A stencil is a template used to draw or paint identical letters, numbers, symbols, shapes, or patterns every time it is used. Stencils are created by removing sections from template material in the form of text, design or an image. This creates what is essentially a physical negative. The template can then be used to create impressions of the stencilled image, by applying pigment on the surface of the template and through the removed sections, leaving a reproduction of the stencil on the underlying surface.
after Sir George Hayter