By Drew Hall

I've always searched for good stencils and never been able to find them. So, I decided to make some. It'll take an hour or so to cut them out once you've printed them, but it'll be worth it in the end. All in all its a four to five step process, depending on how much depth you want. Assuming you already have a flat duck boat brown or green as a background, you'll need to add another similar color in large vertical patterns. You don't have to do this, but it'll give it more depth in the end. Next you'll take the bark section and do the whole boat over with black as your color with the bark stencils. Take your time and don't get in a rush. The next step is to use the grass stencil with a reed color. You'll start to see things really take shape now. If you want even more depth to the grass and leaves, while painting them you can use two colors and just kind of glaze one color over for a blend. You don't want to do every leaf like this, but some of them will really give it a natural feel. You don't want a lot of contrast for that step, you want more of a gradual gradient.And finally add the leaves. I recommend some tan leaves and some drab green leaves but be creative.

I recommend using a manilla envelope or something about that flexibility and width for your stencil base. You can use rolled up tape on the back to hold it in place while spraying. Someone on DuckBoats.net even suggested spraying just a tiny bit of 3M Spray Adhesive to really make it stick while painting, but of course that will end with a little adhesive always left. But, it's a duck boat, not a ski boat! If it's sticky that means more camo is just gonna stick to it!

The images below are simulated images. I did not paint that boat, because it isn't mine. The owners probably wouldn't want me slapping my logo on the side of their new jon boat. But, I wanted you guys to have a visual on how it would end up. Please try this on cardboard or something you don't care about before you try it on your boat. You'll want to get the technique down before you start spraying all over your boat and don't like how it looks.

Pass these duck boat stencils on to others freely as needed. I created this pattern from scratch, using photos of leaves, saw grass and I just sketched the bark. If you guys aren't into cutting with an Exacto knife, I suggest you buy some quality stencil kits like Styx River, Reelfoot Camo, or even Cabelas offers several different kits. Don't forget to leave comments and send me photos of your finished projects. Enjoy!
Drew Hall is an outdoor writer from South Georgia. His passion for
the outdoors led him to journalism school, and eventually into the
field of outdoor journalism. He has had numerous articles published in
regional and national publications and writes a regular blog at
www.outdoorwriter.net from which this article was originally
published.