We have a little glitch in the mail and sadly one of our RR journals has not shown up. While I was waiting, I thought I'd get a bit ahead on my 'tip in' pages. The next topic, due in December was 'birds, nests & eggs', so I thought this was a great chance to try out another little feathered friend. My 'hand' is a bit manky – but it IS recognizable as a hand – I must say, I HAVEN'T found the 'Dynamic Hands' book from my birthday books as helpful as I had hoped……it's all a bit skeletal and muscle bound & while it's probably technically perfect, I haven't found it very artistically inspiring or helpful……these pages have been created on hot pressed 300lb Fabricano Artistico watercolour paper. I painted it with a very light wash of gesso & water. Then used Neocolour II's to create a 'loose' background of blue sky, mid toned foliage & a sepia foreground. I stencilled the foreground in acrylics and stamped the sky and the tree line in place in chalk stamping inks. I used acrylics, chalk & pencil to paint in the hand & the bird. Lastly I did some minor embellishment stamping of leaves & tiny birds in the background. I am often asked about how I go about these stencils – the trick is in the laying out of the paint. Firstly I lay out the colours I want to use……..building up a couple of millimetres (1/8th inch) using a paddle stick to spread it down on waxed paper (or freezer or baking paper would do the trick – waxed paper is just cheaper). I then 'blob' some dark (paynes grey, diox purple, black, umber) and some light (white, yellow, pearl, beige) across my lines. (sorry I forgot to take the second pic) I then use a big sponge & dip lightly into my paint 'bed' – trying not to 'muddy' the colours too much. Then blot lightly onto my stencil. You can use blue tac, repositionable adhesive or masking tape to hold the stencil in place if you like, but I usually just manage with my hands.