There are lots of stencils available to buy that are really pretty and make fantastic pictures.  The one I have chosen to demonstrate with is a Sheena Douglass one that can be found on many craft websites.

It is always a good idea to have a practice on some scrap card of the same type that you are going to create your picture on as this way you will see how your ink is going to act on that particular card stock.  You can play around with how to build up your layers to create depth to your picture, having lighter shades in the background and darker shades for the parts that are meant to be close up.

Place the stencil onto the card and gently dab the ink onto the stencil.

I chose to use ink stamps and a little sponge to apply the ink to the card.  You can create some lovely effects with distress inks.

Experiment a lot! It helps to have a lot of practice to perfect your technique!

When you are happy and comfortable with your stencil and ink effects you need to create a background (see post on creating backgrounds), or choose one that you have created earlier.  Using a background will add more character to your picture than simply stencilling onto plain paper, depending on the stencil you have chosen and the effect you are trying to create.  Begin by laying down your lighter shades that form the background of your picture and gradually build up the depth with darker shades.

Keep checking your progress and add to your picture where you can see gaps that need that 'little bit more'.

Occasionally with stencils there can be gaps where the ink hasn't come through properly.  Don't worry about this and don't try to realign the stencil to the same spot to try and go over it again.  Chances are you won't get it in the right place and it can look messy.  The easiest way is to take a fine paintbrush.  Dampen it slightly in some water and pick up a little ink that you have transferred from the inkpad onto a shiny surface (There are lots of fancy craft items that you can buy for this purpose but often an old tile would do if you have something lying around, or even an old plate).  Use the paintbrush to fill in the gaps in your picture.  If you're feeling particularly arty then you could embellish your picture with some freehand painting at this point too.  It's your project so be creative and enjoy it!

When you are happy that your picture is complete then leave it somewhere flat to dry off completely.  You could frame it as it is or use it for another purpose, such as a cardmaking or scrapbooking project.