I'm always looking for new stencils for patterns for my lures. I got this idea of using string piled on itself for a blotch pattern. I laid down the string on a plastic sheet and looped it on itself until I got the pattern I was looking for then I sprayed it with starch to stiffen it and stick the string together. After it dried I placed it over the lure's side and painted. For the other side I flipped the stencil over so each side was identical. It made a unique pattern on the lure. Next I'm crisscrossing the string across two rows of nails to create a different type of zebra stripe design.
Blending and feathering colors is another technique in itself. With this type stencil the amount of feathering depends on the paint, the distance the stencil is from the lure, and the angle I'm painting from. I paint with spraycans so I'm not exactly a master of blending and feathering. The best way I've found to feather the colors is by certain combinations of layering the paint.
I hear you about today's standards. When I look at some of the lures they post on tackleunderground I could get discouraged about my paint jobs, but it's the question of which I'm trying to catch, fish or fishermen. I caught my first fish on a lure that was just plain silver.
made all my own 30 yrs ago...carved, cast, poored, etc...some worked some didn't...had a bear of a time getting the carved ones to run were they should...now i buy them...not worth the trouble making them...but...there is a certin satisfaction when you get one on one of yours...