Friday 24 April 2020

Monochromatic Rainbow - StencilGirl Creative Team BLOG HOP

Hi, servus and welcome to the "Monochromatic Rainbow" StencilGril Creative Team Blog Hop, dear friends!

The team was challenged for this Blog Hop to pick one colour and use that with just the addition of black or white to create a stencil fun project. I chose my favourite colour - which is orange. As yellow, orange too gives murky tones when being mixed with black. Yellow is even more special as mixing black and yellow gives a dirty green! And as orange is a mix of red and yellow it behaves quite same-ish.

But the result wasn't as mucky as I had feared and trying to use as many various mixes that add different amounts of black to the orange paint as possible helped with still having my "orange" project look quite lively and not too sinister.

I once more went for one of my favourite themes - beetles - to create an ATC trio. But I've made my ATCs double-sided, so you can chose between a "bug-side" and a "Seth (Apter)-side" (as I have used some of Seth's stencils to create the other sides). A list of the stencils used can be found at the bottom of this post (including the links to the stencils in the StencilGirl online store).

I started my ATC trio by cutting six ATCs from black cardstock using my guillotine. ATCs measure
2 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches (that's about 6,5cm x 9cm). My plan was to create three double-sided ATCs.
I picked some of the fab StencilGirl ATC backgrounds stencils and as many different orange acrylic paints as I could find in my DecoArt paints stash.

Starting with DecoArt Americana "Jack-O' Lantern Orange", "Snow White" and "Lamp Black" acrylic paints I did the backgrounds for my "Seth-ATCs". I used a mix of the Jack-O' Lantern orange with the Snow White and stencilled the whole ATC using a cosmestic sponge. Then, while the paint was still wet I went in with pure orange and then mixes with black from the bottom and mixes with white from the top to create an ombre effect.

I did the same with the other two ATCs - here's a picture of the stencilled base colour which is the mix of white and orange. I did that to make the colours I was going to add on top pop from the black background.

For the ATC sides with the beetles I used plain white as a base to work on. As you can see I didn't pay attention to just stencil on the shapes of the one bug I had picked. You will see why I did that a bit later.

On top of the white stencilled base colour I went in with a layer of stencilled on DecoArt Chalky Finish paint "heritage" (which is a beautiful vintage orange tone and is also very opaque).

While the beetles were set aside to dry, I continued working on the Seth-side ATCs. As you can see I used the same stencil twice on each ATC - only with moving it lightly to the right and down for the second layer. To intensify the orange look I added a stencilled layer of DecoArt multi-surface Neon "orange" on top.

For some additional texture I used the Neon orange with a different background pattern on top of the previously stencilled one.

Next I added some stencilled words using one of Seth's fab stencils. I stencilled two words in white and one in black and outlined the letters in contrasting colours (or more precisely "not colours" as black and white aren't considered to be colours as they either absorb no or all light and therefore do not have specific wavelengths like the colours do).

Time to have a bit of beetle-painting fun with different tones of oranges - mixed by adding various amounts of black or white.
I used a detail brush and added patterns to the ones that were already there from the design of the beetles stencil.

I also took a picture of my palette so you can see how the orange "behaved" with white and black.

The final touch for my beetles was to add a thin wash of the Neon orange across the whole ATC.
That helped with make the orange tones pop from the black background even more.

I wanted to add a textural element to my ATCs - maybe because I thought of tiny hairy bugs' legs - or simply because I felt my ATCs needed a visual frame. ;)
I cut four pieces of frayed burlap ribbon each for an ATC to build a kind of frame with frayed edges and glued that to a piece of cut out cardboard (from packaging left overs). Once that had dried I glued the finished ATCs to both sides of the "framed cardboard ATC blanks".

I loosely stippled some DecoArt media "Pyrrole Orange" media fluid acrylic paint to the burlap fringe for a finishing touch.


The starring bug guys: 

(who is often feeling uncertain)

(feels incomplete)


(luckily got found by a lovely bug girl) 

The "Seth-sides":

The "Bugs-sides":

Check out all the wonderful artworks in our Creative Team Monochromatic Rainbow Hop:

Shel Cee – Violet

Peg Robinson – Purple

Sue Plumb – Blue

Linda Edkins Wyatt – Green

Jennifer Gallager – Yellow

Claudia Neubacher (this blog here)Orange

Carol Baxter – Red

Sunila Mahajan & Aditi Mahajan – Gold

Natalie May – White/Black

Debi Adams – Indigo

Comment on the blogs for your chance to win one of the $25 gift certificates for

Contest ends April 27, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. Central Time USA. Winners will be contacted via email the 28th.

List of stencils used on my project here:

- ATC Mixup 1 stencil by Mary Beth Shaw
- ATC Mixup stencil by Seth Apter
- Scarab Beetles stencil by Margaret Peot

Hugs, good luck and happy hopping!



  1. I love these bugs! I love beetles, to begin with, but your use of orange and black is terrific. I like the Seth Apter sides, too, and the fringe you added. Nice, creative response to the Monochromatic Rainbow challenge!

  2. I love that you named and characterized your beetle friends :) The stencil shifting on the 'seth-sides' a really visually interesting!

  3. Orange is not a color I use often, but These ATC's are great. I really love your beetles and Seth Apter sides are really striking.

  4. Unique designs. Love the orange and your result.

  5. Love the idea of the 2 sides and the burlap fringe! Roland, Percy, and Walter have such personality. :-)

  6. Fabulous ATC art! These will be fun for trades. TFS

  7. Although orange has never been a go to color for me...after seeing these wonderfully creative ATC's, I may have to give it a try. Love them and the fringe is the perfect added touch.

  8. The tones of firey-orange on the beattles are wonderful. The fringe frame adds great texture and adds to the interest.

  9. I really enjoy the color orange, too, Claudia. I love your ATC,s

  10. Love your bugs & the way you mixed black & orange.

  11. I love the colour orange and your bug blog! Christine xx

  12. I love Walter,Percy and Roland. They are wonderful,and the "Seth" sides are just as wonderful. A unique take on the ATC.

  13. Thanks for the inspiration. I feel like I got to know your bug friends and their emotions!

  14. Fun ideas! Great range of oranges!

  15. shea mester
    Oh my--if I could find these bugs as a rug--I'd be floored! So beautiful and fun. Thank you!

  16. Orange is my least favorite color, that being said, these ATC are wonderful. I'm endlessly curious about beetles so I liked those, but it was the Seth sides that really wowed me. TFS

  17. These are totally cool! The beetle stencil always tempted me, but it is going in my wish list now for sure :-) The burlap frayed edges are quite an inspiration too! Thanks for the great project!

  18. Great projects! I am a fan of Seth Apter and I like most bugs (as long as they don't sting). I think you did a fantastic job.

  19. I love these bugs! I want these bugs! Finishing the ATCs with the burlap backing is such a great idea.

  20. Great color! Love the insects. This would make a great add to a young boys collection to use these bugs!

  21. Orange is my favorite color too so I went to your blog first. I am currently working my way through an ATC challenge so it is always great to see different perspectives on ATC's for a little inspiration. Love the double sided story tie together.

  22. Love the bugs! And thanks for showing your palette plate, showing what mixing orange and black together results!

  23. great shades of orange. mixed with the black it doesn't come off as "halloween" which is not always easy to do~ great work!

  24. I have loved beetles since I was a kid, playing in the backyard. I also like Egyptian Art, with its gorgeous scarab beetles. Art Deco blacks and oranges strongly appeal to me as well. So, naturally, I was intrigued by your beetles. Not only is the color shading on them wonderful, so is the burlap frame with the fringe, that contrasts with their colors. Your concept is uniquely creative as well, with the personalities identified on the reverse side, and emphasized by your use of adjectives and shaded shapes. Wonderful!

  25. Orange is such a fun color. I really like your beetle ATCs! That burlap fringe is fun and how unique to make double-sided ones!


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