14 November 2013

DIY download: Graphic owl stencil

Thanks so much, dear readers, for the nice comments you left about the owl canvas I created for our foyer! It was a bit of a shock to the system, at first, to suddenly have a GIANT SHINEY OWL looming in our foyer when it had been so “safe”, d├ęcor-wise. But I’ve come to love it and I’m glad you do, too!

As I mentioned yesterday, the most tedious part of creating that art was all the digital work to make the stencil design. Although I did have the trivet to use as a guide for tracing, I did have to freehand a bit. And one thing about which I was particularly flummoxed was the feet. I really, really wanted my owl to have feet. But most iterations I sketched were, well... not quite as footy.

I also made things even more challenging for myself when I thought, for awhile, that I’d stick the owl on a branch. I found a nice branch to trace here and tried to sketch some feet that worked with it.

In the end I decided against the branch, mostly because it seemed to be a different design aesthetic from the rest of the owl, but also because I couldn’t for the life of me get the owl centered as I wanted it. The asymmetry ultimately caused me to scrap the branch idea, even though I spent quite a bit of time on it.

But the reason I’m showing you all this is because, since it took me awhile to make the stencil, it’d just be selfish not to share it with you! And if you like the branch idea, there it is. If you like a different pair of feet, you can have ‘em. And if you like the final design, the one overseeing our foyer, here it is!

(Heck yes I watermarked that thing. If you spent the time I did on it in this Pinterest-ruled world, you’d watermark it too!)

A larger gif version can be found here, which is not as large as I’d like (Blogger keepin’ me down, man) and I’m no good at hosting vector file types on this free hobby website. Enlarging it to the size you want will reduce the quality so much that you likely can’t use it as art by itself, but it should certainly serve its purpose as a stencil. Command/right-click to “Save as” and use it for your liking. It’s a free gift to you, but if you use it and blog about it, I’d love a link or properly-sourced pin back!

But I’ve got one better for you. Although I told you on Tuesday how to make a big stencil across multiple pages, I realize it still may seem daunting to some (my half-assed directions being one reason why). So how about I just share my stencils? Again, just “Save as”, size them however you like (8x10” on an 8.5x11” page is best), print out and enjoy!

Stencil 1&4
Stencil 2
Stencil 3
Stencil 5&8
Stencil 6
Stencil 7
Stencil 9&12
Stencil 10
Stencil 11
Stencil 13
Stencil 14

I realize the stencils themselves aren’t perfect, and also my naming system is a little esoteric. In general the pieces are in a 1-12 grid, with 13 and 14 as the feet. But to conserve paper, 4 is on the same page as 1, 8 is on the same page as 5, and 12 is on the same page as 9. Here, I arranged the image windows so you can see how they’re put together.

Again, here’s how I did it in real life.

I hope that helps! And if it still doesn’t make sense to you, feel free to leave a comment with your question. Oh, and I definitely recommend downloading the single composite image and printing that out, too, so you can create a guide for what exactly you want to cut out and where exactly you want to paint. It seems easy and manageable when it’s small but can get tricky when it’s blown up!

After that it’s just cutting it out, taping it together, tracing, and painting... which sounds like a lot, but trust me, it will go a lot faster than starting by spent hours on the computer designing the stencil!

So there you go, dear readers! I couldn’t do all that work and keep it to myself, so I’m happy to share it with you. Enjoy! Owl canvases for all!


Tina said...

I pinned it! ;-)'Cause I like it!!!

cheesemonkeysf said...

OMG, this is the most amazing home art project every. I want this!

Elizabeth (@cheesemonkeysf)

DaveGoodchild said...

Just wanted to say thanks for posting your beautiful owl design, as it turns out that with a bit of tweaking it will also make a wonderful photo locket for my wife's Christmas present!
I've been looking for months on and off for a suitable design but had all but given up finding anything before the big day, then a week ago I stumbled onto your blog and the canvas design - perfect!
As I said, I've had to adjust it a bit to make it suitable for a cut shape, but I reckon that it's turned out pretty well.
I'll post a pic of the finished locket in a few days, but here is a photo of the freshly cut basic design.
Thanks again for posting. :-)
All the best,
Dave, in a damp and chilly UK.


Sarah said...

@Dave, that locket is AMAZING! Thank you so much for sharing, I am thrilled that the design worked for you (from a 1970s trivet to a canvas to a locket, ha!). I'd love to see the finished product. Your wife is a lucky lady to receive such a neat gift :)

DaveGoodchild said...

Hi Sarah,
Thanks - I'm glad that you like it! To be honest I was just relieved that I found a great design that I wouldn't have to tweak too much to create what I needed. Thank you!!
Well she loved it on Christmas morning so it was a complete success, sorry it's taken so long to get back to you - it's been a very busy couple of weeks.
I've attached the links to a few more pics of the finished locket (I hope that they work). Hope you like it.
Oh, and happy new year!
Dave, in a now very wet, cold and 'orrible UK... time to emigrate me thinks...




Sarah said...

@Dave, thank you so much for coming back and sharing the finished pictures. Again, that is absolutely incredible - you are quite the talented man. No wonder your wife was thrilled :) Glad it worked for you and thanks again! (PS it's a high of 10° F in the midwestern US this week... I feel your weather pain!)