Using a stencil as a “spark of inspiration” – with ART BY MARLENE


Hallo there everyone!

It is me, Marlene Meijer-van Niekerk, from ART BY MARLENE, sharing a new tutorial on The Crafter’s Workshop blog. It is summer over here in Holland….and that is surely an inspiration to paint more flowers.

Today is all about using a stencil as a “spark of inspiration” and letting that be your springboard to get the creative juices flowing.

I am sure you all know the feeling, sitting down to create and not knowing where to start. I want to share a secret with you. Even the best artists get that feeling sometimes! What is important to overcome this, is just sitting down and starting… Today I will show you just one way of doing that!

I thought I would mention that The Crafter’s Workshop provided me with some products to create this project. This post may contain affiliate links, but, the opinions I share are solely my own.

I will be using a   The Crafter’s Workshop stencil(6″x 6″), designed by  Julie Fei-Fan Balzer, called  “mumsy”(TCW592).


TCW592 Mumsy stencil (6″ x 6″)by Julie Fei-Fan Balzer

To start: get out your most favorite colors of acrylic paint, a make-up wedge, a paintbrush, a black pencil, a white acrylic marker and some tipp-ex and join me in the making of……..this project.


using a stencil as a spark of inspiration – by art by marlene (close up)

I brayered on some red and neon pink onto the pages of my small dylusions journal. Although you don’t see the neon pink, it does brighten the all over color  alot.


brayer your journal before stenciling

Put out some white and yellow acrylic paint onto your mixing tray.  Pounce on some white paint through the middle flower of the stencil.( Don’t worry about getting it perfect, we will be letting the imagery lead us to a design.)


stenciling by pouncing with a make-up wedge.

You should have something like this now. I found it a bit to small…..


stenciling result

So, I  had an idea, by extending the design right along  the sides, you can create bigger flowers, so that is what I will be doing.


repeating the stencil design to create bigger flowers.

In the beginning , you might think…”OH-no!”, but don’t worry, just go ahead and follow the instructions.


result after one repeat.

Once you have extended the stencil along all sides…it will look like a flower again!


stencil result after repeating the stencil all around.

Add a few more ‘white’ flowers.


add more stenciled flowers to the page

Now go on and pounce your yellow paint through the flower, using the same steps as above.


use a second color for more flowers

Once your page is filled with large lush flowers… will suddendly realize. You now have created texture, you have made a composition and a underlayer for your design, without overthinking it! I use a tipp-ex correction pen to  draw in some flowers over the existing stenciled ones, letting the stencilled lines guide me.


draw with tipp-ex correction fluid.

It is always the best to have odd numbers of the same ‘type’ of flowers in your design. It keeps the design more natural. Make sure some flowers overlap the background flowers and others stay behind.


try to use odd numbers of the same flowers.

Choose a few flowers where you can add a white “border”…..keep it simple by using stripes the width of your paintbrush.


paint is borders

Add some magenta ‘rings’ to 3 flowers, it just makes the flowers pop!


paint in magenta rings

With the background color I paint in some definition in the flowers, where the white paint was to messy for my taste.


see to detail

Now by using turquoise, ‘push’ your background back , only leaving the flowers to shine.


add background color

Make some hearts/centers for your flowers with your turquoise paint.


repeat background color in your flower hearts.

Add some magenta to the middle of a few of the flowers, to balance it out.


add magenta to flower centers.

Use your black pencil(stabilo all)and start adding stripes.


draw detail with pencil

Outline some areas areas  and add detail


draw some outlines with pencil

For this last step you will have to dig deep into your own creativity….

I used a white acrylic marker to draw very fine lines over the stencilled areas of 3 flowers, using my stabilo all pencil(activated with a water brush) I added some shading to turquoise  background. With my white marker  I also added some playfull dots to the design(and some gold ones) and with some green paint I added some leaves.


Result of “using a stencil as a spark of inspiration”- by ART BY MARLENE

I hope you enjoyed this short tutorial on how to use a stencil as a spark of inspiration.

Be sure, if you try this at home, to share it with us on social media, for example ….instagram.

See you soon!

Marlene Meijer-van Niekerk


The Crafter’s Workshop Design Team Member


close up detail.

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