by Craig Fraser
When I left you last, I explained how the stencil or freehand shield is a tool, pure and simple. It’s neither good nor evil, smart nor stupid. It reflects the abilities and creativity of its user. I also introduced Frontal II and the new Lucky 13 “Skullmaster Series” stencils. In this issue, we restart our engines at Step 14:
Freehand airbrushing cures the unwanted “stenciled” look.
Switching over to white, add a few touches to the existing skulls. Here, see how a set of curved stylized stars that are in the same stencil can give the look of stars over the skull. Hey, a patriotic skull! Actually these stars are alternatives to eyes, just like the Maltese crosses’ sort of a tribute to Bootsy Collins.
A few glowing white dots for the eyes, and some subtle highlights, and you can consider this skull completed. Remember, when it comes to highlights, less is more.
A few more goodies on the Frontal II two different sizes of highlight stars. This gives you a perfect glowingstar look every time. Just hold the stencil where you want it and spray in the center. Let the overspray take care of the four points.
On the last skull, add some more of the same final highlights, and the smaller of the “highlight” stars to finish it up.
Mask off your earlier masterpieces with Automask transfer tape. Lay out a quick flame design for another stencil. A far cry from the previous stencil, “Lucky 13″ is a pattern stencil that is ideal for background graphics, and ghosting. A pattern stencil is one that does not require freehand.
“Lucky 13″ is one of the hyper-detailed stencils made possible through laser cutting. With all this detail, Lucky 13 requires little if any freehanding. Also, Kandies or pearls can be used to create subtle ghost patterns. Lucky 13 is designed so that you can stack the pattern for great backgrounds.
After unmasking the flames, you can see how the pattern can give any graphic, or background design, a killer look. If you really want to go nuts, you can use this stencil with freehand airbrushing for foreground skull landscapes, the latest craze in the chopper paint industry.
Here you have seen the variety and versatility of stencils. The Frontal II is a good example of a freehand stencil that is limited only by your imagination. The more detailed Lucky 13 can be only minimally modified by freehand work, but does not preclude you from creatively incorporating it into your design. Which stencil is better? Neither …and both. It all depends on what you need.