Birthday Card: Old But Good Stencil Trick

Here’s an oldie but a goodie: combining two stencils to make something new.

I took this picture of Petia the other day (can you guess what we were doing?), and there was something about the way she was holding the birthday stencil that gave me an idea. Why not make a stencil of her holding (presenting?) some kind of message? That way I could combine that stencil with any other stencil that I already have (like, for example, the birthday stencil that she’s holding).

So I stencilized the image, with the background and the stencil removed, and I got this:

Which I then combined with the birthday stencil that I already had:

And so I combined them, using both layers of the Happy Birthday stencil. (Get the Happy Birthday stencil.)

And I ended up with this.

I’m not the first to combine two stencils this way, it’s a trick that’s almost as old as stenciling. But it’s nice to discover it again in a random picture of Petia! I usually don’t like to paint the ‘background’ layer of the stencil, because I usually like for the color of the surface to come into the stencil. But for this effect, the birthday greeting needs to look like it’s on a card (with a shadow behind the card, even). So I broke my own rule and used all the Happy Birthday layers to make this ‘card’. The magic comes from Petia’s hands and face, which make the whole composition POP. Find out all the tricks I used along the way by watching the complete video.