Thursday, November 20, 2014

Gelli™ Printing on Fabric: Fun with Stencils & Pencils!

Monoprinting is a great way to create unique designs on fabric! Watch this Gelli video for fun ideas using stencils and pencils for fabric surface design! 


   


Using commercial stencils to monoprint on fabric is a great way to get started. And after you've created your print...you can keep going to add to your design with colored pencils! 



In the video, the demonstration is on 100% cotton. The paint is SoSoft by DecoArt, which is a fabric paint that barely changes the hand of the fabric. It's easy to work with and doesn't need to be heat-set! The pencils are Inktense by Derwent, and they are perfect for use on fabric. Inktense pencils are water-soluble, but permanent after they dry — and you can layer over the dry ink. 



When printing on fabric, I first iron each piece onto freezer paper to stabilize it. Doing this simple step makes handling fabric as easy as printing on paper. It also keeps the process clean, as any paint that may bleed through the fabric won't get on your hands. Another benefit is that it's easier to apply colored pencil to fabric that is stabilized. 



TIP: When ironing fabric onto freezer paper, place the freezer paper shiny side UP on your 
ironing surface. Place your fabric on the freezer paper and cover with parchment paper to 
protect your iron. 

Ironing will create a temporary bond and stabilizes the fabric for easy handling while printing and embellishing with pencils. When the print is finished, gently pull the fabric off the freezer paper. 



Here's how to create this print: 

  1. Apply paint to the Gelli plate and roll into a smooth layer with a brayer. When printing on fabric, use a heavier layer of paint than when printing on paper. 
  2. Place a stencil on the painted plate. Apply a second color of paint to the plate and roll out over the stencil. 
  3. Remove the stencil. Lay your fabric on the plate, rub to transfer the paint and pull your print. This is the first printed layer.
  4. Roll a layer of paint on the plate. Place a different stencil on the painted plate. (A stencil with larger openings works best for this layer)
  5. With the stencil in place, print onto paper to remove the paint in the stencil hole areas. You may need to print this on paper more than once to remove all the paint from the stencil hole areas.
  6. Remove the stencil, place your printed fabric on the plate to print the paint that was under the stencil. Rub to transfer the paint and pull the print. This is the second printed layer on your fabric.


Brush a thin layer of Transparent Medium or water on an area of the fabric before coloring with Inktense pencils. Doing this will make the application smoother and intensify the colors. You can also brush dry pencil marks with medium to blend pencil colors on the print. Or, you can dip the pencil tip in the transparent medium. You can use water to thin the medium, if desired. 



Another option instead of using transparent medium is to use just water. The color will be very intense, and more difficult to control. Using water will probably cause the pencil color to bleed on the fabric. You may want the watercolor wash effect! Using the medium keeps the color from bleeding. Some fiber artists use Aloe Vera gel, which, like transparent medium, helps to control the application of Inktense color and keep it from bleeding.



If you like to draw or doodle on your prints, try it on fabric! The process is so much fun and can add your individuality to stenciled images! 



For more information, techniques and ideas for printing on fabric, please take a look at the 
earlier blog post and video: Gelli Printing — Techniques on Fabric! from September 19, 2013. 

This Contest is officially CLOSED

And now for our FABULOUS GIVEAWAY!!! 


Our amazing Prize Package includes: 





To enter the giveaway, click on the red "ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE" button below! (This will 
ensure that we can contact the winner and that entries are limited to one per person. One 
winner will be selected from all the entries via a random number generator to receive this very special giveaway!) Entries will be accepted until Monday, Nov. 24th at 12 pm EST. Our lucky winner will be contacted by email and announced here on the blog and on our Facebook page no later than Nov. 24th at 5 pm EST


Special thanks to our friends at DecoArt for generously providing the paints in this giveaway! 

This Contest is officially CLOSED


Good Luck and Happy Printing! 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Gelli™ Printing: Artist Trading Blocks!

If you have stacks of Gelli™ prints and are looking for some fun ways to use them... how about making some Artist Trading Blocks! If you like to create small collagesArtist Trading Blocks (ATB's) are a perfect substrate! Each block gives you SIX small surfaces to cover!


There are no rules, so any block will do. Many artists choose to make a block, or cube, from chipboard or matboard. Templates for making boxes are easy to find. Or you can construct a cube from book board to the size you want. But I especially love wood blocks, so that's what I used.


Luckily, I had a renovation project going on and my contractor was kind enough to cut up a 4x4 post and supply me with a bunch of 3-1/2" square wood blocks.

I sanded them and filled the rough surfaces and imperfections with molding paste. When they were dry, I sanded them again and gave each surface a coat of gesso. These blocks are heavy and have a nice solid look and feel.


Here's how to create the collages:
  1. Cut six squares of heavy paper stock or bristol, each slightly larger than the block's surfaces. I used Strathmore Bristol (Smooth)it's a great collage substrate.
  2. Select Gelli prints to create backgrounds for the collages. Tear or cut printed pieces, then arrange and glue to the bristol.
  3. Glue a collage background to a side of the block. Place the block on a cutting mat and carefully trim the paper against the edges of the wood block with a craft knife. Do this for each side.
  4. Build a collage image on each backgroundand glue the pieces in place.
  5. If desired, add details with colored pencils, metallic paint pens, rubber stamps, and your favorite embellishing techniques.
  6. Color the edges with permanent ink or paint. (I swiped the edges with a StazOn ink pad Saddle Brown.)
  7. When the piece is complete, you may want to varnish it. The smooth block begs to be handled!


I found my theme for this ATB when I came across a circle I had punched out from an old book titled, Substance of a Dream. So my plan was to create a dreamscape collage on each side of the block, each including a sphere or circle image. It's a bit like the process for creating content for an artists' bookthe six sides lend themselves to presenting a narrative or taking a thematic approach.






ATB's don't have to follow a themethey look fabulous as decorative blocks, covered with some of your favorite Gelli prints! Make a bunch! Mix up the sizes! Cover assorted small wood blocks from the craft store! It's addicting!

NOTE:  I used several coats of DecoArt Satin Varnish on this block and loved the way it intensified the colors. However, it was a bit too shiny to photograph without glare, so I added a final coat of DecoArt Ultra Matte Varnish to eliminate the shine. The block ended up with a lovely matte finish and the artwork is completely sealed and protected.


Wood blocks are perfect for further altering, like hammering embellishments into them. Lots of ATB's are covered in dimensional embellishments. Many are built up with pieces added on, such as feet, finials and all sorts of found objects. Some are constructed into a stack of multi-sized blocks, which can be glued together... or not. So many possibilities!



This Contest is officially CLOSED


And for a fun and different giveaway... I'm offering my Artist Trading Block, 'Substance of a Dream'—shown in this blog!

To enter the giveaway, click on the red 'ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE' button below! (This will ensure that we can contact the winner and that entries are limited to one per person. One winner will be selected from all the entries via a random number generator to win this fun giveaway!)


Entries will be accepted until Friday, Nov. 7th at 12 pm EST. Our lucky winner will be contacted by email and announced here on the blog and on our Facebook page no later than Friday, Nov. 7th at 5 pm EST!

This Contest is officially CLOSED


Please leave a comment below and share your thoughts! We love hearing your feedback!

Good Luck and Happy Printing!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Gelli™ Printing: Dark Over Light

Apply layers of light paint with a DIY sponge dauber, let it dry—then brayer dark paint over it and pull your print. Watch this Gelli video to see it demonstrated step-by-step!




There are many possible variations using this technique. This time, we'll apply the paint from light to dark to produce interesting print effects.



To start, let's make a sponge dauber using a round cosmetic sponge and masking tape. To do this, simply gather the edges of the sponge together, forming a ball of sorts. Wrap the gathered edges in masking tape, which forms the dauber and serves as a convenient handle.



The paints used in this video are DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylic paints, and DecoArt Dazzling Metallics. They're wonderful for this technique!



The key is to allow the painted image to dry on the plate. This technique is perfect for using thin applications of fast-drying acrylics! If you like to take time to develop an image on your plate and have been frustrated with fast drying paint... give this technique a try!


Here's how:
  1. Apply light colors to your Gelli plate with a sponge dauber.
    • Leave areas of the gel plate unpainted.
    • Add focal points and patterns by dabbing paint through stencils
  2. Allow paint to dry thoroughly.
  3. Load your brayer with a dark color and roll it over the dry paint on your Gelli plate.
  4. Quickly cover with your printing paper, rub to transfer the paint — and slowly pull your print. This should pull up just about all of the paint on the plate.



This is a simple technique, but here are a few things to keep in mind:
  • Use fast-drying acrylic paints.
  • Avoid any blobs or thick applications of paint since they take a while to dry.
  • Allow the painted image to dry completely. (Do NOT use heat to hurry the drying!)
  • Roll a thin layer of paint over the dry paint — then quickly cover with paper.
  • Give a little extra time when rubbing to transfer the paint to the paper.
  • Pull the print slowly. The paper can tend to stick to the plate a bit as you pull the print.

Here are a few variations to try:
  • Use metallic and/or interference paints. They'll pop against the final dark layer.
  • For a painterly print, apply the paint with a soft brush instead of a sponge dauber.
  • Press texture tools into the paint while it's wet.
  • Experiment with different color combinations for very different results. Be sure to create enough contrast.


The dry layers of sponged paint created some unexpected interesting paint textures! 




These prints can be great beginnings, too! Add doodling on them with paint pens, colored pencils and your favorite drawing media.


As you can see, there's great potential for creative explorations in printing with dark over 
light colors. Have fun!

This Contest is officially CLOSED

 

Judi W. is our Winner!!

 

And we have a SPECTACULAR GIVEAWAY!!! Including a signed copy of my new book, Gelli Plate Printing!



Our incredible Prize Package includes:
Leave us a comment below and let us know your thoughts on the blog  - we love hearing your feedback. 

To enter the giveaway, click on the red "ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE" button below! (This will 
ensure that we can contact the winner and that entries are limited to one per person. One 
winner will be selected from all the entries via a random number generator to receive this 
fabulous giveaway!) 

Entries will be accepted until (Monday, Oct. 20th, 2014 at 12 Noon EST). Our lucky winner will be contacted by email and announced here on the blog and on our Facebook page no later than (Oct. 20th at 5 p.m. EST)!


This Contest is officially CLOSED 


Special thanks to our friends at DecoArt for generously providing the paints in this giveaway!

Good Luck and Happy Printing!


Thursday, October 2, 2014

Mixed Media Collage with Gelli Prints

I've been having some fun with the new 'Media' product line from DecoArt. In addition to the Fluid Acrylics artist paints, there's Gesso, Modeling Paste, Texture Sand Paste, Crackle Paste, Crackle Paint, Antiquing Cream and several Varnish finishes. I love that the Modeling Paste and Gesso are available in black and white! All of these products are great to work with and can be combined with Gelli prints to create finished art!



Mixed media collages are a great way to use your Gelli prints! Here's how to make this one:

To create these small pieces, I began with nine 4" square Blick Canvas Panels. You can also use mat board, book board or chip board as your substrate. The Gelli prints were selected from my stack of previously printed paper. The Gelli prints used in this piece were all printed on Staples Card Stock 110 lb.

This mixed media collage has a Fall theme and incorporates dried, pressed leaves and skeleton leaves. Your collage can follow any theme... or none!  The Gelli prints you select can determine the direction your piece takes.




To create the background texture effects on the small canvases:

  1. Cut or punch a 3" circle shape out of sturdy plastic stencil material to create a mask.
  2. Place a piece of removable double-stick tape in the center of the circle mask to keep it in place on the canvas square. The mask is centered on the 4" square.
  3. Use a palette knife to apply molding paste, gesso, crackle paste or crackle paint around the mask. Each of these can create a variety of effects. Press textures into the wet molding paste or gesso, or swipe lines into it with a comb.
  4. Carefully remove the mask and allow to dry completely. (Repeat this process on each small canvas, using different pastes and texture tools for variety)
  5. Paint the dry canvases with black paint—getting into all the crevasses. Let dry.
  6. Apply paint and antiquing cremes. Add and wipe off in layers until you get the look you want.
  7. Paint the masked circle area of the canvas with gold metallic paint.





To create the small round collages:
  1. Select several previously Gelli-printed papers. (Note: These Gelli print circles were over-dyed with Ranger Distress Stains to eliminate any white areas of the paper).
  2. Cut or punch a 3" circle from the Gelli prints for each small canvas (9 circles). 
  3. To give your circle print some dimension, cut a 3" circle out of heavyweight fusible interfacing and iron to fuse a circle print to it. This is optional.
  4. If desired, use a metallic paint marker to make a fine gold line around the cut edge of each circle print.
  5. Arrange collage material (dried leaves) on each circle print. Glue into place using matte medium. Let dry.
  6. Use a soft brush to apply a coat of Ultra-Matte Varnish on each complete collage.




To create the textured background canvas panel (15x15):
  1. Apply modeling paste with a palette knife to a canvas board. Spread over the entire surface.
  2. Press or stamp various textures into the wet paste. Allow to dry completely.
  3. Apply paint and antiquing cream to the textured surface and work into all the crevasses.
  4. Apply paints and antiquing cremes in layers, wiping some off and adding more until you've achieved the look you want. Let dry.
  5. Coat with Ultra-Matte Varnish to seal the surface.

Note:  The canvas panel used for this piece was cut down to 15x15 from a larger canvas.



To complete the piece:

Arrange and adhere the small square canvas collages to the large canvas board with an appropriate adhesive, such as tacky glue. Let dry.

Done and ready for framing!



Have fun complimenting your Gelli prints with modeling paste, texture paste, crackle paste and gesso to make fabulous mixed media collages!






Lastly... we are launching our Gelli Arts Fall Giveaway Promotion!  

Enter our Fall Giveaway below. Check out all the options for entering the random drawing and choose one OR choose all the ways to enter! 
Multiple entries allowed!    

Our 8" Round Gelli Printing Kit includes:
  • (1) 8" Round Gelli Printing Plate
  • (1) Speedball 4" Rubber Brayer
  • (1) Gelli Arts Apron - Priceless!

Good luck and of course, Happy Printing! 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Gelli Printing with DIY Combs

Combs make such interesting patterns in Gelli prints! Watch this video to see how easy it is to make your own combs from everyday materials!



Using combs ranks among my favorite methods for creating patterns and mark-making in 
monoprinting. In fact, I've included several examples in my new book, Gelli Plate Printing, 
demonstrating how to make your own combs.



The comb is an effective tool for creating dynamic lined patterns. There are many durable 
materials that you can easily cut teeth into to create a comb tool. The fun is in making a bunch of custom combs that can produce an assortment of different lines and widths.



Among my favorite combs are those made from eraser caps! Placing the eraser cap on a 
pencil first makes it easier to handle while cutting. Work on a cutting surface, and use a craft knife to cut tiny V-shaped notches in the tip of the eraser. This creates a versatile mini-comb! Try using it for making cross-hatch marks... and all kinds of gestural swipes! Gotta love those tiny lines! Great for making gestural lines and marks!



TIP: It's best to avoid letting acrylic paint dry on this tool, but if it does, use your craft knife to carve out any dried paint that may become clogged between the comb's teeth.

Erasers are perfect for turning into combs! Simply cut notches out of the edge of an eraser 
with a craft knife—and you're good to go! If you carve your own stamps, you may have some left-over carving material. That's perfect for making combs too!



Old credit cards, hotel keys and other laminated plastic cards are great for making into combs and scrapers! Sharp scissors are a good choice for making your cuts. But avoid making pointy teeth, as they could scratch the surface of the Gelli plate.



Another fun method for making combs is to use decorative edge scissors on a piece of cardboard (like cereal boxes) or craft foam. Simply cut straight across with wavy or zigzag scissors for an instant comb!



There are so many materials you can use to make your own collection of combs! And they're fast and easy to make! Try a few and have fun making fabulous combed prints! To create monotypes with your DIY combs, simply swipe the combs through the wet paint on a Gelli plate, cover with paper, rub to transfer the paint and pull your print. Have fun exploring different ways to create lined patterns! (For more combing ideas, see blog: "Wipe Out Monoprinting")
 

FYI– Materials used to create the prints in the video:

This Contest is officially CLOSED 


And we have a SPECIAL GIVEAWAY!!! Including an autographed copy of my new book, Gelli Plate Printing!
               


Leave us a comment below and let us know your thoughts on the blog  - we love hearing your feedback. 

To enter the giveaway, click on the red "ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE" button below! (This will ensure that we can contact the winner and that entries are limited to one per person. One winner will be selected from all the entries via a random number generator to receive this fabulous giveaway!) 

Entries will be accepted until Monday, Sept. 22nd at 12 noon. Our lucky winner will be contacted by email and announced here on the blog and on our Facebook page no later than Sept. 22nd at 5 pm!


  This Contest is officially CLOSED


And a special thanks to our friends at DecoArt® for generously donating the paint for this 
giveaway! 

Good Luck and Happy Printing!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Gelli™ Printing with Styrofoam Plates

Here's a great way to repurpose styrofoam plates to use in monoprinting! Watch this video for ideas on how to make your own unique reusable designs for Gelli printing!


It's fun turning styrofoam plates into reusable texture plates with your own designs! They're perfect for creating texture plates — especially for the small Gelli plate sizes!


Here's how:

Place a styrofoam plate on a cutting surface and using an X-acto knife, cut some slivers or shapes from the plate. Remove them to create a few holes or empty spaces. The plate works essentially like a stencil.

If you have a screw punch, you can use it to make some holes in the foam plate. Always do this on a cutting mat.


One of the advantages of using styrofoam plates is that aside from being easy to cut, you can inscribe marks into it that will show in your print.




To inscribe marks, turn the plate upside-down. With a ballpoint pen or sharp pencil, draw marks into the bottom of the cut plate to create additional design elements. Make small holes by pushing the tip into the styrofoam. When your design is finished, you have a unique printing plate that's ready to use over and over.




TIP: It's a good idea to support your plate while you inscribe the bottom. To do this, invert another styrofoam plate (the same size) and place your cut plate over it. This creates a sturdy support and makes it easy to inscribe marks in the cut sections of your plate.


Here’s how to print with your styrofoam plate:

Apply paint to the Gelli plate and place your styrofoam plate on the wet paint. Place a piece   
of embossed paper or other texture over the plate and press the foam plate into the wet paint. Remove and cover with your printing paper. Rub to transfer the paint, and pull your print. 


While the styrofoam plate has wet paint on it, apply a different color paint to the Gelli plate, then press the foam plate into the gel plate. This will give you a multi-color print. 


So keep those styrofoam plates and trays and make a collection of your own designs! They're easy to stack and store — and loads of fun to print with!

 

This Contest is officially CLOSED

 And we have a fabulous GIVEAWAY!



We are doing things a little differently this month for the giveaway!

Leave us a comment below and let us know your thoughts on the blog  - we love hearing your feedback. 

To enter the giveaway,  click on the red "ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE" button below! 

(This will ensure that we can contact the winner and that entries are limited to one per person. One winner will be selected from all the entries via a random number generator to receive this fabulous giveaway!)

Entries will be accepted until Tuesday, August 19th at 12pm EST. Our lucky winner will be contacted by email and announced here on the blog and on our Facebook page no later than 5pm EST on Tuesday August 19th!

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE!
And a special thanks to our friends at Chroma for donating the wonderful paints for this giveaway!

Good Luck and Happy Printing!


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