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 

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!

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

Good Luck and Happy Printing!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Gelli™ Printing on Nonwoven Fusible Interfacing

Printing on a different substrate is a great way to change things up. Watch this video and get inspired to create Gelli prints on nonwoven fusible interfacing!

Nonwoven interfacing is a wonderful material for Gelli printing! It looks similar to dryer sheets, and its intended purpose is to add extra body to fabric. But it takes paint beautifully! And the heat-activated adhesive makes it so easy to incorporate printed pieces into your mixed media art.

The top piece in the next picture shows the adhesive (shiny) side. The piece underneath it is the 'right' side—the side we print on (non-shiny side). They're placed on a black and white image to show the beautiful translucent quality of this interfacing. 

The samples here are all printed on Pellon® (808 Craft-Fuse®) — but any smooth nonwoven interfacing should work well. Nonwoven interfacing comes in a variety of weights. You can buy it by the yard then cut it into pieces ready for printing. 

What are the advantages of printing on nonwoven interfacing, you may be wondering? 

Well... the nonwoven fiber surface prints beautifully, it's super-easy to cut with scissors or a rotary cutter, the material is soft and easy to sew, doesn't fray, and adds strength when fused to paper — an especially good thing when adding stitching by hand or machine on paper. Also, it has a translucent quality making it wonderful for layering over previous prints, text or images! It's an excellent collage material for paper or fabric projects...and great for adding printed elements to painted works on canvas or board!

Begin by cutting your interfacing into pieces for printing. It makes things easy if you do this ahead of time, so you're ready for printing. I pre-cut the interfacing used in the video into 9"x12" pieces — perfect for printing on the large 12"x14" Gelli plate!

The printing process is the same as it is for paper. The one difference is that the paint on the gel plate can bleed through the back of the interfacing as you print. So I recommend using a cover sheet to keep your hands and print clean. A piece of blank newsprint paper, copy paper or deli paper works great as a cover sheet.

You'll also find that printing on interfacing calls for heavier application of paint on your Gelli plate.

Here are the steps for printing:
  1.  Apply paint to the Gelli plate and roll out with a brayer.
  2.  Make your marks in the wet paint. 
  3.  Place a piece of the fusible non-woven interfacing on the plate with the shiny side UP.
  4.  Place a cover sheet over the interfacing and rub with your hands to transfer the paint.
  5.  Remove the cover sheet, then pull your print!
  6.  If there's enough paint remaining on the plate, pull a ghost print.

You can print on interfacing in layers, just as you do on paper. Use your favorite stencils, masks, combs and other texture tools. Or if you prefer, take a painterly approach.

Once you've created prints on fusible non-woven interfacing you have many options for using them. The prints are perfect for paper or fabric collage, so consider cutting them into pieces and fusing to other artworks. If you have a die-cutting might try cutting them into different shapes!

If you're looking for a good substrate to fuse your prints to... how about those papers you use to roll off paint from your brayer. They're perfect for collage! Cut up some interfacing prints and fuse some pieces right onto the painted papers for a quick and gratifying mixed media experience! Add stitching! Add doodling! Add embellishments! Fun!

Colored pencils, NeoColorII crayons, Inktense pencils and fabric pens are among the fun ways to work further on nonwoven interfacing prints!

To fuse the interfacing to paper or fabric, follow the manufacturer's directions. Place parchment paper on your ironing surface to protect it, then place the substrate and fusible pieces on it. Cover the whole thing with parchment paper to protect your iron. Press to fuse. Easy!

If your interfacing isn't fusible — no problem. After you make your prints you can easily iron a layer of fusible (such as Wunder-Under or Misty Fuse — or your favorite fusible webbing) to your interfacing prints and they're ready to fuse to another substrate. Or, simply use gel medium or your favorite collage adhesive.

Printing on non-woven interfacing is a process that can send you into a creative frenzy! So many possibilities!

FYI— Materials used in the video include the following:

This Contest is officially CLOSED 

Congratulations to our winner via random number generator: DIANE!! Simply stated... we have AMAZING fans. I'm always shocked and humbled by the talent and creativity amongst our fans and contest entrants! Here is a description of Diane... A fiber artist specializing in art quilts. She loves to play with different fabrics and fibers, dyes and paints, and other surface design materials/techniques. Please - go check her blog to admire her lovely works of art!

And we have an AWESOME GIVEAWAY!!!

Our giveaway includes a 12"x14" Gelli Arts Gel Printing Plate... and a special Gelli apron!

One winner will be selected at random to receive this fabulous prize. To enter to win simply leave a comment here on the blog. Comments will be accepted until (Tuesday, July 29th at 12noon EST). Our lucky winner will be announced here on the blog and on our Facebook page no later than (Tuesday, July 29th at 5 pm EST). Good luck!

This Contest is officially CLOSED

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