How to Paint an Oversize Stencil Using Registration Marks

In a recent post, we painted a three-panel giraffe to warm you up to multi-panel stencils. Now we’re going to paint a four-panel stencil that uses registration marks on all the corners. It’s easy to follow the video example, but the key steps are shown here.

Steps to paint a 3-layer, 4-panel stencil

Assuming that you’ve already chosen your image and gotten the layer breakdown that you like (how many colors, level of detail, etc), and you have at least the single-panel version already, here’s the outline of what’s left to do to plan and paint your multi-panel stencil.

Get the panel breakdown from Bay Stencil
Cut your panels
Lay out the panels and pencil in the registration marks
Line up and paint each panel of each layer
Erase the pencil registration marks

Here’s what it ended up looking like:

happy family stencil complete

Extra: filling in the bridges

When you use a multi-panel stencil, you’ll typically encounter fewer bridges. The reason is that wherever a shape is intersected by the edge of a panel, it no longer needs to be bridged (because it’s connected to the side of the stencil). Still, there will occasionally be islands in the darkest layer whose bridges pop out when painted on a light-colored surface. You can use the same techniques to mask those bridges as you do on single-panel stencils.