Personal Icons and Symbols – Stencils

Term: 2 Year: 2013

At the start of the year we worked on the process of ‘Photoshopping’ an image to create a single colour stencil.

This was a chance for students to choose an image that was iconic to them or that represented a personal interest. It was also a way to ‘break the ice’ and collaborate by sharing and swapping stencils. We used the ‘threshold’ tool to transform the photos into simplified black and white shapes which were then printed onto acetate to be cut using a scalpel and cutting board.

We looked at the artists –  Faile,  Banksy, Warhol and Hush, to explore how these artists used repetition, collaboration, mixed media and layering to create their finished prints. The students were instructed to create 3 variations of prints. One on vinyl exploring background effects with spray paint.

Their 2nd print was made on a painted background on card and the third print combined with collage. The stencils turned out really cool and I hope it introduced students to the concept of experimenting and working in layers to expand on their art-making process. The use of the vinyl also encouraged the act of recycling and using interesting surfaces as opposed to the traditional surfaces like paper, canvas or board.

Craig O'Shanesy
Visual Art Teacher
Sandringham College
Suitable for levels 5 and 6