How to Stencil with Heavy Gesso

Posted by Jennifer Snyder
Learn how to stencil with heavy gesso in this quick video tutorial from Blitsy.

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So you've mastered stenciling with ink. You are ready to move on to something new. You've heard the buzz about gesso but are a little unsure of what it is and how to use it with stencils.

No worries. Blitsy is here to help. Come take a look at a short video featuring stenciling techniques with heavy gesso. Jennifer Snyder will show you how she uses stencils, gesso, watercolor pencils and ink on a project. All that may sound complex, but I assure you it is not. Just take a moment to watch the video and see how easy this is.


Jennifer has three different looks for this one basic card. Once the stenciling background has been made, your embellishing choices make such a different in the look and feel of the card.

Card 1

Ranger Non-Stick Craft Mat

Heavy Gesso

Palette Knife

Water Brush

Ranger Tim Holtz Distress Ink - Faded Jeans

Ranger Tim Holtz Distress Ink - Barn Door

Fine Tip Black Art Pen

Watercolor pencils

Prima Stencils - Checks or Ranger Dylusions Squares

Prima Stencils Stars or Ranger Dylusions Stars


Ranger Blending Tool

Ranger Blending Foam Pads

Darice - Embossing plate

Embossing Machine

Card 2 Additional Products

Spellbinders Stars S4-092

Washi Tape

Stamp Block

Ranger Archival Ink - Black


Card 3 Additional Products

Ribbon, Seam Binding


Floral Berries

Card One

Card One uses some layered stenciling techniques to include inking, heavy white gesso ( molding pastes is great too), followed by some watercolor and ink pen accents. It's been embellished with an embossed sentiment.

Here is a short video showing the techniques used on this card

In this short video, Jennifer will show you the following techniques: Stenciling with Distress ink, Stenciling with heavy gesso as a second layer, enhancing stencils with an artist pen, and accenting stencils with watercolor pencils.

Stenciling Tip - All Gesso is NOT created equal

In the mixed media world, you may hear the term gesso tossed about. I used heavy white gesso in this video to create the dimension with the star stencil. Heavy white gesso has a much thicker consistency than " regular" gesso. You can actually spread heavy gesso like frosting where as "regular" gesso is thin, and watery and can be applied with a paint brush. Because it's so thin and watery, it will not create dimension with stencils.

Here are some more close ups of Card One.

Card Two

Card Two - Jennifer keeps the basic card the same and replaces the embossed sentiment with washi tape, lace, die cuts and stamping.

Card Three

Card Three - once again Jennifer keeps the basic card the same and swaps the bright die cut stars for a more feminine floral look.

Happy Crafting