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To make a big impression, says stencilling expert Sandra Buckingham, you don't have to re-create the Sistine Chapel. Start small, she counsels, and the rest will follow.
Buckingham's latest book Stencilling on a Grand Scale leads do-it-yourselfers beyond the realm of decorative borders featured in her best-selling "Stencilling: A Harrowsmith Guide" to a creative canvas whose limits are determined only by space, time and imagination. The key to her strategy is that a large stencilled work -- be it a door, wall, screen or floor -- can be the seamless sum of its parts. In other words, rather than using an expensive, unwieldy, multi-layered stencil to create a life-sized tree, use three 10 inch stencils of leaf clusters, laying and re-laying them to achieve the desired effect. The only limit to the ultimate size of the finished painting is the room you've set aside for it.
Whether you are fashioning a greeting card or a 40-foot mural, Buckingham recommends the same modest techniques. The methods used to faux-finish a wall -- a vine rambling up a corner, windows stencilled onto an actual door, a false shelf with flowerpots stencilled in an alcove -- can likewise be applied to furniture or folding screens and can be used on any scale.
A technical review of traditional and new stencilling tools is followed by a refresher course in basic stencilling methods, including stencil cutting, hard-surface stencilling, stencilling on primed canvas, overlays, registration and special effects, among them shading, shadows, plant detail and painting skies and landscapes. A chapter on freeform stencilling, with and without masks, prepares readers for the larger-scale works that are the book's central objective.
Buckingham advises perfecting your free-form skills on less ambitious projects (lampshades, borders, placemats) before moving to grander subjects. By the later chapters, stencillers will be comfortable tackling everything from picket and wrought iron fences, lattice work, garden gates, French doors, veranda doors and curtains to paving stones, terra-cotta tiles, carpets, mosaic floors, stone columns, balustrades, terraces, garden walls and room dividers. As always, Buckingham's genius lies in inspiration, and Stencilling on a Grand Scale introduces a how-to-world that has no boundaries.
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Sandra Buckingham is the author of Stencilling: A Harrowsmith Guide and the children's book Stencil It!.From Library Journal:
These three books look at decorative painting on a grand scale. Wrigley provides an overview of the art in her mostly inspirational rather than practical guide. She gives an international look at mural and trompe l'oeil painting in historical and contemporary settings, even including work by Rust. In his own work, Rust details his approach to trompe l'oeil by showing planned and in-situ projects that he has designed. He gives painting and planning advice as well as his sources for the inspiration of his designs. His book will be useful for experienced decoraters. Buckingham offers the amateur more detailed instructions for decorating walls, beginning with a review of necesarry equipment. She provides instructions for smaller projects before approaching larger-scale stenciling work such as painting mosaic floors and trompe l'oeil fireplaces, although stenciling is covered in better detail in Jane Gauss's Stencilling Techniques (LJ 5/15/96). While all are recommended where there is an interest, Buckingham and Rust should be the first choices for how-to collections.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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