Leopard Stare Process

On April 5, 2011, in Imaginary Friends, Stencil Process, Stencils, by Team LaRosa

I finished this Leopard Stare stencil a little over a month ago now, but just getting a post up to document the process.  In fairness, we didn’t have the blog yet, and so I don’t have process posts for any of my pieces.  Hopefully I can go back and add them to some extent.  Read on for a detailed process for the Leopard Stare piece finished in March of 2011.

This is one of the pieces in our Imaginary Friends series, and I had this on my list and had wanted to do it for a while.  I knew I wanted a child laying with his elbows on the ground, hands under their chin, and legs up and crossed.  My son always laid like this reading books when he was around 2 years old, and I just loved watching him.  It was a pose I loved, and so I thought of how I could use it.  I settled on wanting him staring at some sort of large cat.  Played around with a few options, tiger, lion, cheetah, but eventually settled on the leopard for both visual reasons, and overall size (not that all these paintings are so concerned about realistic scale).

The first thing I did was hold a little photo shoot with my son, he’s always a good sport and loves the finished paintings.  Takes quite a few tries to get a 3 year old into the pose you want, and then have to get them to do it again because you couldn’t get the shot off before they moved.  I can’t complain though, he’s fantastic.

Once I got the shot I liked I started looking through the interwebs for some cat images in a pouncing position.  I was searching everything from pounce, to stalk, to hunt, to jump.

Eventually I just found a collection of photos that had the pieces I wanted, or at least the shapes, and started to piece it together.  I decided to go with a canvas size of 24×48 inches, which was a tough decision as initially I was going to do it as two different canvases, but this option I’m really happy I went with.

Then it was on to drawing it all out.

Once the drawing on the computer is done, I tile it and print it on to 8.5×11 paper, piece it all back together with tape, and then begin tracing it to a few poster boards taped together with packing tape.

It takes a few hours to trace the whole thing to the heavier board, and then it’s on to cutting.

This part obviously takes the longest, or maybe equal to the drawing part.

I’d estimate that I spent about 8+ hours cutting this one.  Maybe I should look for a thinner substrate to cut it on, that will still hold it’s shape and last for multiple sprays?

When it’s all done it feels good, but I still don’t even have anything except for really sore fingers, and a pile of poster board scraps, and what I hope will be a good spray or I just wasted a ton of time.


Final piece.  Didn’t have any good pics of the background in process.  What I love about stencil art, is that you can create multiple “final pieces”, and each one can be customized, and even if you didn’t want it, each one is going to look slightly different.  This one has a little more underspray in places than I wanted, and the drips aren’t perfect, but that’s the nature of this art, and why I love it.  Now just to find time for the next one.

Tagged with:  

2 Responses to Leopard Stare Process

  1. Awesome. Just awesome. I’ll be sending you a photo of my daughter soon :)

  2. Turtle says:

    wicked little tutorial piece – can’t wait to see the real thing

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>