I had only ever used this technique way back in school over 20 years ago, so relished the opportunity to try it again. The idea was to create, or rather interpret the shapes, patterns, and textures found within Hockney’s ‘Mulholland Drive’. One of the first things I did before beginning the process of cutting out onto paper was to study the painting and jot/sketch down the areas I found most interesting; I wanted to absorb and interpret, rather than directly copy.

What would make a good interpretative stencil cut out? Does the drawing have to be thought out ahead? Will the stencil be strong enough to use on more than one occasion? Could I create a series of stencils that would be used in conjunction with one overall print?

I began by readying the 3 main essential ingredients to begin my stencil journey:

  1. Cutting Mat
  2. Hobby Craft Knife
  3. Paper & Pencil


Once I started, I found I could not stop. The amount of interesting detail within this painting offered a smorgasbord of interpretational ideas, which in turn allowed me to generate a wonderful amount of stencils.

Hints & Tips:

  1. Choose the right blade to score the paper. I chose a curved blade, which made the cutting out far more fluid and easy to manoeuvre.
  2. Always sketch out idea before cutting, otherwise the end result may not be to your own liking.
  3. Always be aware of the positive/negative spaces you will create whence cutting the paper out.
  4. I always keep the cut out pieces, which in turn can make a fantastic resist when printing too.
  5. Slow!! Take your time, there is no rush.

Subsequently this technique/process has honed my fine motor skills, which will translate fantastically into other aspects of my creative making. So far, I am loving stencil cutting and aim to keep up the technique as often as I can.

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