Monday, 1 July 2013

Sylvia - A portrait by Deborah (and Jane Davenport)


PaperArtsy 6 x 6 Box Canvas
Artist Cellar: Jane Davenport ¾ Face Stencil
Moulding or texture paste eg Grunge Paste
Palette Knife
Paint Brushes 
Watercolour Pencils
Adirondack Acrylic Paint Dabbers: Snowcap, Pitch Black
PaperArtsy Fresco Finish Paints: Irish Cream, French Roast, Concrete, Elephant
Eco Green Acrylic Paint: Clay
Masking Tape (to fix the stencil in place)

This face stencil has a definite Fifties feel so I decided to paint my portrait in a Fifties colour palette. I went for a deliberately rough style to compensate for the fact I am not neat and not a painter.

First I scraped the paste through the stencil, let it dry, then used the lines on the stencil from the neck to continue the hair up from the ear and the head top right. I added the suggestion of a collar using the jaw lines. The paste acts as a buffer in the same way heat embossing does, preventing you from going over the lines and it also adds definition.

I mixed my colours as I went along, using a little water to thin them. For the base of the background I used Elephant and for the face – Concrete. I then added shading to the face by adding Irish Cream and Clay to the Concrete on my palette. The hair is a mix of Clay, French Roast and Pitch Black. I dry brushed some white and a little diluted French Roast onto the background. As I was using a box canvas I decided to continue the portrait over the sides.

Most of the paint was applied before the previous colour was dry so it blended but I did add a little here and there when the painting was dry. I also added a touch of water colour pencil for extra definition (I didn’t add water to it  so you could use a charcoal or sketching pencil).
As I said, I am no artist but these Jane Davenport Girls stencils (and the Pam Carriker ones from Stencil Girl) really help you create credible faces. I cannot recommend them enough.




  1. She's beautiful Deb! A very artistic piece! x

  2. I am so impressed with this piece. Wouldn't they look amazing as a series of wall art.

  3. Lovely Deb, a fabulous piece of art :)

  4. Wonderful artwork Debs, such beautiful painting technique.
    Fliss xx

  5. Fabulous painting - love it going round onto the edges of the canvas!
    Alison x


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