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Wild Bluebells in Spring

Wild Bluebells in Spring
Introducing our new Wild Bluebells Stencil..

It’s a wonderful thing when suddenly we’re surrounded by shrouds of bluebells in every shape and variety, in the country lanes, the woodlands, the hillsides, the riverbanks and in every nook and cranny in the country gardens. I count myself very fortunate living in the Brecon Beacons to witness the unfolding happening of each season and to be amidst such constant inspiration – in Spring as new life bursts onto the scene.

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Coed Cefn – the most spectacular bluebell woods, with thousands of wild British bluebells, carpeting the floor of this ancient woodland. The native British bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) is in strong evidence in the Brecon Beacons countryside.

Bluebell-types

The native British bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta, above left) has delicately draped more sparsely placed flower bells, usually a darker gentian blue or more rarely, white – you see it growing as single stems spread amongst green foliage, a wonderful site when you come across it. Cottage gardens can’t help but overflow with the thickly bunched, more upright, densely flowered Spanish bluebells (Hyacinthoides hispanica, above middle), these are rapacious growers, spreading very easily. And of course the hybrid when the two species cross (Hyacinthoides x massartiana, above right), which has both the delicacy of the native bluebell and the fullness and vigour of the introduced garden variety, seen in lanes, hedgerows, growing alongside streams and often found next to either the native bluebell or Spanish type.

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When designing the Wild Bluebell Stencil I focused on the hybrid type bluebell, to create a flower design with more falling bell flowers and stems closely grouped together, but with the delicacy of the indigenous species.  As well as the aesthetics for a stencil design it also seems apt tribute to the myriad multitude of bluebells we have here and perfect for the latest addition to our stencil range the ‘Wild Botanical Stencils – inspired by the Hedgerow & Woodland of the Brecon Beacons’.

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This single motif design is perfect for fabric printing onto home furnishings – cushions, curtains, bedding or kitchen linen. We stencilled the Wild Bluebell Stencil onto a white canvas cushion cover for this elegant bedroom setting. This design lends itself to cosy cottage style or simple elegant decor.

Bluebell-fabric-stencilling

Stencilling onto fabrics is great if you’re starting out on stencilling – because the fabric is an absorbent surface, stencilling tends to be less prone to bleeding under the cut out shapes, so crisper results can be achieved more readily. We used a combination of Bright Purple, Cobalt Blue, Pure White and Olive Fabric Paints for this white canvas cushion cover. Our Fabric Paints are really colourfast once ironed, very useful on household items that are washed on a regular basis.

Bluebell-giftbag

The Wild Bluebells Stencil is a great design for creating gift bags, wrapping paper and cards. Our silver gift bag has been stencilled with Forget-me-not, Indian Purple and Hedgerow Stencil Paints, blended and merged together to create this graduating colour effect.

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Great for home accessories the Wild Bluebell Stencil is brilliant on this small wooden block hung on a painted stone wall above a country cottage fireplace. The stencil technique used involves multi layering the stencil paint, allowing it to dry between each layer to create a slightly raised effect (the stencil is kept in place whilst each layer dries). Stencilled with Vanilla Stencil Paint.

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The Wild Bluebells Stencil adapts brilliantly to different colour palettes. Stencil in natural flower and leaf colours for that clean Spring feeling. Or try using single silhouette colours light on dark backgrounds, or dark on light backgrounds. Alternatively try some unexpected zingy colours for gift wrap and cards.

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This design lends itself well to ‘Arts and Crafts’ style repeat patterns. Use muted colours to create this effect, or contrasting silhouette colours for more contemporary style.

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Our spectacular and peaceful walk in Coed Cefn, the joys of the April Spring!

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Watch this space for more new designs from the Wild Botanicals Stencils Range – coming soon!

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Little Wild Poppies Journal

Little Wild Poppies Stencil
A taste of what we’ve been getting up to!

As Britain is host to a wonderful array of exciting wild botanical flowers Henny Donovan Motif thought what better way to celebrate this than to create a new stencil range in honour of our native beauties?!  Henny, with sketch pad in hand, has been busy this summer exploring the local wild hedgerows and woodlands of the Brecon Beacons. Having so many wonderful and inspiring wild botanical sketches to choose from it was a challenge to select the eventual designs to be included in the forthcoming range the ‘Wild Botanical Stencils – inspired by the Hedgerow & Woodland of the Brecon Beacons’First to be released this year (with more to follow soon) is the Little Wild Poppies Stencil – inspired by the abundant Welsh Poppy flowers of country lanes and cottage gardens.

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This delicate, perennial little wild flower has a self-seeding regularity and pops up between cracks in paving slabs, along stone walls and any nook and cranny in the garden that takes its fancy. It can withstand wind, rain and harsh sun in a way that defies its apparent fragility. Originating from the Pyrenees, these wild flowers create a bloom of warm yellow colour across the summer months, the fine, bright yellow petals always alluring to the eye of the passer by.  Constantly swaying in the slightest of breezes it can be quite resistant to the artist’s pen, but we got there in the end!! Henny’s studies above in pencil, felt pen and photographic mediums.

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The charming Little Wild Poppies Stencil depicts three wild poppy flowers swaying in the breeze, with 2 flower buds, a tapering seed pod and intricately detailed foliage – all on one small stencil sheet. Perfect for getting creative with! Brilliant on small home accessories, such as trays, boxes and picture frames. Use our Stencil Paints and Acrylic Varnishes for these creations.

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Gorgeous in red on a white gauzy skirt – there is something timeless about a classic red poppy on white and this turns an ordinary skirt into a designer special! Use our Fabric Paints for washable results. This does have a romantic feel – funny that in Persian literature, the red Corn Poppy is known as a Flower of Love!

Wild-poppies-cards

The Little Wild Poppies Stencil is perfect for making gift cards and wrapping paper for all occasions. Cards stencilled with Very Berry, Jet Black and Hedgerow Stencil Paints. Red wrapping paper stencilled with Ice White Stencil Paint. Customers can safely use this stencil for food crafting and making a beautiful sugar display.

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Based on the original artwork and extensive studies Henny produced this year, this stencil has a graceful effect that is true to life, with a botanical authenticity. We have received a lot of requests from customers to add a smaller poppy to our Wild Poppy Stencil Range, so Henny created this design, knowing it would have a great versatility for our creative customers!

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As well as classic poppy colours ranging from yellow, orange and red, working with a bright colour popping palette gives a very updated twist to this design. Different flower or leaf sections of the stencil can be used to add to the design as well, to create fuller or taller designs.

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The New Little Wild Poppies Stencil is life size and fits perfectly with our Grass Stencils Range. Brilliant for grass meadow mural effects. Try this new design with our Wild Oat Grass StencilWild Slender Oat Grass Stencil (both featured above), Wild Meadow Grass Stencil, Wild Rye Grass Stencil and Teasel Stencil.

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In 2009 Henny created the popular Wild Poppies Theme PackLarge Wild Poppies Theme Pack, Large Wild Poppy & Grasses Stencil and the Giant Poppy Stencils as part of the WILD FLOWER range on the Henny Donovan Motif website. The many hours of sitting in meadows drawing paid off, almost a decade later the love of these stencils remains strong.  Now adding this Little Wild Poppies Stencil, intricate and delicate, we have the full set of sizes!

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Other British Poppies of the Papaver genus remain very similar to the wild poppy. Therefore in association to the Remembrance Day Poppy we are proud to be launching the Little Wild Poppies Stencil prior to Remembrance Day and will be donating 10% of all Little Wild Poppies Stencil Sales in November 2018 to the Poppy Appeal.  The Remembrance Poppy is the common field poppy (Papaver rhoeas), one of the first wildflowers to colonise disturbed ground or fallow cornfields. It became identified with the battle zones of the First World War, or Flanders Fields, which were originally corn fields.

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Watch this space for more new designs from the Wild Botanicals Stencils Range – coming soon!

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Flowering Magnolia Tree Stencil – Design Inspirations

Flowering Magnolia Tree Stencil – Design Inspirations
Magnolias in Spring

Maybe you, like me, are a bit of a plant nut – I don’t mean knowing the full-on glossary of Latin terms for each and every plant – but I mean endlessly captivated by the beauty, or elegance, or magical quality, or exquisite detail on display, year after year, season after season, in the world of flowers, plants and trees. It always causes the design ‘twinge’ in me come spring, as it all unfolds yet again and one witnesses the beauty and theatre on display. And being of the ‘artist’ leaning I always see more each time I stop and look. Inspiration never dries up, the abundance of nature always causes new creative impulses and ideas.

So it is, every year, when magnolia trees come into bud and flower, their large majestic flowers unfurling into the cup-like open globes of soft blush pink petals. I have always loved magnolias against those sharp blue spring skies we get on sunny clear days – and there have been several this year – where the flowers are silhouetted against this wonderful colour, which enhances the blush on the large petals and their elegant outline.

Well, flowering magnolias seem to cause that same design inspiration flush every spring, and this year, as the new website was taking shape, I thought ‘what better way to launch the site than with a new magnolia tree stencil?’  One that could be adapted to fit into plenty of decorative scenarios for all those avid and starter stencillers out there alike.

And of course, there is the wonderful way that the magnolia tree grows, with its beautiful gnarly, twisted branches, a woody tracery going off at this angle and that angle, on which the large goblet-like flowers sit. Wonderful adapted for interior design stencils, for all interior spaces, as the design can so easily be positioned to fit into wide landscape areas, or narrow portrait areas, or large or small spaces.

The new Flowering Magnolia Tree Stencil is great in formal, traditional settings, simple country rooms, or in pared back contemporary interiors. Working in graphic monochrome palettes gives a more structured feel and creates modern simplicity and silhouette style (above), whereas using the range of blush pinks, woody tones and greens, brings out the natural flowering botanical element of the design (below).

And with magnolias, not only are they wonderful design shapes, just waiting to leap off the page (or wall!), but there is this wonderful cross-over between ‘floral botanical and ‘floral oriental’.

So this theme pack, with its large beautiful flowers and gnarly tree motifs, makes a great Chinoiserie style design and the colours and layouts used can bring out either the botanical or oriental nature of the design.

The twiggy tree motifs create the perfect backdrop to place the magnolia blooms and buds on and can be repeated in regular or random fashion. Repeating the flower motifs at irregular, random intervals increases the continuous feeling of tree like growth, even on a regularly repeated base of tree motifs.

The Flowering Magnolia Tree Stencil theme pack is fantastic used to create beautiful Chinoiserie silks or impressive Chinoiserie wall features.

Beautiful in pale plaster pink and chocolate, repeated magnolia trees with flowers placed in random arrangements.

As usual I start out with various studies and sketches, which is really just like getting to know someone – becoming more closely acquainted!

It may be a little traditional, in this day and age, but observational work, really is at the core of good design, or design that rings true to the subject. So, it is always good to get out pencils, pen and ink and other drawing media, to build up a little knowledge about the next design star!!

I spend as much time on preliminary sketches, as necessary, working in different styles – quick sketches, longer drawings, different angles, different flower groupings and even different types of the same flower to see which seems to be more suggesting of a stencil design and likely to be the most versatile in different decorative settings and which might have the widest appeal.

Once several sketches have been done, if there is the time, I spend a little longer on a more detailed tonal drawing, which is usually where the style starts to emerge of the design – its character, its rhythm – and it is often from these drawings that I base the stencil designs on.

The thing that has always drawn me to printing – and of course stencilling is just one form of printing – is the fact that you can create this repeated image in a range of different ways in terms of colour, layout and surfaces you are printing onto. As well as doing a degree in fine art I studied textile printing at college and Uni and of course ended up teaching it as part of broad-based art curriculum. Mono printing, silk screen, lino, fabric printing and much more all came into this remit and I taught in much the same way as I work – close observational work leading directly to print and design. As an example, I used to get the kids to do lino reduction self-portraits drawing straight onto their lino blocks. Repeat design in textiles, as well, has long been a passion of mine.  Anyway…

The Flowering Magnolia Tree Stencil is charming in this country cottage bedroom – a soft rendition in pinks and reds.

Magnolias against a spring blue sky with the sweet bird motifs of the Humming Birds Stencil. A rich deep azure background would also work here, for this springtime mural.

Working on deep, deep green, ink blue or black backgrounds with the Flowering Magnolia Tree Stencil will create an instant lacquer effect, especially with a coat of gloss varnish to follow. The magnolia flower shapes again leaning towards a modern update on classical oriental or Chinoiserie design.

This theme pack is great – it can be applied with the flowers in a profuse display, stencilled closely together (as above), which creates the effect of real magnolias on a tree, that grow in thick abundance.

Or try (as here) the flowers spaced more sparsely, showing more of the delicate twig shapes beneath. Add a few flower petals and leaves floating mid space to give the effect of a gusty spring breeze blowing blossom about, as it does at this time of year.

This seems to be where theme packs come into their own, plenty of motifs and thereby choices, of how to place them and how to combine them for many different decorative settings.

Amidst inspiring flowering magnolia trees, a little gadding about and squinting in the sunshine. It was 70 degrees on a New York March Spring day – like mid-summer here! And in Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, we were full of wonder at the profuse display of soft pink flowers against a clear blue sky.  Quite wonderful!

At my last house – we were lucky enough to have this beautiful magnolia tree in our back garden – again the beautiful pink and blue on a crisp sunny Spring morning.

And today in London!!!  On the very day I have been writing this magnolia blog, out walking the dog on a sunny Spring day in North London, this stunning magnolia tree and breath-taking blue March sky come into view. Smart phone to the ready! Beauty all around!

Hope you enjoy the stencil!
Henny, March 2017

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Antlers & Co – the Stag Story Wild Stag Stencils

Antlers & Co – the Stag Story Wild Stag Stencils

Stags, deer, antelope have long been a recurring theme for me throughout the years, a source of inspiration and interest. I once, lucky enough to be in Kenya at a place called the Ark in the Aberdares, sat up all night to watch for the timid appearance of bongo deer at the waterhole in front of the observation deck. And on their magical appearance, in the wee small hours, sat quietly drawing their grace and beauty, awed by this secret almost apparition-like siting.  Some years later living near Richmond Park and walking the dog there everyday I was ever aware of the presence of the red deer and roe deer as the herds moved around the land – and again they were a great source of inspiration for drawing and design.

Like a lot of artists I’m repeatedly drawn to similar ideas and themes in different guises. Having already designed several reindeer stencils, slightly more whimsical in nature, my thoughts turned to capturing the elegance of the stag, on a larger scale this time – the start of a series of new woodland stencils, perfect for murals and larger decorative pieces.

Sketching these great beasts I’m drawn to their antlers and the great design shapes they make – their grace and crown-like stature. As well as the way they make a sudden and quiet appearance in forest glades from the protective shade of forest trees, looking attentively over their shoulders, always alert. The wild stags amidst forest trees are an inspiring theme for a woodland mural.

From sketches and developed illustration I then chose which stags would carry the best design appeal for the Large Wild Stags and which would work well as little silhouettes for a small woodland stencil. The design results follow.

The Large Wild Stags come as Large Wild Stag Stencil 1, sold on its own and Large Wild Stags Stencil 2 & 3 sold as a pair.  All three stags are also available as a theme pack, Large Wild Stags Stencil 1, 2 & 3, at a reduced combined price, making design work with all three more cost effective. I also made Stag 1 slightly larger in scale to assist with natural perspective when all three stags are arranged in a group – so he’s a bit of a front runner!

For this theme I wanted to show two different ways of working. The start of the mural in soft watercolour-like stencilling on a softly colour-washed wall (this stencil effect is achieved by stencilling lightly and then rubbing the paint back with a damp sponge) – and the stag heads on trend setting cushion covers, creating that hunters’ lodge appeal!

They make great cushion covers – each one showing a different stag character! Our Fabric Paints are ideal for this.

The Little Woodland Stag Stencil depicts 5 stag silhouettes in a woodland setting – designed for festive stencil projects.

The Large Wild Stags are great for woodland stencil work and can be given a seasonal wintry setting in whites and greys and with the new Snow Stencil – designed to add a simple and effective sense of falling snow when stencilled over the finished stags.

Further to that you can bring out a sense of mythology when using white to create ‘white stag’ scenes. Wild stags and white harts are renowned in myth and legend across the globe and through history, culture and religion. The Celts believed the appearance of the white stag meant the Otherworld was to hand. The White Hart’s appearance in Arthurian legend inspired quests and adventure. Considered to be impossible to catch it came to symbolise the unattainable and a deep pursuit of knowledge and mankind’s spiritual quest. In Greek mythology the deer is associated with Artemis the huntress and some Irish and Scottish tales speak of deer as ‘fairy cattle’. In modern storytelling the hunt for the wild stag precipitated the exit from Narnia in the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. And Harry Potter had a glowing white stag as his ‘petronus charm’ – a protective spirit. Fictional or reality this is an elegant animal and a great design motif!

More woodland motifs will follow…….

Wild Stags & Woodland Stencil Gallery

Motif Copyright

All Motif stencils, stencil designs, photographic and graphic images are protected by copyright and reproduction is strictly prohibited. Henny Donovan stencils are sold for private usage only and may not be used for commercial projects or retail reproduction, or for any kind of resale or reproduction of stencilled images either photographically or for marketing, advertising or publishing of any kind. The stencil and graphic images on this website may not be used or reproduced for any kind of logo, letterhead, website illustration, advertising or other, either personally or commercially.  If you have any queries relating to copyright or usage of Henny Donovan designs please use the enquiries form on the Information and Enquiries page.

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Moroccan Journal – the Tile Story Moroccan Stencils

Moroccan Journal – the Tile Story Moroccan Stencils

Dust! Well it is the edge of the Sahara. It envelopes everything and gives a haze-like hue to all – including dusty djellabas donned throughout the day for visits to the mosque. Well that is the real Morocco, off the beaten track, not the marble of the tourist resorts and not the pristine white limewash you see in expensive clothes/lifestyle catalogues. Dust probably doesn’t sell so well! Even the bougainvillea and oleander are dusty.

So the first thing you see in this pic, through the dusty haze, is probably bananas. Everyday life. Look again and right here in the middle of it all – tiles, beautiful tiles often amongst the rubble and dust. Surrounded by water bottles, trays of soft drinks, bread and all and every bit of local produce. Rendered pillars, fairly rough and ready, but tiled beautifully.

That seems to be the way of local life here, beauty amidst the every day and amidst what we might call unfinished, certainly unpolished and roughly hewn.

But it goes deeper. Nothing is dressy on the outside, not in the local, non-tourist areas. These buildings appear almost as building sites, with walls just being built and barely rendered. We stayed in one of these houses (on the left). Open the heavy metal door and you are into a cool beautifully tiled stairwell, tiled up four flights of stairs (below left)!  And each apartment tiled wall to wall. A rough exterior with jewels within. Reminds me of amethyst – looks like a normal old rock, but its cross-section reveals encrusted amethyst jewels within.

Tiled within – the hallway of our apartment. Modern Morocco does tiles! And here the local tagine eatery, beautiful old tiles have decorated this wall for years and years – for so long in fact they are a forgotten background. The tagines are pretty good too and our tagine man was very proud of them!

Passion for Pattern

I’ve always had a passion for pattern from early childhood.  Fascinated with how pattern appeared particularly in textiles and ceramics.  Pattern on everyday things tell a magical story through the ages and across the globe. I used to sit for hours as a kid drawing patterns of historical costumes, copying brocades, embroideries and woven patterns in opulent Tudor costumes! Or making studies of repeated tile patterns. The therapeutic effect of repeating little shapes over and over kept me occupied for hours at a time. Definitely the start of my love of detail, which you’ll see throughout my designs today.  Pattern got me into printmaking early on – through lino, screen printing, stencilling and fabric and repeat printing processes. So I always enjoy the design process when its time to introduce more geometrics to the Motif Stencil Range – like getting together with an old friend!

The Language of Pattern

From early symbols, Egyptian hieroglyphs, where pattern was an early form of written language, to the development of swirls, shapes, rhythms and geometries – pattern in its own right. Different cultures developed their own styles. And like language there was a great intermixing and borrowing that went on. As people travel the world they pick up the influences of a place and leave their own behind them. So studying pattern I have always seen a range of influences within one style and the more you travel and look, the more you can see different influences peeking through. Ceramics and textiles have always been a great source for design motifs, where influences shine out. So studying them is always very rewarding and inspirational.

Tile Studies and influences

It was no surprise to me then that as I got into the Moroccan stencil design work that as well as clearly seeing Arabic and Islamic motifs I could see shapes and patterns synonymous with European Medieval and even late Victorian periods.

And the tiles used locally show many mixes of influences. Not so surprising when you consider the invasion of the Moors from North Africa and Morocco and the Medieval Crusades, and in later times European involvement in North Africa. Fascinating. Well I could go on about the history of migrating influences ostensibly for my blog, but it would end up more like a geo-political commentary and not a design blog!

Radiating sun designs

The Arabic for this region is Al-Maghreb meaning ‘where the sun sets’. Interesting then that so many tile motifs are circular with many, many repeated sections radiating from a central point, just like sun mandalas. You see this motif again and again in many forms on old and new tiles. On single tiles and grand murals. So too I based my tile designs on centrally radiating motifs with 8, 12 and 16 spokes or sections. There certainly is no denying the sun in Morocco!  It is bright and very, very hot!

The Moroccan Arabesque Stencil and the Moroccan Ornamental Tile Design Stencils, part of the new Moroccan Range, both with radiating sun-like qualities.

The Classic Moroccan Stencil with the radiating spokes of its central motif amidst interlocking lines.

Local to Local!

Our trips to Morocco have been great, soaking in different places, staying in the small villages, driving around, going back and forth on local buses. Might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it is a great to get to know a place over a number of visits.

I loved these three doors, in one side street, next to each other.  Plain walls, doors with colour and ornament that hint at the courtyards within. It certainly is a magical world and not ostentatious. Values are more internal, not showy on the outside.

The local mosque in Morocco in the fishing village we stayed in (left). The local mosque on Kingsland High Street, Dalston (right) – tiles at home too and very opulent!  And we did have some hot, hot days this summer in London too with clear blue skies!!

This journal….

So this journal is really notes about atmosphere, influences, motivations and inspirations, the triggers behind the design work in this new range.  The design work itself was about being meticulous and fastidious, getting each and every shape as accurate as possible and in some instances still retaining a hand drawn look, whilst working on symmetrical shapes and circles with spokes at many different angles. To ultimately create as authentic look and feel as possible – true to my own experience and visual understanding!
See the Moroccan Stencil Range

Moroccan Stencils

Motif Copyright

All Motif stencils, stencil designs, photographs, graphic images and text are protected by copyright and reproduction is strictly prohibited. Henny Donovan stencils are sold for private usage only and may not be used for commercial projects or retail reproduction, or for any kind of resale or reproduction of stencilled images either photographically or for marketing, advertising or publishing of any kind. The stencil and graphic images on this website may not be used or reproduced for any kind of logo, letterhead, website illustration, advertising or other, either personally or commercially.  If you have any queries relating to copyright or usage of Henny Donovan designs please use the enquiries form on the Information and Enquiries page.

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Henny’s Iris Design Journal Iris Stencils

Henny’s Iris Design Journal Iris Stencils

I’ve been meaning to do an Iris Stencil for some time and on a recent trip to Wales I was inspired by this perfect group of Bearded Irises growing around a garden spring in the Brecon Beacons. They really caught my eye so I sat down to draw and the ‘Iris Journey’ began! The petals were like soft, deepest magenta with bright golden yellow caterpillar-like stamens – quite captivating – sitting in this tranquil setting.

I love the drawing process at the beginning of a design where you try to capture the form and beauty of the subject. Some drawings are just musings and others have more serious intent and take shape quickly in my mind as a potential stencil design, maybe because of the outstanding beauty or because the shapely design elements of the plant will look just right on a decorative panel, or a cushion cover, blind or large wall piece.

Bearded Iris Sketches

Most of my botanical and flower stencil designs start life as ‘plant portraits’ – usually drawn in pencil, sometimes painted. I usually start with pencil line drawings, drawn carefully from observation. The linear drawing is an essential part of the design process for stencils because you are looking for outlines that capture the essence of the shape of the plant and easily give a sense of its form. These outlines will then go on to form the cut out shapes of the stencil, so it is an important stage – one that will ultimately determine whether a design is going to be a good one or not!

Designs taken from drawings not photos ultimately have a deeper understanding of the form of the plant and I always feel a better translation of the three dimensions into two dimensions. Photos are great and brilliant for capturing hard to access subjects, but where possible I like to use them as design inspirations, colour notations and so forth.

The drawing muscle when well worked gives not only the form of the flower but an innate feel for the shapes in-between, which in design terms are often as important as the image itself.

I don’t always or often ‘work up’ a drawing, but sometimes it is good to get further into the sense of form of a subject and add a full range of tone and shading and mark making for veins and stamens and other intricacies. The sense of depth that comes with a tonal drawig will also help down the road when stencilling and adding dimension with colour.

I also sometimes create some sketchbook notations – kind of prosy, poetical descriptions that again help with the sense and character of the flower or plant. Often a bit romantic, of course flowery – the drawing process is a little love affair – in the moment. Descriptive notes as well can help later with colour and graphic ideas and are useful aids like photographs.

Photos taken Upstate New York and Brecon Beacons, South Wales. The great thing about iris is the sheer range of colours and markings they can have – interior design wise this is great for matching to a host of colour schemes.

The ‘fill’ stage of the design process, where before digitising fully I check the strength and dynamism of the design by creating a black silhouette of the line drawings for the main layer. This gives me a read-off of what changes or design tweaks might be needed and a good look at the graphic appeal of the design.

The great thing about Irises is the range of colours they naturally and horticulturally appear in. In design terms they work perfectly in cool shades or warm vibrant hues. You can stencil in whites and blues or yellow and magentas, reds and more, altering your background colours to suit the mood. Or stencil simply in silhouette single colour palettes for graphic design effects.

See part two of this design journal for stencilling techniques for decorative items shown in our Iris shoots.

Botanical Stencil Gallery

Motif Copyright

All Motif stencils, stencil designs, photographic and graphic images are protected by copyright and reproduction is strictly prohibited. Henny Donovan stencils are sold for private usage only and may not be used for commercial projects or retail reproduction, or for any kind of resale or reproduction of stencilled images either photographically or for marketing, advertising or publishing of any kind. The stencil and graphic images on this website may not be used or reproduced for any kind of logo, letterhead, website illustration, advertising or other, either personally or commercially.  If you have any queries relating to copyright or usage of Henny Donovan designs please use the enquiries form on the Information and Enquiries page.