Let’s Stencil…a Tractor

I love heavy equipment. Farm equipment. Construction equipment. Tractors and backhoes. I love the bright primary colors. The iconic shapes. The SEO for ‘tractor stencil’ is just terrible. But I love tractors. So here we go.

I started with a three-layer stencil. You know, 5-layer stencils can be awesome and incorporate a bunch of color and subtlety. But 3-layer stencils are incredibly clean. (See my comparison of 3- and 5-layer portrait stencils.) We just want to make sure one layer is a great tractor color. Yep, this one has a distinctively *green* layer.

Check the video for the full step-by-step and everything we learned.

First Time Through

The first time through, we just wanted to see if it looked like a tractor. Since we’re painting on a white surface, we don’t need the white stencil layer.

It looks pretty good, but there are lots of bridges visible in the black layer. We’ll cut some of those bridges out of the stencil for our second pass, and we’ll also fix some with a Sharpie later.

Learning and Second Pass

So with some of the bridges removed, it looks better. The bridges we left are required to hold the masking piece that causes the *interior* of the tractor wheels to be shiny white (or at least reflective). If you remove those bridges, the interior masking piece falls out and your tires look like beach-ball-shaped blobs.

Later, we painted the tractor on red, and filled in the remaining bridges with Sharpie. Removing bridges and then filling in when necessary pretty much solves the problem. See a whole post in simulated VR about how to deal with gaps left by bridges.

Painting on different surface color

I happened to have a piece of (unfortunately, *light*) green paper lying around, and so I wanted to try out some white-and-black work on a midtone surface. So we’re painting a green tractor on green paper. Actually, that’s not right. We’re painting a black and white tractor on green paper so that we end up with a green tractor. Pretty cool.