Create Objects with Stencils

Skill Development

Shivananda’s tutorials continue with another technique: using cut-out stencils

In session 1 it was shown how to create an interesting (i.e. not boring flat) background with acrylic colours on a canvas. In session 2 Shivananda addded a mountain range using a torn newspaper as a mask and  also showed how to ‘frame’ and image with a contrasting colour (acrylic on paper).

In this video the painting on paper from the previous session is retrieved and, in order to add a central image, Shivananda cuts out a stupa from strong drawing paper. This creates a mask (positive) as well as a stencil (negative mask). Using the stencil he shows how to apply the colour, i.e. by tabbing non-diluted acrylic paint with a dry sponge first around the edges and then on the whole free area. (If thin colour were used the paint would seep under the edges of the stencil and make a mess!)

To liven up the image of the stupa he takes off some of the colour with a flat (not wrinkled) newspaper and draws graffiti with the back of a brush and a pencil. For an extra kick, he adds a red spiral, also with a stencil.

It is always very effective if you have an element which the eye can recognise because, in my experience, a painting starts to look like a painting when the eye finds an opening, when the eye can enter the painting. One way to enter a painting is through an object, in this case the object is obviously the stupa – and the spiral, which is added as an extra element.”

Watch the previous session (and all upcoming sessions) by following this link.

The video was filmed by Govinda (Guy-Claude Sthioul) in the location where Shivananda’s painting workshops take place every year (from May till September): Alexis Zorbas in Corfu. Greece.


ShivanandaShivananda was born in Switzerland. He worked as a trained typesetter and graphic designer, silkscreen printer, bookbinder and photographer. Twenty years ago he fully engaged himself as a painter, working in Brazil and Switzerland. Music, another expression of his creativity, has been his companion for all his life. He plays the guitar and sings. In summer he lives in Arillas on the Greek island Corfu, where he facilitates painting and singing workshops.

Comments are closed.