Many art critics turn their attention on paintings and photographs. These art works are two of the most famous and most talked about product of the art world. Painting and photo exhibits generate a large audience from different art societies and the common people. These two art forms are too popular that other art forms are not given much attention. One of these art forms that are often disregarded is the art of stenciling.

Stenciling is the art of producing an image from a stencil pattern. The stencil pattern can be a cut-out pattern or outlining the image that is present in a paper or acetate. There are many types of stenciling like wall stenciling, stencil graffiti and aerosol stencils. Stencils are used in everyday use like when children draw and design their art assignments. Children often use patterns so that they can produce a beautiful and quality work.

The history of stenciling and stencils can be traced back to the Paleolithic era in the 30,000 B.C to 9,000 B.C. The first recorded stencils are said to originate in the Paleolithic cave. Other records show that leaves were used for the first stencils. Natives from Fiji Islands normally use bamboo and banana leaves in doing their stencils. Rumors say that Eskimo natives from Baffin Island use dried sealskin for their stencil art. However, this rumor still remains a rumor up to this day because of insufficient evidence and the absence of fossils of the stencil art of these Eskimos.

Records show early stencils were commonly composed of paper heavily oiled and leather. Later, tin and linen were used to make stencils. These materials are still used up to this day but are rarely utilized because of the presence of plastic.

During the early years, stencils were used as beautification for tombs of Egyptian. The stenciling process would start with the artist outlining a figure or symbol on the tomb’s wall. After the outlining, a sculptor would carve the sketch in low relief. After the carving, a slim coating of stucco is added to collect the paint. Egyptian stencils and other Egyptian art works tend to use intense primary colors.

On the other hand, Greek stencil artists use the art of stenciling in outlining mosaic designs. Greeks also used stencils in making the letters painted on signboards. These signboards are referred to for directions. The Greeks and the Romans also used stencils in painting. The Murals is a product of stenciling.

Stenciling was also utilized for producing and designing clothes. Many cultures used stencil to produce a more personal and creative design for their shirts, jeans and sweaters. Stencils were also used for coloring old master prints. It was also used for publications that were mass produced. Stencils were also used for designing playing cards.

The above mentioned uses of stencils and stenciling are only few of the art’s early uses. Other uses have materialized throughout the course of history that has helped stenciling art to be popular.

Stenciling has a very colorful history. Its history proves that stenciling is not merely tracing the patterns but more of expressing ourselves and honoring others. Many things and technological advances have helped in the advancement of this art. The Japanese and Chinese have contributed a big part in the promotion of this art.

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