Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Making stencils on window frames

I'm really glad we did this stencil component because it gave the students the opportunity to be creative again. The paintings had to be so tight, the students didn't have as much freedom to invent anything new--they had mostly followed my sketches or filled in colors I had assigned them (with the exception of Dasha, of course!) At first I had wanted to make the stencil placement and color as orchestrated a process. We spent the first 15 min or so arranging where all the stencils would go on the window frames, and I tried to give suggestions like making patterns and keeping color limited. However, when the individual participants all began to work on separate windows, some of them got really inventive with combining different colors in the same stencil, shading with the sponge brushes, making irregular patterns that looked like they were wandering across the frames, etc...and I decided it was ok, because after all this mural is eclectic as it is and is for a school environment, so it should look playful and fun and reflect the hand of children. And this stencil element will be a final way for these students to take ultimate ownership over the project. I think no matter how it's used, stenciling always adds a more exciting and accessible element to a mural.

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