We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are Stencils?

Mary Elizabeth
By
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At HomeQuestionsAnswered, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A stencil is a template for transferring a pattern. Stencils are usually made from a thin sheet of material. Some stencils are made to transfer a single pattern and others, like alphabet or lettering stencils, may include a unified set of patterns for transfer.

A positive stencil is used to transfer the body of the pattern. In positive stencils, a hole in the shape of the pattern is cut in the templates. Applying paint, ink, or another agent through the hole, results in a positive view of the pattern. Negative stencils are used to transfer everything but the pattern, i.e., the space around and/or within it, thereby showing the pattern. Negative stencils are the shape of the pattern itself, and paint is applied all around them, so that the pattern is the only thing not painted.

Stencils for paint or ink are used in lettering signs, in print-making, in creating decorative borders or other architectural ornament, silkscreening or serigraphy, and pochoir. Silkscreening or serigraphy is printmaking technique using stencils in combination with forcing ink through a fine mesh. Pochoir is a print made through the use of stencils. The technique was used primarily in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century in order to reproduce original art works, notably some of Matisse’s works.

A group of tools referred to in office supply stores as templates are stencils designed to be used with a writing tool, rather than paint. French curves and erasing shields are two examples. Others are identified by their users—architect template, content—circle template, field of endeavor—flowchart template, or simply provide a wide range of patterns for varied use.

The famous and mysterious graffiti artist known as Banksy uses stencils in the creation of his artwork. Stencil art enjoys a special popularity in Melbourne, Australia. In 2007, the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra has purchased nearly 300 examples of Melbourne stencil art for their collection, by well-known street artists such as Dlux, HaHa, Marcsta, and Vexta.

The use of stencils is not restricted to the visual arts. Tolstoy uses the analogy of a stencil to characterize a military campaign in his famous novel War and Peace:

“Amid a long series of unexecuted orders of Napoleon's one series, for the campaign of 1812, was carried out - not because those orders differed in any way from the other, unexecuted orders but because they coincided with the course of events that led the French army into Russia; just as in stencil work this or that figure comes out not because the color was laid on from this side or in that way, but because it was laid on from all sides over the figure cut in the stencil.”

HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary Elizabeth
By Mary Elizabeth
Passionate about reading, writing, and research, Mary Elizabeth is dedicated to correcting misinformation on the Internet. In addition to writing articles on art, literature, and music for HomeQuestionsAnswered, Mary works as a teacher, composer, and author who has written books, study guides, and teaching materials. Mary has also created music composition content for Sibelius Software. She earned her B.A. from University of Chicago's writing program and an M.A. from the University of Vermont.

Related Articles

Discussion Comments
Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth
Passionate about reading, writing, and research, Mary Elizabeth is dedicated to correcting misinformation on the...
Learn more
HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.