Stencil art

Artworks based on cult movies, inflatable animals, my lovely hometown of Utrecht, and more.

View all stencil art posts here.

The Process

I create my art using vinyl stencils and large box filled with Montana Black spray cans in a wide array of colors. Here's the step-by-step process:

  1. The preparation is where much of the effort lies. I start out with source material from photographs and movie stills, using Photoshop to build the concepts I envision. The key is to simplify these images into just a few color layers that are aesthetically pleasing and maintain structural integrity once they are cut into stencils.
  2. The cutting. Previously I did this by hand using an x-acto knife and paper stencils. Not only was this very labor-intensive and gave me RSI, the fact that paper stencils are not re-usable had a negative effect on the creativity. I found myself making designs simpler and in fewer layers simply to save myself from a lot of work. Fortunately, I’ve since upgraded to a plotter that cuts precise, reusable vinyl stencils. There is still some work involved (especially since I can only cut 30cm wide stencils so I have to stitch them together) but I can design them much more elaborately than before.
  3. Then, layer by layer, I build the painting on a canvas or canvas board. Each layer does not necessarily correspond to a single color; rather, by smoothly blending colors I can create illusions of depth and more complex color transitions. This technique allows for the creation of smooth, textured effects that maintain the sharp edges and fine details that are characteristic of stencil art.

Etsy Shop

Some of these (and more!) are available for sale! Support your local artist and consider buying some for your home. Or if you live abroad, consider supporting your far-away artist and do the same.

Visit the webshop on Etsy: If you don't see the item you want on Etsy, or for commissions or inquiries – send an email to

Follow @mathijslagerberg on Instagram to stay up-to-date on the art.