Artistcellar Blog

Imagine. Create. Enjoy.

Hey everyone! 

Today I’m trying out Yupo paper with some Dye-na-flow inks. For anyone who hasn’t heard of it or used it, Yupo paper is a synthetic plastic-y paper with a super smooth finish. The inks are meant for fabric and silk painting but I thought that would blend together really well on Yupo (mineral paper would probably work for this too).

On my first one I just used a brush to blend some colors together. Using different techniques/strokes with the brush make a lot of different outcomes!

When it was half dry, I blew on the ink to make even more cool patterns. It turned out pretty cool but also made me very dizzy. It almost looks like coral, which gave me more ideas…

On another page, I laid down a few blues and brushed them with long strokes. While it was still wet, I splattered magenta and yellows by tapping the brush a few inches over the paper. They sort of spread out and blend in a really cool way! 

As it started drying, the splatters only spread in parts of it or where the first splatters were put down and it all blended in a really neat way. 

After that, I taped down a coral stencil - this one is fire coral. I used a baby wipe to rub off the ink, since the Yupo paper doesn’t absorb it, it comes right off! Any kind of slightly damp cloth/paper towel would work to wipe it off. 


 The stencil didn’t fit over the whole paper, but I just moved it over, then connected the areas by rubbing off more ink with a wet paint brush. It’s a lot easier to make a really neat edge like this than with paint!

For my next experiment, I'm going to try to make a galaxy. I started with a bunch of “Midnight Blue,” and splattered some magenta and turquoise in it. 

I sprayed some alcohol on it, which made a neat texture. 

I pushed the ink around with a paintbrush and splattered some more colors on it. As it was drying, I used a paper towel to absorb some big puddles of dark ink to even out the colors. It came out really cool! 

Once it dried all the way I added more dark blue ink around the outside to create emphasis in the middle. The white Dye-na-flow wasn’t very opaque, so I made a lot of dots with my favorite white gel pen

I surfed through Pinterest and google for some sort of quote but a lot of them were really long, too cheesy, or too edgy… so I thought I’d use one of the Tam’s inspiration stencils. The “Stardust" from the "Believe" stencil fits perfectly! I used the same technique as the coral stencil and fixed it up with a little damp brush and some more ink around the outside. 


There's so much you can create with ink on this paper! I bet it would make all sorts of awesome skies, water, leaves, and flowers, maybe even fire… or just throw your favorite colors on for an awesome background! 

Do you have any stencils in your collection that you have not used yet? Oh my, can I relate! We simply have our go to favorites, right? I would like to put out an unofficial challenge to you. Look through your collection, grab a stencil you have yet to try, and make something. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. If you want to play along, you can use the following hashtag on Instagram, #artistcellarstencilchallenge. It will be so fun to see what you come up with! (And if you don’t have any unused stencils, maybe it’s time to buy some new ones from artistcellar! A brilliant excuse for purchasing new supplies, don’t you think?)

Here’s what I did with my unused stencil. It’s from the Coral Series, 12 x 12 set, called Star Coral. I adore circles, so I am surprised I have not used this one yet. I am so excited to give it a try!

First of all, I love the 12 x 12 stencils artistcellar carries. They are made in the USA; they are sturdy, and well designed.

I am working on a large 12 x 18 sheet of 140 lb. watercolor paper, as I will eventually cut this up to create Mail Art postcards.

When I first started with my stencil on my paper, I thought I might do the cosmetic wedge and paint technique for application.

I quickly realized that this would take forever and a day, so I put on my thinking cap. Aha! I could use a foam roller!

I found this faster application of acrylic paint much more satisfying.

I appreciate seeing the variation in texture from the sponge roller. (See above)

Next, I flipped the paper over and scraped some new paint I purchased at Michaels. It’s called Color Shift, by FolkArt. It has kind of a smell to it, so if you are smell sensitive, you may not approve.

However, that color sure is pretty!

So, I rinsed the sponge roller, squeezed out the excess water, and applied a new color of acrylic paint over the color shift paint.

But first, with the stencil on top, you can see how the color shift paint is red on the top, and sort of pink on the bottom. OOOH AAAAH! I just had to show you!

I rolled out a periwinkle blue acrylic paint with a wet sponge roller. It looked like this.

Then I used the best invention for using with stencils, a baby wipe.

When you use a baby wipe over stencils, you clean your stencils and fill in new areas on your paper simultaneously. It’s the best!

When I lifted the stencil off, it didn’t look like much. No worries, as this is just a background for more scribbles, collage, and pen doodles to come!

I flipped my paper back over and added some colorful scraped paint stripes.

First yellow.

Then red.

Finally, I added magenta and greens.

Now I have two sides painted and ready for crayon scribbles, random collage, and pen doodles.

If you are in the USA, you want your postcards to be at least 3 ½ in. x 5 in., and no larger than 4 ¼ in. x 6 in. There is also a thickness restriction, but the 140 lb. watercolor paper meets the limit. When in doubt, add extra postage, or go to your local post office to see what they require.

I am off to turn this paper into Mail Art, and then I will post pictures to our artistcellar stencil challenge hashtag over on Instagram. Remember, your creation does not need to be anything fancy. Simply make something with a stencil you have yet to use. See you over on Instagram at the hashtag #artistcellarstencilchallenge.

All of my best,

Briana of

Hello There!

Thank you for being here.

I want to share a few things with you today.

  • First, Mineral Paper is awesome!
  • Second, I adore the quality of the artistcellar stencils.
  • Third, here’s a letter that you may wish to read. It’s from the Divine Heart.

Supplies Used:

See the step-by-step photos below, and then move to the end to read the letter from the Divine Heart.

  1. Place mineral paper over a 12x12 stencil and rub with Derwent Inktense Blocks.

  1. Use a brush and a little water to blend as desired.

  1. Use Dina Wakley Media Acrylic and scrape with a card with the stencil still under the paper.

  1. Use a heat tool to speed up drying time.

TIP: Mineral paper is thin, and when it gets too hot, it begins to curl!

  1. Use the Sacred Hearts Series: Divine stencil and some Inka Gold paint.

Mine didn’t turn out quite the way I wanted, but have no fear, more paint exists!

6. Apply Dylusions Blendable Acrylic with a cosmetic wedge.

7. Use a white Sharpie water-based paint pen to add highlights to the heart.

  1. Final touches were added to fill in some of the white space with Dina Wakley Media Acrylic paint.
  1. Write a letter that you most need to read, from the Divine Heart.

 Sending Blessings Out to You,

Briana of

Hello My lovely Lovelies!

To start I will show you what became of the canvas I started for my last post. Originally I was going to just keep layering the 12" x 12" Water Series and Coral Series stencils until I loved what I saw, but I failed that plan miserably. Because of the stencils I was inspired to paint a mermaid. I used my Dina Wakley Paints to make her. The only bad part is I still need to create something to fill the blank space on my wall because this piece is now the wrong size.

I love how the stencils inspired me to create her! I think I will do another using the same stencils and create some fun fish. I'll keep you posted if I do.

The journal entry I created for this post was not what I had originally planned, I have a family member who it looks like is losing a battle with cancer so I wanted to record my feelings in my journal. I used my (Jane Davenport) watercolor journal, my Koi watercolor Field Sketch kit, NeoColor II's, Dina Wakley Paints, a white paint pen and watercolor markers, along with a Pocket stencil from the Steampunk Series and the Seven Jewels stencil from the Japanese Geometric series.

I love how the use of the larger stencils broke up the monotony of my plain background without any real effort and tied my pages together.

I created both pieces live on my Youtube channel, if you would like to watch how I worked you can see below!

Big hugs and mushies too you!




Hello my Lovelies! I am totally scatter brained! I recently realized that I lost a day at some point this week! So here I am working leisurely on this week's blog post thinking I was a day ahead of schedule than "splat" reality throws a curveball at me! Sorry Lisa! I was playing with a canvas and my 12" x 12" Water and Coral Series stencils.

My plan is to keep doing layers of color until I like what I see. I had company in  town and I gave a piece of art off my wall and I now have a space to fill so I am making this all for me. I will give an update on my next blog post as to how it turned out.

Because I wanted to have a actual completed piece for you I promptly took out my journal and decided I would have some fun play time. After doing the faces of February I realized that I am pretty much stuck in a rut as far as what the faces I usually make look like so I have been working on changing that and trying to evolve my style a bit.

If you are familiar with what I normally do you will notice I tried to make her eyes further apart and to put less detail in the nose, I want to kind of "rough up" the look and get to refining later.

I started by doing a very rough sketch of my girl holding her kitty with my Generals Scribe-all in black. I then activated the pencil with water and started adding Dina Wakley  paint willy-nilly until I got the face colored in nice. I did a color wash background using more watered down paint in multiple layers. Then went back in with Cheddar and Fuchsia and the Japanese Geometric stencils thinking it would give me the feel I wanted but It didn't groove with me so I went in with Gesso through the 12" x 12" Sea Foam from the Water Series and realized the sentiment I wanted to record in my journal. "Why can't I just live in a bubble with my cat" which I wrote using a nib pen wth my Dyna-flow in Turquoise. For the last touch I used my white gel pen to add little scribbly bits here and there until I was happy!

I love doing these fun journal entries and exploring my style! 

Big Hugs and Mushy Stuff!

Shana Banana

While I really enjoy my job being an elementary art teacher it does feel like I need to ooze creativity at every turn. Since we've been on winter break I've enjoyed the time spent at home with my family watching Christmas movies and trying to catch up on household chores. My creativity has enjoyed a short break as well but it is time to make some more messes in my newly organized creative cave and, as expected, it is a little sluggish to start. So today I am sharing with you the tale of two pages in my art journal, a place I can make really great and really NOT great art.

I started with a surface that has a thin layer of gesso on it. When dry I picked out two 12x12 stencils from the Coral series and using a few of Dina Wakley's new paint colors I laid down a messy layer over the whole page.

Then, before the paint dries too much I lay down my chosen stencil and taking a baby wipe I gently wipe over the surface lifting the wet paint through the stencil. The result is beautiful but remember you need to start with a dried layer of gesso for it to work. I repeated this technique on the neighboring page with a different stencil and colors. 

When this was dry I wondered and wondered what to do next. I grabbed a couple manila tags and painted them and then used one of the stencils again to put another layer of color.

I decided to create a face on one of the pages and using a sketch of mine with carbon paper I transferred it to the stenciled surface. Then using water soluable graphite pencils, distress crayons and various colors of Dina Wakley acrylics I attempted to bring the face to life.

Unfortunately I wasn't feeling it and I ended up wiping the whole thing off. It has left a pretty interesting surface with the face still showing so I think that all is not lost. I need to just leave it be for now so I turn my attention to the opposite page.

The tags I painted fit nicely on the page and I glue them down. I then decide that I need to switch gears before I get too frustrated. I decide to make my tags into houses so I pull out my stash of handmade paper scraps and start creating a cut paper collage. Houses are a familiar trend in my work and I tend to create them when I am at a loss. I am using a gel medium to glue down my papers. 

Here is where I have ended up and you know what? I like it. It's simple and whimsical and makes me smile.

It's okay to create something simple especially when you are getting back into a creative routine. I tend to overcomplicate things so this was a nice reprieve. When you choose a familiar theme and medium to create in, it will rev up your creativity and help get things running smoothly again. What would you choose?​

Hello Wonderful People,

When your heart is heavy or broken, turning to art is proven to be useful. Today, I turn to an altered book I started years ago.

Step One: Find a dark magazine page, a piece of sandpaper, and an interesting stencil from artistcellar.

I am using “Sea Fan” from the Coral Series. (Pictured below)

Place the stencil under the magazine page and rub with the sandpaper until you see the design coming through.

Step Two: Choose an existing book to work in.

Step Three: Tear up your magazine page and glue it down on your page spread with matte medium.

Step Four: Add some marks and scribbles. I used a Carbon Black Lumber Crayon by Dixon.

Step Five: Choose another stencil by artistcellar, (Infra stencil from the Quasicrystal Series) and place it under your book pages. Use the Lumber Crayon to create texture.

Below is a close-up of the texture that comes from the stencil, as well as scribbling over slightly damp magazine page (from the fluid matte medium).

Step Six: Add some color using acrylic paints.

Step Seven: Add a contrasting color. Pictured below, I am using a Crayola Dry-Erase Crayon in orange.

Step Eight: Use a black pen and a white paint pen to add lettering. Pictured below, “Let us have vision for a new way in the new day.”

There you have it, eight easy steps for creative expression and tending to your heart.

Sending Many Blessings Out to You!


PS I’d love for you to visit me at


Hi Everyone! It’s Briana from I have a question for you. Have you heard of Tammy Garcia’s (aka Daisy Yellow) Index-Card-a-Day challenge? Commonly and lovingly called “ICAD”, this is an art challenge that lasts 61 days, and begins on June 1st. The challenge began in 2011, and you can get a lot more information from Tammy’s convenient ICAD FAQ page. I am the type

of artist who loves an art challenge for the inspiration and push to keep creating on a regular basis. I don’t always follow the “rules”, and that’s totally cool with Tammy.

What I want to share with you today is a simple way to get several index cards created using the fabulous artistcellar stencils! Use this idea to participate in ICAD 2016, or just for fun!

I am demonstrating with the “Sea Fan” and “Fire Coral” stencils from the Coral Series. I am also using Distress Stains by Tim Holtz.

Step 1: Get your supplies ready.

  • index cards
  • artistcellar stencils
  • Distress Stain
  • a roll of paper towels
  • your art journal (optional)

Step 2: Place an index card under the “Sea Fan” stencil.

Step 3: If your Distress Stain is new, get it started on a separate index card. Apply “cracked pistachio” Distress Stain over the stencil and index card.

Step 4: Apply “mermaid lagoon” Distress Stain over the “Sea Fan” stencil and the same index card.

Step 5: Roll a roll of paper towels over the wet ink, keeping the stencil in place.

Step 7: Lift the stencil from the index card to see the cool design.

Now onto the “Fire Coral” stencil.

Step 1: Get your Distress Stain going on that “other” index card.

Step 2: Apply “abandoned coral” Distress Stain to the “Fire Coral” stencil over an index card.

(Note: What’s fun about using the 6x6 artistcellar stencils over an index card is that you can choose which part of the design you want to capture. OOH, and layering designs over one another would be super fun, too!)

Step 3: Soak up that extra ink with your roll of paper towels.

Step 4: Lift the stencil and see your design!

Now you have three index cards started (or completed) in a matter of minutes! Put them in your ICAD collection, take notes on them, or send them in the mail to a friend!

I hope you feel inspired to create with stencils and additional art supplies! Play around and have some fun! Because, “That’s what it’s all about, hey!”

Howdy, Ya’ll! It’s Briana here from Today I am going to share some stepped out photos of how to create a dynamic background page using Dye-Na-Flow, the Star Coral stencil, black acrylic paint, Dylusions Spray Ink, and neon embroidery floss!

I am using a 9x12 loose sheet of 140 lb. watercolor paper.


First, I painted and dripped some yellow Dye-Na-Flow on the paper.

Star Coral Stencil with Black Acrylic Paint

Second, you’ll want to use the Star Coral stencil (from the super awesome Coral Series), a cosmetic wedge, and black acrylic paint to start creating some contrast.

As you can see in the photo above, I did not use the entire stencil; I just used parts of it, here and there.

Dylusions Spray Ink

Next, let’s spray some ink!

TIP: You’ll want to either clear the area, or set up a spray station. These spray inks have been known to spray in directions you are not always intending for them to go!

Sometimes you might not want the edge of the stencil to show on your page.

TIP: Use post-it notes or papers to block out certain areas. (See below).

TIP: Use a roll of paper towels to soak up excess ink.

Check out how awesome the Dylusions Spray Ink and the Dye-Na-Flow work when layered on top of one another.

Isn’t that delicious?!

Neon Embroidery Floss

You don’t have to be good at sewing to add interesting stitches to your page. I am using a couple of colors from this neon embroidery floss set I found at a fabric store.

TIP: Look in the children’s art supply section, as “friendship bracelets” use the same thread.

You’ll want to also gather a pair of scissors and a sharp needle. I am using a bookbinding needle, but a hand embroidery needle would work, as well.

TIP: Here’s a great hand needles guide by Jo-Ann.

Start sewing from the back of your page. Be sure to create a knot at the end of your thread. I also make a loose knot near the eye of the needle.

TIP: Use a light source to help you see through your paper as you determine where to stitch

You might consider stitching around some stenciled shapes, or create your own shapes with your stitches, such as Xs or crosses.

I hope you give some of these ideas a try!

In case you are wondering what you might do with this loose background page, here are a few suggestions:

Add collage images and rubber stamp words to complete the page


Cut it up and create a handmade card


Cut it up and create gift tags

Of course, you can always simply leave it as is. For me, the process of making art is the most important part. Enjoy playing with the supplies and materials. Soak in that playful color. Simply be with it all and feel the positive energy art making brings.

Blessings to you,