Producing a milk paint print on the Beursplein in Amsterdam

I am often asked why I am using a stencil brush instead of disposable spray cans or even a latex spraying system. Here are the main reasons I prefer to use a stencil brush.

1. Quality. It takes more time but the results are sharper and the image quality is higher.
2. Less waste. I use about 1/3 of the materials I would use if I were using a spraying system.
3. Sustainability. Disposable, one use spray cans generate a lot of waste and if the cans are not completely empty they are classified as hazardous materials. That goes against the whole idea of natural-media.
4. The wind. Working in the wind is messy. Paint is picked up by the wind and deposited down wind on surfaces where it does not belong.

I am not against working with spraying systems and have used them myself on many occasions. I have also worked with disposable spray cans when there is no other way. However, since I have used spray cans, I also know how much waste is generated. And the propellants! Pretty heavy if you ask me. The chalk that finally makes it onto the surface may be eco-friendly but I wonder about the rest.

Sometimes high quality just means it takes a bit longer. Perhaps it is not the most profitable way to work but when you are working on the bigger picture, it is well worth the extra effort.

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Jim Bowes

Advertising professional specialising in Natural Media advertising techniques that have a low impact on the environment.