by Craig Fraser
REMEMBER THAT JUST BECAUSE THIS IS AN AUTOMOTIVE COLUMN, It doesn’t mean you have to stick to painting cars and bikes. These stencils can be used for everything from body art, to wall murals, to cake decorating. Made with a solvent-proof polymer, you don’t have to worry about what you paint them with because you aren’t gonna hurt these suckers. I know I promised the new Evil3 stencil for this installment, but because it won’t be out for a while, I thought it would be more gratifying to feature a new stencil set you could immediately access. I just received the prototypes for Flame-O-Rama-II, and I’m excited to share them with you. The original Flame-O-Rama is actually the second oldest stencil line I created for Artool (Skullmaster was the first). I never really considered a sequel until my recent discovery that Flame-O-Rama is still one of Artool’s best sellers. Just like the original series, Flame-O-Rama II is a point-and-shoot system of stencils. You just hold them up, and spray through them. No freehand work is necessary to tighten them up or finish them. They’re easy to use, but complicated to make unique. The challenge is not how to spray them, but when to spray them. The design in this demo can be mimicked on a helmet, tank, or even within a set of graphics on a car. Let’s get busy.
1. After scuffing the panel with a red ScotchbriteTM pad, I layed out my basic border and spade design with 1/8-inch fineline tape. Nothing too complicated, but the masked off areas will act as borders later, and retain the background black of the panel.
2. The Flame-O-Rama II set comes with six different stencils. We’re going to mess around with three (if you believe I’m milking the subsequent three stencils for another article, you’re right!)
3. In preparation for the first stencil, I rendered a brushed aluminum effect in the spade. I achieved this by first scratching the black surface with a red ScotchbriteTM pad, and then spraying House of Kolor’s new Kosmic Krome MC-01 Aluminum effect paint (great stuff, I’ll add). This paint is literally made of 6061 billet aluminum, and translates beautifully as aluminum when applied.
4. If a little scratching looks good, a little more will look even better over the top. When completed, this effect is the spitting image of brushed aluminum. Remember, if you do too much, just layer a bit more of the Kosmic Krome over it. No problem.
5. Using Gothica stencil, I airbrushed House of Kolor BC-25 basecoat black over the Kosmic Krome. I used the TR-3 trigger gun for the Kosmic Krome, and the Iwata Eclipse CS for the stenciling.
6. After removing the stencil, I ghosted in a bit more of the Kosmic Krome over the black to give the surface an acid-etched look. The Gothica is actually more of a flame-inspired tribal than a raditional flame. Something a bit different can be good.
7. I masked off the spade, and unmasked the area surrounding it. Then, I sprayed a coat of PBC-40 violet pearl for the majority of the panel. This gave me a good background for the next effect.
8. The next stencil, Spotz, is a flame design connected by a series of, well, spots. I airbrushed SG-101 lemon yellow first, and then sprayed the tips and edges of the flame with KK-09 kandy organic green followed by SG-100 intercoat clear.
9. If you don’t have the stencil pressed flat enough, you will likely experience overspray and possibly some bleed-through in the design. If this happens, wipe the surface down with a little water and pre-cleaner on a rag. Don’t press too hard, or use too much pre-cleaner, or you may damage the underlying basecoat.
10. Not time to unmask yet; I still have a few stencils to go. For the final border, I decided to bring back Mr. Whisk Broom, a trusty old favorite. Using a bunch of cut-up whisk broom straws taped together, this technique accomplishes a very cool effect. I sprayed the pure yellow through the straws.
11. Returning to Flame-O-Rama II, I employed our final stencil for today: Flame-Gasm. Like the Bonz stencils, Flame-Gasm is just a confluence of flames. Using Tangelo Pearl, I sprayed in the multiple flames all along the border, and fogged in more of the pearl over it for good measure.
12. I unmasked the spade and wiped down the surface. One of my favorite parts of sequential masking is the unmasking. Then, you can really see how the previously masked off black undercoat works with the rest of the design.
FINAL. Well, another article is in the can. The effects achieved with a combination of stencils and some masking tape can be pretty amazing. While these stencils may not be the complicated ones that require freehand work, they still can give you some pretty cool results. Point-and-shoot stencils are without a doubt the easiest way to take your graphics to another level, and you will never find a single effect that will increase the value of your paint job with as small an investment of time or money. It is no surprise when I hear from students and other painters how they paid for their stencil investment ten times over in the first hour of use. The whisk broom stencil is a perfect example of how valuable a simple stencil can be. So, kids, no more making fun of the simple stencils. Believe me, most kustom painters live by those nickel-and-dime tools. Your reputation and ability as an artist may be made and measured by your greatest work, but the bills are paid by the simple things. Stencil on! Note: I have finally learned my lesson, and promise to never again reveal the subjects of subsequent installments. That way, you won’t be angry when I change my mind. If you have any comments, suggestions, or requests, please submit them to Craig Fraser here. You can also cruise the new Q&A forum www.kustomkulturelounge.com, where you can get any of your stencil questions answered, and you can check out the occasional online step-by-step. See ya there!! Paint to live, live to paint… and sometimes with stencils.
Reprinted with permission of www.airbrushaction.com