Let’s Stencil…Santa Claus

A perennial holiday favorite, Saint Nicholas makes a great stencil because he is reproducible with just black, white and red paint. If you want to splurge on some reindeer, you’ll need some brown, and if you want to put colored presents in his sack you’ll maybe need a splash of blue or green.

Straight up stencil

First I just painted the Santa stencil straight up: by using the red and black layers on the white background. If you’re wondering why I didn’t use the white layer, then check out this post.

santa stencil in black and red and white

A tiny problem

santa stencil getting a second eye

A tiny problem with the Santa stencil is that one of the eyes was so small a detail that the bridging algorithm in the Stencilizer left it out entirely. That can happen with such small details (his eyes are, after all, famously _twinkly_). So I had to cut out an eye for him in the black stencil layer to ‘repair’ the look.

Getting creative with the stencil

For this second Saint Nick, I wanted to jazz it up a little, so I took the white layer and cut out the central figure. It’s common for a stencilized image (with background removed) to have one ‘floating’ layer like this. It’s a layer that you typically don’t need to use, if you’re not painting a ‘postcard’ where all the layers are painted. And because it represents the background, usually you can separate one clear shape from the sides of the stencil, and use it as a mask.

cutting the white layer of santa stencil

In this case, I’ll use it as a way to ‘spray in’ white into a green-and-white background pattern. The effect will be that the foreground elements that *should* be white (and not streaked with green-gold) will actually be white.

painting white layer selectively over the background

The way you do this is to cut the white stencil mask away from the edges, register it on the stencil so that it’s parts match the parts that are already painted; and then paint lightly around the edges and then more solidly into the interior.

santa stencil with lively green-gold background swoosh

This technique is very similar to what I did with the Master Yoda stencil. Coincidence? Master Yoda in league with Santa Claus? Quite Probable.