The printmaker traces the source drawing onto stiff sheets of water-resistant stencil paper. Using a very sharp knife, she or he cuts openings into the stencil papers where colour is to be applied to the ground, or print paper.

Laying a cut-out stencil directly against a clean sheet of print paper, the printmaker uses a thick stencil brush to tap inks through the openings on the stencil and onto the print paper. After one ink dries, the process is repeated using separate stencils to apply different colours. Stencil is often used in accompaniment with stonecut, allowing for subtle tonal or colour variation.