I'm so excited about the stencils! Now I'm ready to learn to put some texture and depth into the background. I did make one discovery: the colors do better if they blend by them selves on the edges. When I paint one color over another, I get a blend, but it is muddier. (Though I admit that might be because the blue I'm using has some black in it). For example, on the test patch below, I did not overlap the yellow and the pink. They bled into each other at the edges, but I tried not to brush one over the other. These are the brightest colors I've managed so far. On the diatoms, I used only purple paint, not mixed with other colors.