Thursday, March 20, 2014

Gelli Printing with Wax Crayon Resist

Draw with wax crayons on your printing paper before you pull a Gelli print! Sound like fun? Watch this video and see how this simple resist technique works!

Who doesn’t like crayons? Bring a free spirit to this simple resist technique and create colorful drawings, doodles, lines and color blocks on your blank printing paper. A heavy application of crayon will work best since you want to apply a fairly solid layer of wax. This is not the time for a light touch.

If you don’t want to draw freehand, you can use stencils and fill in their patterns with crayon. Or try a rubbing over a textured item placed under your printing paper. Just be sure to rub hard enough to leave enough wax on the paper to create a resist.

And how about combining these techniques! Place a texture under your printing paper ... then lay a stencil on top of your printing paper. Rub a crayon in the stencil opening to pick up the texture that's under the paper — so cool!

Once you’ve prepared your waxy marks on your paper, you’re ready to print. This fun technique will work nicely with any size Gelli plate. Using the round plate adds its own design element to your final print!

Here’s how to print for this resist technique:

  1. Apply acrylic paint to your Gelli plate and roll into a thin layer with a brayer.
  2. Add designs, if desired, in the wet paint with texture tools. 
  3. Cover the painted gel plate with your crayoned printing paper.
  4. Rub the paper to transfer the paint and pull your print.
  5. Allow the print to dry completely.
  6. After the print is completely dry, use a palette knife to scrape the crayon off the paper. The paint covering the crayon marks comes off as you scrape down to the waxy layer. And the crayon color is revealed!

What’s left behind is a colorful image of whatever crayon marks you made on the paper. The crayon resist areas have a nice waxy, shiny feel!

  • This resist technique works beautifully with oil pastels and wax-based colored pencils, and the process is the same as for crayons. The tips here refer to crayon, but the same information applies.
  • Your crayon color choices show in the final print. Create good contrast between your paint color and your crayon color for more vibrant prints.
  • Metallic crayons are great for this technique!
  • Use white crayons to leave white marks.
  • Use a white candle or clear wax crayon when you want to preserve the color of the original printing paper.
  • You can print more than one layer on your paper, just like any Gelli print.
  • This technique works best on paper with a smooth surface.
  • Be patient and allow the paint to dry completely before scraping it off. It's easier to gouge the paper if the paint has not fully dried.
  • If you accidentally gouge the paper, it easy to touch up with additional paint.
  • You can use a lint roller on your print to remove crayon 'crumbs'.
  • Try to avoid getting crayon crumbs and debris on your Gelli plate. If you find any stuck on your plate, remove with a piece of tape or a lint roller.
  • After the wax resist is scraped away, if you want to reduce the remaining shine — simply zap the waxy areas quickly with a heat gun. The crayon residue will sink into the paper and appear more matte.
  • Oil pastels lay down a quick, creamy layer of color. It's fast and easy to apply, and produces vibrant color

FYI: Materials used in the video:

This super-fun technique can give you amazing results. So go ahead … get out those crayons and tap your inner child!

This Contest is officially CLOSED

And now, we have a fabulous giveaway 
so you can give this fun technique a try!

To enter to win, all you need to do is leave a comment here on the blog. Comments will be accepted until Monday, March 24th, 2014 at 5 p.m. EST. One lucky winner will be selected at random on March 24th and announced here on the blog and on our Facebook page no later than Tuesday, March 25th at 12 noon EST.

This Contest is officially CLOSED

Good luck and Happy Printing!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Gelli Printing with DIY Layered Texture Plates

Pressing a handmade layered texture plate into a painted Gelli plate is a fabulous way to create a unique image! Watch this video for a demonstration of this easy technique.

You can make texture plates to match the size of your Gelli plate, or make smaller plates that 
can be used as stamps. This technique is especially fun for making custom texture plates designed specifically for your Round Gelli Plate.

Texture plates can be made from many different materials. The material used in the video is...heavyweight fusible stabilizer. It's perfect for making quick layered texture plates that are ready to use right away.

I use Peltex 71F (by Pellon) — a heavyweight stabilizer with fusible adhesive on one side. It's a stiff non-woven polyester material about 1/16" thick. And so easy to cut!

Those of you who quilt or sew may be familiar with this stabilizer for creating fabric bowls, bags, postcards, ATC's, etc.

What makes Peltex so interesting for making layered texture plates is its dimensional quality. As you build the layers, you're creating a deep relief pattern.

When the texture plate is pressed into a painted Gelli plate and removed — a 'halo' effect
remains around the shapes. In other words, the surface of the texture plate removes some of the paint ... but there will be a line, or shadow, around the shapes. This can make wonderful printed images — with an almost 3-D effect!

Here's how to make the texture plate:
  1. Cut a piece of Peltex to the desired size to use as the substrate for your texture plate. 
  2. Place the cut substrate on a piece of parchment paper (on top of ironing surface)
  3. Cut pieces of Peltex into desired shapes.
  4. Arrange the pieces on the substrate with the fusible side down. (Layer some cut pieces on top of others to create dimension on the plate)
  5. Cover with parchment paper and press with a hot iron to fuse the layers together.         (Follow manufacturer's instructions for fusing)
  6. Remove the parchment paper and trim along the edge of the texture plate.
So fast and easy! Now your layered texture plate is ready to use!

Printing with these plates is like using a stamp.
  1. Apply paint to the Gelli plate and roll into a smooth layer with a brayer
  2. Press the texture plate firmly into the wet paint and remove
  3. Place the printing paper on the painted Gelli plate
  4. Rub to transfer paint
  5. Pull your print

For a dynamic effect with layered texture plates — try printing on black paper with opaque white or metallic paint!

  • Peltex is available at fabric stores, like JoAnn Fabrics...and many online sources.
  • When cutting a full-size texture plate for your Gelli plate, add a half inch or so to the overall dimensions — for easy handling.
  • To apply a layer of paint to the round plate with a brayer — start from the center and roll out to the edge.
  • Press the texture plate firmly into the wet paint. Avoid moving the texture plate while you press it into the Gelli plate, as that can blur the image. 
  • If you don't have Peltex, try making texture plates from sticky-back craft felt. You can find it at craft stores.
  • Adhesive-backed craft felt can be cut into shapes and layered. Simply peel the backing off and stick the pieces together.
  • Craft felt produces a slightly different image ... not quite as hard-edged as Peltex. If the felt plate becomes saturated with paint, stamping the felt plate on paper will give you a relief print of the image. 
  • When making multiple prints from the same texture plate, wet paint from the previous print may transfer to the next painted Gelli plate image. This is a wonderful way to create multi-color images! So, it’s important to consider the sequence of colors used. It's easy for the prints to get muddy as you switch from one color to another.
  • Using colors with a high contrast against the paper color creates very dynamic images. Likewise, dark colors on white paper make exciting prints!
  • For those of you who scan your prints and enhance them in photo-editing software — this technique lends itself to very interesting digital prints.

FYI:  Materials used in this video:

  • 8" Round Gelli Plate
  • Deco Arts Multi-Surface SATIN™acrylic paint
  • Strathmore Bristol (vellum surface)
  • Strathmore Artagain (coal black)
  • Speedball 4" Soft Rubber Pop-In Brayer
  • Peltex 71F
  • Scissors
  • Parchment Paper
  • Iron and ironing surface

This Contest is officially CLOSED

                And here's our awesome Giveaway to get you excited                       about making texture plates for Gelli printing on the       NEW 8" Round Gelli Plate!

  • 1 - 8" Round Gelli Printing Plate
  • 12 - Deco Arts Multi-Surface SATIN acrylic paints (2 oz. bottles)
  • 1 - Pad (24 sheets) Strathmore Bristol (9"x12")
  • 1 - Pad (24 sheets) Strathmore Artagain® coal black (9"x12")
  • 1 - Speedball 4" Soft Rubber Pop-In Brayer
  • 4 - Pieces of Peltex 71F (9"x12")
To enter to win, all you need to do is leave a comment here on the blog. Comments will be accepted until Tuesday, Feb. 25th at 12 noon EST. One lucky winner will be selected at random on Feb. 25th and announced here on the blog and on our Facebook page no later than Feb. 25th at 5 p.m. EST.

This Contest is officially CLOSED

And a special thanks to our friends at Deco Art and Strathmore Papers for their generous support for this giveaway!

Good luck...and Happy Printing!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Gelli Printing in Painterly Layers!

Swap out your brayer for some paintbrushes and create a painterly layered Gelli print! To see how easy and fun it is ... watch this video!! 

The painterly approach to monotypes can range from loose and spontaneous to structured and carefully planned ... and everything in between. In other words — this technique is for everyone!! 

From abstract to representational, the painterly print provides unlimited possibilities for creating an image by building layers of brushstrokes and textures.

Here's how!
  1. Start by applying paint to your Gelli Arts gel printing plate with a brush. A thin layer is best — thick areas of paint will print as blobs! For this technique, you want the beauty of the brushstrokes to come through.
  2. Then, simply keep building on the image. Apply paint to select areas of the plate and pull your print. Keep doing this with additional layers on the same print until you're satisfied with the image.
  3. The residual paint on the gel plate serves as a guide for the next paint application. It should be pretty easy to see where you may want to add color and texture in each subsequent layer.
  • For vibrant colors, allow the print to dry between layers. That will help keep the colors from mixing and getting muddy.
  • When using cotton swabs to wipe out lines, shapes or dots on the plate ... it’s easier to remove paint if the swab is dampened first with water.
  • You can apply paint to select areas of the gel plate for each layer. There's no need to cover the entire surface of the plate on each layer.
  • To register your print, it helps when the gel plate is sitting on a piece of paper the same size as your printing paper. That way, you can visually align the printing paper with the paper under the plate. It's not precise, but it's usually close enough.
  • It's a good idea to mark the top of the back of your printing paper with a pencil mark. That way, you won't have to figure out the correct orientation of the paper as you print each layer.
  • Consider the transparency and opacity of the paints you're using, as that will greatly impact the appearance of colors as they print over one another.
  • This painterly technique gives you the opportunity to be very deliberate in applying each layer. When looking at your print and deciding what you want to add in the next layer, keep in mind that what you paint on the gel plate will print reversed (mirror image).
  • If you want to develop your image slowly — use a slow drying paint, like Golden Open Acrylics. Adding Golden Open Medium to acrylic paint will extend the working time of the paint.

FYI ... Materials used in the video:
Painting directly on the gel plate with paintbrushes has a wonderful 'feel'. Try layering painterly images and brushstrokes and see for yourself!

AND … we have a very "BIG" GIVEAWAY!! 

This Contest is officially CLOSED

How To Enter Our Random Drawing for this Giveaway!
  1. Leave a comment below on this blog post! Helpful hints:
    1. Click in the comment box to leave a comment (scroll to the bottom of the comments to find the box!)
    2. Or, click on the "# of comments" next to "published by Joan Bess" to make the comment box appear!
    3.  Leave your comment now :)
  2. Comments will be accepted until Monday, Jan 20th at 12:00 noon EST.
  3. One comment per person — please!
  4. Not required... but PLEASE share your passion for Gelli printing by tweeting, posting and pinning this fabulous tutorial and giveaway! We appreciate it all!
One lucky winner will be chosen by random drawing on Monday, Jan 20th after 12pm EST and announced here on the blog AND on our facebook page no later than Monday, Jan 20th at 5pm, EST. 

This Contest is officially CLOSED

Thanks to Princeton Brush and Willow Wolfe for supplying the fabulous brushes for our giveaway! Good luck ... and Happy Printing!!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Easy and Fun — Gelli Printing on Tags!

Gelli prints make great tags, cards and ATC's! Watch this video demonstration for ideas on creating fun small prints!

When you print on paper that's smaller than the painted gel plate, you're creating a bleed print. That means the printed image is the entire paper, right up to and including the edges ... no borders.

Making a bleed print — or in this case, printing tags — couldn't be easier:
    1. Place your tags on the painted gel plate
    2. Place a cover sheet over the plate
    3. Rub to transfer the paint
    4. Remove the cover sheet
    5. Pull your printed tags

The cover sheet picks up the paint from the areas on the plate that weren't covered by the tag. In fact, the cover sheet is a masked print of the negative space around the tags. 

Also — use the cover sheets to pick up the ghost image after the tags are removed ... and you'll see how interesting cover sheets can become!

Cover sheets make great beginnings, so keep using them over and over. 

And here's a fun technique for adding rubber stamped images to Gelli printed tags!

This technique calls for some unprinted areas on your tags. You can achieve this simply with torn paper masks. Follow these easy steps for fun results!

  1. Apply acrylic paint to the plate and roll out with a brayer.
  2. Place torn pieces of paper (masks) onto the painted plate, which will create unprinted areas in your print.
  3. Leave masks on the plate and place the tags onto the painted plate.
  4. Cover the plate with a sheet of paper that's larger than the plate.
  5. Rub the paper to transfer the paint — and remove the cover sheet. (keep using the cover sheet as long as the paint is dry)
  6. Remove the tags and let the paint dry completely.
TIP:  Acrylic paint acts as a resist. It must be completely dry before continuing to the next step.

Ink a stamp with a dye stamp pad (such as Distress or Adirondack — both by Ranger) — and stamp onto the masked area on your tag. The stamped image can overlap onto painted areas.

With a damp paper towel, wipe stamped ink off the acrylic paint. Acrylic paint resists the stamp pad ink, and the stamped image will remain only in the masked area. 

Note: The stamp ink may smear or blend into the unpainted paper, giving it color! The stamp image remains.

It's fun to continue embellishing the stamp images with colored pencils or markers. But for special glittery effects, try the Wink of Stella brush pens by Zig! They add a subtle touch of superfine glitter ... and offer the easiest way to add some sparkle to your print! With no mess! The brush tip allows for delicate lines as well as broader coverage. They can lend a touch of magic to a small print, like a tag!

Want to give it a try? Our extra-fun giveaway will have you making sparkly tags in no time!

This Contest is officially CLOSED

We have a winner! The random generator picked Vicki Romaine! Congrats to Vicki and a huge THANKS to all who commented and shared their fun artwork with us over the past few days on our FB page. Wishing everyone a happy and safe holiday season!


This fabulous prize package includes:

      • One (1) — 6" x 6" Gelli Arts Gel Printing Plate
      • One (1) — Speedball 4" Soft Rubber Pop-In Brayer
      • One (1) — set of three (3) Wink of Stella Brush Markers
      • One (1) — set of four (4) clear stamps by Inkadinkadoo
      • One (1) — Distress Ink Pad
      • Two (2) — Rubbing Plates by Cedar Canyon
      • Twenty (20) — Blank Manilla Tags

To enter, all you need to do is leave a comment HERE ON THE BLOG!!

Comments (as your entry!) will be accepted until 12pm (noon) EST Monday, December 23rd. Leave your comment NOW!!

This Contest is officially CLOSED

We have a winner! The random generator picked Vicki Romaine! Congrats to Vicki and a huge THANKS to all who commented and shared their fun artwork with us over the past few days on our FB page.

One lucky winner will be selected AT RANDOM and announced no later than 5pm EST on Monday, December 23rd. The winner will be announced here on the blog and on our Facebook page!

For more wonderful examples of Gelli printed Tags or ATC's, check out our Pinterest Boards loaded with thousands of examples from Gelli printers who live all over the world. Please share your Gelli printed Tags or ATC's with us on Facebook too!

Good luck ... and Happy Printing!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Gelli Printing with Masking Fluid!

Masking fluid provides unique and creative possibilities for Gelli printing. Watch this video to see how it works!

Masks are used as a barrier between the paint on the gel plate and the printing paper. The purpose is to block the transfer of paint from the plate to the paper in selective areas. 

It's easy to cut a paper mask to the shape you want to block out on your print — or use a found object or stencil as a mask. (See previous blog tutorial for more information on using paper masks!)

But what if you want to mask handwriting, or a gestural line, or drawn symbols, or small random marks? 

That's when using masking fluid is the way to go!

Gelli print with masked marks
Masking fluid (also called liquid frisket) is a fluid solution that dries to a rubbery film. It creates a barrier — and paint applied over it is easily removed by peeling it off.

Watercolorists use masking fluid for preserving selective areas of the white of the paper — or for preserving areas in a layer of color that will be painted over. 

Good news! Masking fluid can be used for Gelli printing too!

You can apply masking fluid directly to your unprinted paper. 

Masking fluid preserves areas of the white of the paper in a Gelli print

When applied onto a printed layer — masking fluid will preserve the color under it.

Masking fluid applied over a printed layer preserves the color of that layer

These steps explain the process:

1. Pull a print to add color to the paper. (This is the color you'll see when the mask is removed)

2.  When the print is completely dry, apply the masking fluid to the paper. 
Masking fluid applied over a Gelli print

3.  Allow the masking fluid to dry completely! Thin areas dry quickly, but thick areas or blobs can take a while.

4. When the mask is completely dry — you can print on the paper as usual. 
Dry masking fluid on Gelli print

5. You can print multiple layers over the masking fluid! The mask can be removed even when there's quite a bit of paint covering it!
Several layers printed over dry masking fluid

IMPORTANT:  The print must be completely dry before the next step.

6.  When the paint is fully dry, gently rub the mask off the paper. You can use a rubber cement pick-up, or gently rub with a clean finger to remove it. The stretchy, rubbery mask will ball up and can be pulled off.
The print is dry and ready for the masking fluid to be peeled off

Important Information and Tips for Using Masking Fluid:
  • Do NOT use a good brush to apply the masking fluid. It will ruin your brush.  
  • A disposable brush is recommended. 
  • If using a brush, dip it in soapy water to help it flow.
  • An eyedropper is easy and fun to use — but it isn't good for controlling fine lines. And it tends to leave blobs (which can be artful!).
  • You can keep adding different layers of masking fluid as you build up layers on your print. Just remember you'll need to let the mask dry and the paint dry completely each time.
  • It's best to peel off the masking soon after your print is completely dry.
  • As with any new art material, it's best to experiment before applying it to an important piece.

For success with masking fluid ... always keep in mind:

The masking fluid must be completely dry before you print over it.

The print must be completely dry before you remove the masking fluid.

Gelli print (after masking fluid is removed)

And one more fun thing … after you pull a print, the relief from the dry masking fluid can sometimes leaves a nice imprint in the paint left on the gel plate. Quickly pull that ghost print for another cool image! And the ghost is right-reading! (See previous blog tutorial for more information on Ghost Printing!)

Ghost print
Have fun exploring the creative possibilities using masking fluid with Gelli printing. Consider it another great tool for making your mark!

And now we have a SPECIAL GIVEAWAY to get you excited about using masking fluid ... on our NEW 8'' ROUND GELLI PLATE!!!

This Contest is officially CLOSED

WE HAVE A WINNER! Our random generator chose #326  which belongs to 
(blogger name) "RuthArt" !!

Our fabulous prize includes the following:

All you need to do to enter is leave a comment here on the blog. Comments will be accepted until this WEDNESDAY, Nov. 27th at 5:00pm EST!! Leave your comment now!

One lucky winner will be selected at random and announced no later than Thursday morning, Nov 28th at 10am.  (Yes - Thanksgiving morning!!) The winner will be announced here on the blog and on our Facebook page!

Good luck ... and Happy Printing!

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