9

With the stenciling done, I airbrushed some final details and shading/shadowing with black kandy. I then connected the cut-out areas. Some freehand airbrushing makes it look as though you spent hours rendering this by hand.

Step 10:

step 10

After finishing the white side, I changed to white in my airbrush and sprayed the rest of the hearts on the left side. Because of the open blade in the stencil, this one is perfect for white.

Step 11:

step 11

I filled in the stenciled areas and added some smoke effects to the background. A little background smoke does wonders for filling space, and can tie an entire design together. Try it.

Step 12:

step 12

I outlined and shaded with black kandy. It’s amazing what you can get out of one of these stencils. A little freehanding goes a long way. Who said that stencils have to look like stencils???

Step 13:


The same goes for the other side. Switching back to a final white, I added highlights to complete the airbrushing and really punch out the details. Remember, less is more, so don’t go nuts with the highlights; potentially, they can demolish your artwork!

Step 14:


With the airbrushing completed, I polished off this cool demo with violet slash pinstriping using House of Kolor striping paint—my favorite—and a 000 X-Caliber striping brush.


Although striping has nothing to do with stenciling, I wanted to create a panel for my store display. I know I told you that Flyball was my favorite stencil last time, but I’ve been known to change my mind. Whether you use them solely as a background graphic or to create a freehand mural, Sacred Heart is bound to give your latest masterpiece that traditional yet distinctive Kustom Kulture look.

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