Stencil Art lesson:

The Stencil is the essence of Serigraphy, the fourth type of printmaking.

In this lesson we will:

  1. look at two modern day, significant, serigraph artists to broaden our awareness of serigraph imagery and to gain an understanding of what inspires them to make their art.
  2. learn how to make a multicolour stencil design
  3. design a stencil

 “Art is not always meant to be decorative or soothing, in fact it can create uncomfortable conversations and emotions”.


When it comes to stencil art two significant, popular artists come to my mind who are not afraid to be politically outspoken and address social issues in their art:     Shepard Fairey and Banksy

Have a look at some Stencil Art   by Banksy here:


What inspires Banksy to make his/her images?  People refer to Banksy as an “Artist as troubadour”.  What does this mean about her/him?

Have a look at some stencil art works by Shepard Fairey here:

What inspires Shepard to make his images?  In your opinion what is one of his most significant images?  Why?


Watch one of the following videos on how Shephard makes his art:

  1. Shepard Fairey- Your Ad Here:

or  2. Shepard  Fairey -Street Basics:



Now, learn how to make a multicoloured stencil by watching the following two videos.

The first video is a very simple form of stencil making :

“How to cut a two layer stencil – simple banana”:

The second video shows how to design a stencil from concept through to preparing the three layers:

“How I make my stencil Art”:



Design  your own stencil.  What is your message ?  What do you want to tell others?  This school community?

Your stencil should have three or four layers to it.  It will be spray painted on the walls of the storage unit in the parking lot of the school for all to view.

Step 1 : Design four different possible designs in thumbnail drawings in your sketchbook.  This is the brainstorming stage of your project.  Its your idea development.

Step 2: Show your stencil ideas to a partner in class and explain the plan you have and the relevence of your choice.  Get feedback from the partner, discussing their insights into your designs.  Perhaps they might change your choice.

Step 3: Draw your design in large format on the manilla tag paper provided to you by your teacher. Use a pencil. Edit and refine your design as you go. Colour in your design, separating the various parts of it into 3, 4, or 5 different colours.  Each colour will require a separate stencil.

Step 4: Using carbon paper, trace each region/shape of one of the colours onto tag paper.  This is your separate stencil for that colour.  Work for fine, neat and accurate tracing.  Cut your stencil for that colour, using an xacto knife. Work for fine, neat and accurate cutting.

Repeat this tracing and cutting for each of the different coloured areas of your design.  When finished you should have a separate stencil for each of all the colours of your design.

Step 5: Using spray paint, spray each stencil layer onto a newsprint sheet.  This is your “Artist’s Proof”.  Check to see that you like the appearance of the stencil prints as a collective whole image.  Edit the stencils at this point if you need to.  Each time you edit your stencil you should print a new “artist’s proof” to check that you get the results that you planned.

Step 6: Make a paper print on good “bond” paper.

Step 7: Using a light mist of spray stencil adhesive on the back of each of your stencils Make a print on the designated school’s storage container in the back area outside of the school.

Step 8: Using pencil, title and sign the paper print.  Hand it in for evaluation.

Congratulations for a great stencil project piece.

Criteria for evaluation:
  1. You have drawn four possible designs for a stencil project in thumbnail drawings in your sketchbook
  2. Your design is original, your own drawing, not a copy of someone else’s stencil design.
  3. You have combined 3 or more coloured stencils to make your final print.
  4. You have cut out the stencil  meticulously and accurately
  5. Your prints are all clear, well aligned and thoroughly printed.
  6. Your design is complex / compelling.
Skip to toolbar