floating negative space

I was talking to a friend the other night about stencils, and about floating negative space, which I had some difficulty describing without a visual aid. He reads this occasionally, so I'll use this space to explain.

Imagine what this stencil looks like. It takes some skill and effort to leave the unpainted area solid and in the right shapes. In this case, it makes the woman, which is cool because she is made of the actual building. It's a good use of space. I also like this example because it isn't "indecent" but gives the impression of being that way, i.e. "Hey! That looks like a naked woman and it made me think of sex! Is she a witch?! The sexual thoughts burn my mind like the fires of a thousand hells!" (Of course I think there's nothing indecent about a nude woman, but that's just the kind of guy I am. One of these days I'm sure I'll see the error of my ways and freak out at the sight of a naked lady, but for now I'll just have to suffer. These are the dark times.)

Here's another one, pretty small, very time-consuming looking, with a good graphic.
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I think cutting something transparent would greatly simplify the problem of where to cut, since you could trace on it. In time, this would be pretty easy.


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