Artistcellar Blog

Imagine. Create. Enjoy.

One of my favorite things to use in my art are repeated elements.  Such an easy way to create rhythm, continuity and texture. One of my favorite elements are dots, circles, round things. Dots as texture is just yummy and is a simple way to add a bit of interest to anything you are creating. When I am stumped as to what I should add next? Dots. When I need a little texture? Dots. I have bubble wrap, sequin waste and other recycled packaging that I use to create dots. Recently I got my paws on the new Halftone Dots stencil I admit I squealed a teeny bit. Oh man, these stencils are a game changer. They are great on their own and even better layered one on top of the other. They don't quite line up which ends up being divine and they are not perfect circle dots which makes them oh so interesting to look at. Have I convinced you yet? Read to the end as there is a GIVEAWAY you need to be a part of!

For this weeks project I pulled out an abandoned canvas (please please please tell me you have those too!!) with a textured red background. Hmmm, what should I add next? Yep, you guessed it, DOTS. Keep reading and let me take you on a journey of my artistic process with oodles of pictures.

Supplies used:

Let's get started!

I applied two layers of acrylic paint with the two larger dots stencils (with a make-up sponge) and let the paint dry a smidge between layers.

I tore a sheet of dictionary page to create a landscape and attached it with gel medium. Using Dina's Night color I glazed the edges of the canvas to add depth.

The next layer is white paint and the next size down of the Halftone dots. I also added a green wash to the dictionary page landscape.

At this point I decide to put the focus of the composition in the sky. To define this focal point I used white paint to create a circle and tried out some metallic paint for contrast. 

I decided three angels would occupy the space and cut out dresses from more dictionary paper and heads from thin chipboard. I glued the dresses down with soft gel medium and added a wash of white to them. To the heads I started adding paint for the faces.

I ended up using alcohol to rub off a few layers of paint in the circle area and liked it better that way. I sketched in the arms, wings and faces of the three lovely ladies. I also added yellow around the circle area too.

I thought I would create their faces on chipboard and then attach them but scratched the idea and went ahead and painted them directly on the canvas. The following pictures show the evolution of the characters with their faces, arms, wings and crowns.

To further define the focal point I added a raw umber glaze to the outside of the circle. As a finishing touch for the angels I added gold leafing. 

So there you have it! I have a few finishing touches I want to add but am going to let it sit for a day or two to let it simmer. For sure I will be adding another layer to the outside of the circle with the smallest dots stencil to add more (you got it) rhythm, continuity and texture.

I'll be sure to share the final result on my blog so keep in touch!

And now for the GIVEAWAY! Each of us on the Design Team has the opportunity to give away one set of the Halftone Dots to one lucky person who leaves a comment. So, leave me some love in the comment section and maybe you'll walk away with these fabulous stencils. Hooray! (ahem, be sure to comment on my fellow designers' posts as well for 5 more chances to win!)


Woot Woot! These NEW Halftone Dots Series stencils are soooooo great!

This is Briana from I am currently teaching a class called, “What Is Art Journaling?” through my local Adult Community Education program. Last week we were talking about using stencils in the art journal, and guess what? I brought the NEW Halftone Dots Series stencils along to let my students be the first to try them! The Halftone Dots Series stencils are now student tested and approved by beginning adult art journalers! Yay!

Going along with the art journal theme, I created a silly page spread to share with you today.

I have a question for ya’ll. Are there any pickle lovers reading this? What’s your favorite kind? Do you like sour dill? Kosher half-sour? Sweet pickles? Or maybe hot pickles are your preference?

No matter what kind of pickles you prefer, you just might want to save the label from the next empty pickle jar at your house. (Soak the glass jar in hot soapy water to help release the label’s glue.) You, too, can make some pickle pages in your beloved art journal with a few easy steps and art supplies!

First you’ll want to gather the following supplies:

Since I have already been kind of “chatty”, I am going to post the stepped out photos below.

Step 1: Spray Ink over Halftone Dots Series stencils

Step 2: Scrape acrylic paint over part of your spray inked and stenciled pages.

Step 3: Use Matte Medium to glue down your pickle label.

Step 4: Use a Giant Bamboo Brush Pen and Dye-na-flow to do some journaling about pickles.

I wrote, “I like pickles, yes, I do. I like pickles, how about you? Do you like ‘em sweet, or somewhere in between? I prefer them sour, but that’s just me!”

Step 5: Do some hand lettering about pickles with a Sharpie.

Step 6: Use yellow Dye-na-flow to fill in around some of the main shapes. Use a Uni Posca Paint Marker to color in and around some of your lettering.

I hope you enjoyed this “pickle pages” art journaling tutorial! Be sure to leave a comment below for your chance to WIN a set of Halftone Dots Series stencils! Writing your favorite kind of pickle with your comment is extra credit!

Have an amazing day!


YES!!! It's finally my turn to share! I was psyched when I saw these Halftone Dots stencils! They are so "perfectly imperfect"! As you can see I have been playing with them quite a bit and have already stained them from use.

But because of the pliability and strength of the Artistcellar stencils I am able to use a toothbrush to make sure the stenciled image stay clear, thank you for an awesome product!

The top 3 things I love about this stencil set?

  1. I love how the dots are not perfectly round,
  2. the way you can use them by 'stacking color' if you choose and
  3. the 4 different dot sizes are perfect!

Ok here is the fun! I wanted to try these a few different ways with different mediums and substrates.

The 1st thing I did of course is grab one of my Art Journals, this one is my Strathmore mixed media paper journal painted with my Dina Wakley Heavy body paints and a black DecoArt paint.

I used the stencils to create the background using random placement of the stencil.

I then went on to create my fairy face using the Dina Wakley paints layering thin layers of color so the background still ghosts through.

And some journaling to release a bit of stress.

The 2nd item I created, I used the Mineral paper that I love with watercolors to create a piece inspired by the Wizard of Oz.

I can totally see using these stencils again for a flowery field or even trees, it was so easy to use the watercolor bleed under technique (refer to my last blog post) to create such wonderful depth and color variation. I probably did 4-5 layers of stenciled color letting each layer dry before applying the next, and because I used the mineral paper, I was able to soften the lines easily with a damp brush.

I can't wait to play with these on the mineral paper some more, my brain gears are grinding!!!

The last item I decided to make is a small wall hanging for my bathroom wall, the substrate is pressed particle board from a  repurposed sign I had laying about. For paint I used DecoArt chalky finish paint, Matte Medium, watercolors and scrapbook paper.

I used the stencil this time in more of a pattern instead of being purposely random.

The finished piece is such a jumble of pattern and color it makes you read it, I love it!

So that is how I have played with this set so far, does it make you want them? if it does, go order some, or you could try to win a set by commenting below! That's right! Just give us a comment let us know what you think! Is your mind racing at how you could use them? Tell us!! The winner will be chosen on May 11th so cross your fingers!!

And don't forget to check out the other gals posts! 

P.S. there will be videos for the above projects so keep an eye out over at my YouTube channel!

Big Hugs and Mushy stuff!!!



Receiving the large parcel containing the new Artistcellar Halftone Dots stencils and Yasutomo Mineral Paper was a sweet homecoming. From art school to the present, my life has been all about printing. The passion I felt in the printmaking studio for etching and lithography effortlessly gave way to screen printing, and then segued into the digital field of publication printing and advertising. Forever chasing perfect registration, the dots are friends who at times can be mischievous, but never dull, dancing on a variety of papers like moonbeams slipping across silk.

For someone who loves paper as much as I do, the Mineral Paper was certainly a delight. Made from rocks, it has a beautifully smooth texture. Wet or dry media are equally at home on the brilliant white surface.

It's also no secret that I adore vintage images. From the 1880's through to Mid-Century modern, the photos are the stuff of dreams for a collage artist. Who are the people in the photos? What were their lives like? What is their story?

My Muse prompted me to use a photo I have been saving for just the right project. The woman in her blue suit, white hat, and bouquet of flowers radiated the Mad Med era which I though a perfect framework for the new stencils. I couldn't help but imagine her world. Could she be a Mad Woman? What was it like to be in advertising in the 1960's? Was she waiting to start a conversation? Or was she the person to change it?

I set out to work with ink, watercolour, and acrylic paints. Below you will see just a few of my combinations using the paints with a brush, a sponge, and my fingers.

The Mineral Paper performed perfectly. The smooth surface enhanced the stenciling. I normally work on a very heavy paper or illustration board. The Mineral Paper will now be my go-to substrate. I love it! When dry, it was as flat as when I started and my colours just as vibrant. It made scanning so much easier. I finished the piece "Five O'clock World" as a digital file. Finding inspiration in the Op Art of the era, I layered my stencils to fit neatly within the clouds surrounding the woman.

Are you captivated by circles and dots? The Halftone Dots Series can be used in so many ways... conventionally and digitally. And the Mineral Paper is the perfect compliment. In collage or journaling the pairing is a perfect match that will easily allow you to express your thoughts.

After all, you can be the one to change the conversation.

You can also be the one to win a set of Halftone Dots stencils, just by leaving a comment! A random lucky winner will be picked May 11th. If you can't wait and want a set of these Halftone Dots stencils NOW... you can substitute any other set of Artistcellar stencils if you win. Also check out the rest of the design teams post, every one of us is giving away a free set!


  • Artistcellar Halftone Dots Series Stencils
  • Mineral Paper
  • Illustration Board
  • Drawing paper
  • DecoArt Metallic Acrylic paint: Teal, Champagne Gold, Amethyst
  • Reeves Metallic Gold, Rose Red
  • Daler Rowney Pearlescent Liquid Acrylic: Moon Violet, Galactic Blue, Velvet Violet
  • Winsor & Newton Watercolour Paint: Ultramarine, Violet, Cobalt
  • Natural Sponge
  • Calligraphy Brush
  • Fingers


When I received the Halftone Dots Series stencil set I was tickled because I immediately thought of the halftone process and CMYK color mixing which is near and dear to my heart. For over twenty five years I have painted using only three “primary” colors plus white and black. Through trial and error I experimented with every color imaginable until I got the perfect trio of colors. Not only was it less expensive to paint this way, I never made a muddy color! A few years ago I developed Splash Ink which are the colors of my simple palette to make any color imaginable without making mud.

For today's post I decided to do a play on the halftone process using transparent colors and the Halftone Dots series stencils on Mineral Paper.

Cut the paper into six inch squares which are the same size as the stencils.

Load a stencil brush with cyan blue and apply it over the larger dots on the mineral paper. Make sure the colors dry before going to the next color. Colors on mineral paper will take longer to dry than regular paper.

Apply magenta over the medium dots on the paper.

Use the next smaller size dots and apply yellow.

Use black on the smallest dots to finish.

Depending on where the dots overlay on each other you can see how the overlapping colors make new colors.

Experiment with different brands or types of paints and inks and try to use only the most transparent colors.To determine if a color is transparent, make a 2” stripe of black waterproof india ink in the middle of a sheet of 9 x 12 or larger white watercolor paper or bristol board and let it dry completely. Apply a 1” swatch of color going across the black strip so there is color on both sides of the strip. Do this with as many colors as the strip has room and let the colors dry completely. If you see any color or sediment on the black strip after it has dried then it is not a transparent color. This is how to determine a transparent, semi transparent, semi opaque and opaque colors.

When doing this technique, use different color combinations or rotate the stencils on the paper. Apply a wash of transparent color over the dots after they have dried or use a brayer. I tried another brand of primary magenta, cyan and yellow and the colors didn’t turn out as vibrant so the black ink test is the only way to know if you have colors that are truly mixable.


Halftone Series Stencil Set

Mineral Paper

Niji Splash Ink, Magenta, Yellow and Blue

Black acrylic paint

Stencil brush

Makeup Sponge


Now be sure to leave a comment on this post for a chance to win a FREE set of stencils from Artistcellar! A lucky winner will be chosen May 11th, and contacted through email. If you already bought a Halftone Dots Series, you can pick another stencil series of your choosing from Artistcellar. And don't forget to stop by on Wednesday to see Shelby's post and another chance to win!

I love using dots, circles, spots, round shapes in my artwork. Before stencils, my favorite go-to mark-makers were punchinella and bubble wrap, but I was always losing them. But now... Viola! Introducing Halftone Dots Stencils - never be without circles again!

What do I love most about these stencils? The versatility and the grunge factor. These are not perfect little smooth edged circles. Oh no, they have micro-wavy edges and are delightfully imperfectly round-ish. AND they layer in a fabulously wibbly-wobbly way. Yes, those are all grammatically correct technical terms.

Of course the above were all done with my gelli plate, which you all know I LOVE, because just LOOK at that texture and detail. But then I decided to make some art journal pages, because these stencils are GREAT for mixed media backgrounds. You can go subtle, like the greens in this page.

For this background, I used Tim Holtz Distress Crayons  (set one) sribbled all over a page in my Strathmore Hard Cover Journal, and smooshed them around with a water brush to lay a nice bright color down. For the record, the page was gessoed first. I then took the stencils (several of the different sizes) and laid them down and took a baby wipe, smeared a darker crayon color on the wet wipe, and wiped through the circles. I got a nice edge to the circles with the darker color. How fabulous is that?

The branches were done by using a brown ink and blowing carefully through a straw to make the ink run in different directions to mimic tree roots.

I did do some other projects, another journal page, and a set of coasters, but I'm going to use them in another blog post because I want to get to the exciting part! For the next two weeks, the Artistcellar Design Team is going to be featuring these stencils in our own little bloghop, except no hopping. All the posts will be on this blog so there are no stops to remember, AND they are EACH going to be giving away a set of stencils to a lucky random winner who leaves a comment. Tell us what you would do with them, what you like about them, how fabulous everyone's art work is! We will be picking winners on everyone's blog post on May 11th. So leave a comment (but just one!) on each person's post for your chance to win:

Monday 4/25 Karen Elaine
Wednesday 4/27 Shelby
Friday 4/29 Shana
Monday 5/2 Briana
Wednesday 5/4 Kirsten
Friday 5/6 Cristen

Of course leave a comment on THIS post, I'm going to give away a set too! And if you are really impatient and want to buy a set of Halftone Dots before finding out if you are a winner, go ahead and purchase them... if you win a set, you can exchange it for another set of stencils we have. It's a win-win all around! Hooray!

See you soon, XO Lisa





Hello again everyone! Today I'm taking inspiration from the Sacred Geometry 2 stencils and creating a double page journal spread full of texture and drippage and fun!

I've created a video for you! 

Hellllloooooo fellow creatives! Have you tried Mineral Paper? If not, you need to. Like right this second. Mineral Paper is AWESOME. I came to this conclusion after trying out three different mediums on some 6x6 sheets I had. Read on and I'll fill you in on all the awesomeness.


Taking three sheets of 6 inch square mineral paper I crumpled them to add rad texture because we all need more texture in our lives. Amiright? The paper feels soft and resists tearing so you go ahead and crumple it over and over and it'll hold up.



The three mediums I chose to work with were alcohol inks, Dye-na-flow and Dina Wakley Heavy Body Acrylics. I had a tub of water and a fat paintbrush nearby too.



First up, alcohol inks. Usually this medium is reserved for non-porous substrates but since Mineral Paper is made mostly from calcium carbonate and a bit of resin I felt confident it would yield exciting results. I was not disappointed. Using three coordinating colors I dripped them all over the paper and then quickly crumpled the paper again to gently mix them together. Wowza! Just check out this texture and those colors!



Second, Dye-na-Flow in yellow and pink. Though usually reserved for fabrics I thought, hey why not, and gave it a try. I applied each color with my fat paint brush to the paper and swished the colors around.  I added a couple layers of color not really letting them dry in between. The colors became deeper and began to pool in the wrinkle crevices. Layers of texture and color. Dry time for this was fast but I am sure my ceiling fan helped the process along.



Lastly, Dina Wakley Acrylics in blackberry violet and lemon. This time I pre-wet the surface of the paper before I applied the paint and then crumpled the paper again to squish the color around. Again the color mixed a bit and got into the crevices of the wrinkles. It looked divine. This paper doesn't soak up the paint as much as paper made from trees and it lends itself to creating a depth of color that is just lovely.



After all was dried I pulled out three 6 inch square canvases. I wanted to mount the papers onto the canvases to create three beautiful backgrounds ready for more. 



It was at this time I decided to iron the paper to flatten it. It would make it easier to mount onto the canvases with soft gel medium. I used a small travel iron set on the cotton heat setting and quickly ironed them between two sheets of plain copy paper. I made care to keep the iron moving and only pressed them for three seconds at a time while checking to see if they were flat enough. Imagine my surprise when I finished and found the paper had shrunk! COOL! You can see in this picture the amount of border produced by the shrinkage. Before the paper was the same size as the canvases. A happy accident and a neat discovery!



All in all I am super pleased with the results and encourage you to try out this paper yourself! 

Hello Everyone,

Isn’t it awesome when you receive actual mail? Isn’t it simply amazing that someone would take the time to write you a letter? Maybe handwritten notes seem antiquated, but I believe them to be special, meaningful, and personal treasures. To make “real mail” even more exciting, I’d like to suggest creating a decorative envelope for that lucky recipient!

Oh yes, we can go deep by sending messages of love and healing through chakra imagery and rainbows!

The Pocket Chakra Stencils are clearly labeled on the packaging, which is a tremendous help when attempting to reflect on their meaning as you work your magic.

You may even wish to write the corresponding words, like I did (pictured below).

On the opposite side of the envelope, I painted a rainbow of stripes, using up the paint on my palette.

I decided to NOT rinse my brush between colors, simply to give the colored stripes a bit of something different. (See first picture in this post.)

I also painted the flap.

In case you are wondering, your stenciling and painting do not require perfection. Putting yourself into the creative process is what counts. That’s where your love comes through.

Finally, if you still have some paint on your palette, or wet paint on the sponges you used for stenciling, grab that art journal and a paint scraper!

No need to waste any of the luscious color, right?! Dab, dab, dab, scrape, scrape, scrape. Boom! Two pages no longer “blank”.

May your day be filled with joy, color and love!

Now go send someone some mail and help make their day special!

PS Stop on by for more art ideas and inspiration!







I'm going to be honest, when I was told we were getting paper made from rocks to play with I was thinking "what the heck am I going to do with that?!" I was thinking it was going to be coarse and require major prep to use.

I was SOOO pleasantly surprised  when I actually received the Mineral Paper! It is awesome stuff! It is water resistant so using watercolors on it is awesome, if you don't mind the pun... It ROCKS! Lol, yea, I'm punny like that!

So I wasn't sure how to play with it and just started messing around using watercolors, then I decided to try out some Artistcellar Stencils and ended up making these beauties!

The process is so simple to make these on the Mineral Paper, only requiring a couple of my favorite stencils from the Sacred Hearts and Sacred Geometry 2 Series, a fine mist sprayer for water, watercolors (I used Twinkling H20's to add some shimmer), a brush, and patience to let it dry completely.

The 1st step is to place your stencil on the mineral paper and mist with a layer of water.

I then go in and fill the open spaces with the watercolor, the color will bleed under the stencil, that is OK! We want that!

Now is the patient part... leave the stencil in place and... wait... until it is completely dry to the touch.

Once dry, carefully remove the stencil from the mineral paper, it will stick, even with a very clean stencil.

If there are any damp areas under the stencil, either dab with a towel or wait for them to dry. I stuck this one on a card front and it is ready for a note to be added inside.

I love how simple this is to do with all the choices of wonderful stencils, I can't wait to use this process over and over! The Mineral Paper is also great from Mixed Media, I used my Koi Watercolors, colored pencils, and acrylic paint for this piece.

If you would like to watch the full process for the simple stencil and watercolor, or the Wild Hair Girl on the Mineral Paper, just look below!

Big Hugs and Mushy Stuff!

-Shana (aka Cheeto)

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