Thursday, January 22, 2015

Gelli™ Printing: Patterns with Peel-Away Masks

Create amazing patterns in your Gelli prints by printing layers with re-positionable, reusable, peel-away chevron masks! Watch this video and see how easy it is to print an intentional and complex layered pattern using peel-away masks from Hazel and Ruby!

What's special about this technique is the amount of control you have over your final print, and how easy it is to achieve it!

Hazel and Ruby have a wonderful, on-trend selection of durable, re-usable, peel-away masks in a variety of images, graphic elements and bold alphabets in great font styles. Their self-adhering stencil mask material is also available in solid sheets so you can cut your own (by hand or a die-cutting machine).

Instead of placing masks directly on the Gelli plate as we typically do, the H&R peel-off masks have a low-tack adhesive that allows you to apply them directly to your printing paper—exactly where you want!

The H&R mask images and letters are fairly large—perfect for using with the BIG 12"x14" Gelli plate! The paper I'm printing on is 9"x12" Strathmore Bristol—to create bleed (borderless) prints.

All you do is peel the mask off the clear plastic backing sheet, press it onto your paper where you want it placed—then roll out paint on your Gelli plate and print as usual! There's no need to be concerned about reversals.

After you pull your print, peel off the masks. They're reusable, so it's recommended that you replace the masks on their original backing sheet and clean them off right away. It's easy to wipe the masks clean with a baby wipe while the paint is still wet. As seen in the video, sometimes they stick to the Gelli plate. Not a problem! They peel right off.

The real fun starts when you print additional layers on previously masked prints! With these
masks, you have total control over the placement of one element over another! Pull a print and when it's dry, place more masks where you want to preserve the previous print image. When that's dry, you can pull another layer on your print. It's so exciting to pull off the masks and reveal the layered image!

The paints you use in layered prints have an important impact on the final print image. You can achieve beautiful colors by using thin applications of transparent paints on each layer. Golden Open Acrylic paints work especially well for this. My go-to palette for transparent pigments is Quinacridone Nickel Azo Gold, Quinacridone Magenta and Manganese Blue Hue. I love the clean colors they create when they're masked and layered!

You can get a totally different effect using opaque paints vs. transparent paints. Here's an
example using various Golden Heavy Body opaque paint colors.

Using regular masks, it can be tricky to get precise placement when putting them on a painted plate. Being able to adhere your masks directly to the paper makes it simple! To get the effect in the print above, start with smaller circles. For each new layer, cover the previous printed circle image with a slightly larger circle mask.

So there you have it! Another way to create fascinating prints! Creating complex patterns from simple chevron masks can be just the beginning! These prints are a natural springboard for collage or doodling! This technique is great for everything from canvas wall art to journal pages, cards and more!


Winner is Judy H!
And here we go with another AWESOME giveaway!

This prize will have you making large layered, masked prints!

The prize kit includes:
1 - 12" x 14" Gelli Arts Gel Printing Plate
5 - Hazel and Ruby packages of Peel-Off Stencil Masks
3 - 4 oz. jars of Golden Open Acrylic paint
1 - 9" x 12" Strathmore Bristol pad - 20 sheets
1 - Speedball 4" Soft Rubber Pop-In Brayer

All those goodies—and one more FUN thing...
By request, we've taken our 'Addicted to Gelli' badge beyond the virtual realm and made it a reality! So we're adding our brand new pin-backed metal badge to this giveaway!

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, January 26th, 2015 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 January 26th at 5 pm EST! 


Special thanks to our friends at Hazel & Ruby for their generous donation for our prize.

P.S. If you'd like to add our badge to your blog—you can grab the html code from the widget at the top of our blog!
Good Luck and Happy Printing! 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Paper Mache Bowls with Gelli™ Prints!

If you're eyeing your pile of Gelli prints and scraps, wondering what you might do with all that luscious paper...think paper mache bowls! What a great way to create something fun and functional using papers from your Gelli stash!

Paper mache bowls have been around for ages. They range from children's school projects to fine art objects, and everything in between. Perfect inspiration for ALL of us!

There are so many ways to approach this project. You can tear or cut your prints into small
pieces or strips, or punch shapes—depending on the look you're going for. You'll need plenty of small pieces of Gelli prints! Thin paper, like copy paper works great! All of the Gelli printed snippets used here are from prints made on plain copy paper.

To make a durable bowl, you'll also need to prepare torn pieces of 'filler' paper for building up layers. Newspaper is commonly used for making paper mache. I have loads of old book pages that are perfect for this purpose, so that's what I used—along with unprinted newsprint paper.

TIP: Tear your paper into small pieces for a smoother bowl surface. Larger paper pieces can form lumpy folds and creases as it's applied to the curved surface.

To keep things simple, I chose Mod Podge for the adhesive—thinned down with a little water. There are many suitable adhesives and mediums you can use, such as matte medium or diluted white glue. Paste recipes are easy to find on the internet if you're inclined to make your own.

To begin, you need a form for the structure of your paper mache bowl. You can select a bowl with a shape you like, then tightly encase it in plastic wrap—but be warned: it can be a real challenge to remove the dried paper mache bowl intact. I find using a flexible plastic bowl much easier to work with than a rigid one. But my hands-down favorite form is a balloon. So that's the process described here.

Creating your bowl is a simple process, but it does take patience! Here's what to do:
  1. Blow up a balloon and tie a knot. Place the balloon in a cup to stabilize it. It helps to secure the balloon to the cup with tape.
  2. Pour some Mod Podge into a dish and stir in a little water, thinning it to the consistency of heavy cream. A foam brush is good for applying the adhesive, but I prefer to wear disposable gloves and use my hands. 
  3. Apply adhesive to a small piece of torn paper and smooth it onto the surface of the balloon, removing any air bubbles under the paper. Begin at the top of the balloon. Continue applying adhesive to each paper piece and placing onto the balloon, slightly overlapping the previous piece of paper. Do this until you create a solid layer that entirely covers the area of the balloon, forming the shape of your bowl.
  4. Allow the first layer to dry. Then add another layer. Build up layers, letting each one dry before adding the next. Each layer adds strength, and 5-6 layers should give you a bowl with a nice sturdy feel. Then let it dry overnight.
  5. To remove the completely dry bowl, simply pop the balloon! Take the deflated balloon out, revealing a smooth surface on the inside of your bowl.
  6. Trim along the edge with scissors to create an even rim. Or, if you prefer, leave the edge as-is for a more organic look. If you wish to paint the bowl, it's ready now!

The Gelli-printed pieces are the last layer. Arrange the cut, torn or punched pieces and glue
them to the bowl. Decorate the surfaces of the bowl, as you like. Let it dry, then varnish with a few more layers of Mod Podge or your favorite medium.

Pictured below is a bowl created on a large, fairly rigid plastic bowl. It was a little tricky to remove it when the paper mache was dry. Prying it off carefully and gently with a plastic palette knife worked best.

To decorate bowls like these, draw leaf shapes on many pieces of Gelli printed paper using a copper Montana Acrylic Paint marker (Fine—2mm). With a black Montana marker (Fine—2mm), add dots around each shape. Each black dot is layered with a small white dot from a Montana marker (Extra-Fine—0.7mm). Then cut out each small leaf shape with scissors. It's a slow, detailed process—quite like a meditation!

A few considerations: Keep in mind, the underside of the first layer will show as the 'inside' of the bowl. If you want the smooth interior of the bowl to be made up of pieces of Gelli prints, use those for the first layer of printed papers, placed face down on the balloon.

To make the different layers obvious while applying the small pieces of paper, I alternate layers of book pages and unprinted newsprint paper. This is by no means necessary, but it helps me see exactly where I am while creating each layer. It's easy to see if a spot was missed!

You can add a thin layer of molding paste or spackle to smooth out any lumpy areas. I use
Golden Hard Molding Paste, basically as a skim coat. I apply it with gloved hands and smooth it into a thin, even coat.

Once your paper mache bowl is decorated and dry, you may want to continue working on the surfaces. Add more collage elements, paint, stenciling, doodles or journaling to your bowls! The creative possibilities are endless!

So much fun! Try it!!! And share your photos with us on the Gelli Arts Facebook page showing what you've made! We love featuring creative works by our Gelli Arts fans!!! We also love reading your thoughts and feedback, so please leave a comment! Thanks!

Have Fun and Happy Printing!

Happy New Year from all of us at Gelli Arts! 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Gelli™ Printing On-the-Go!

For those of you taking art supplies with you on-the-go, the small Gelli plates are essentials to pack in your art bag! Monoprinting beyond the studio has never been easier! Watch this video to see some fun portable printing supplies in action!

The list of 'must-have' supplies to pack in your travel bag are pretty individual. I'll show you what I pack in my travel art bag. Okay, maybe 'cram' is a more accurate word! But as you'll see, this bag provides for more than just monoprinting. Supplies for art journaling, collage, card making, stamping, doodling, and watercoloring are all includedfor fun ways to work with Gelli prints!

The bag is the Voyager 15" Canvas Rigger Bag from Harbor Freight. This sturdy bag has a spacious interior and convenient pockets on the outside, so it holds a load of stuff! The strong handles make it manageable to carryeven when you load it up!

The bag is a blank canvas just waiting for your creative decorative inspiration! So have at it and make it your own!!

Here's how to decorate a bag like this one:

1.     Cut pieces of black felt to cover each of the outside pockets (only for the shorter pocketsthere are two levels of pockets).
2.     Cut a piece of Gelli-printed fabric slightly smaller than each piece of black felt.
3.     Fuse each printed fabric piece to a piece of felt with fusible webbing, like Wonder-Under.
4.     If desired, work further on the printed fabric with colored pencils, fabric pens and paint markers.
5.     Apply red-liner sticky tape to the back of each felt piece. Remove the red liner and press each felt/fabric piece firmly into place on the canvas bag. If you prefer, the pieces can be glued in place with an adhesive, like tacky glue.
6.   If desired, you can paint the blank canvas bag before adhering the felt/fabric pieces.

Here's what's packed in the bag!!!

Gelli Plates The 3"x5" and 5"x7" fit easily into a travel art bag!

Acrylic paint DecoArt Media Acrylics are convenient to pack a little paint goes a long way!

Paper Strathmore has fabulous papers just right for a variety of On-The-Go printing!

Brayer — it's a 4" Speedball Soft Rubber Pop-In Brayer for my travel art bag!

For mounting the Gelli plates to use as stampsan Inkadinkadoo Clear Extra Large Block works well for the 3"x5" plate. And the 5"x7" Gelli plate fits nicely on a 5"x7" acrylic box frame!

The Crafter's Workshop small masks!!! TCW's Balzer Bits and Ronda's Fragments designed by our Gelli friends, Julie Fei-Fan Balzer and Ronda Palazzari are so perfect for printing with our small Gelli plates! And so easy to pack!

Derwent Inktense Pencils and Caran d'Ache NeoColor II crayons are both water-soluble. Great for adding more color and detail to your dry prints! And don't forget a pencil sharpener!

A Niji Waterbrush is an essential in any travel art bag! And Niji Pearlescent Watercolors add a sparkling touch to any print! Use the Waterbrush to blend colors and create washes with the Inktense Pencils and NeoColorII Crayons, too! A Ranger Mini Mister can come in handy when you want a spritz of water!

A set of fine point Micron Pens is another essential. Sharpie Water-based Metallic Extra Fine pens are a personal favorite for adding selective metallic details to almost any print!

For more doodling options, include Montana Acrylic Paint Markers! They're totally compatible with acrylic paint and great for working back into prints. Black and white are good for starters. And who doesn't love a Uni-Ball Signo White pen?!! A must-have, right?!! I think so!

Maybe alphabet stamps aren't on everyone's list, but they're such FUN! So toss in a set with a Ranger Archival Ink Black stamp pad and add some words to your prints, cards and journal pages!

The list goes on and on a few more fun and handy things to pack in your art travel bag include plastic needlepoint canvas shapes and a piece of punchinella. They hardly take up any room! Rubbing plates are also great texture tools that are easy to pack!

Catalyst Contours are sized just right for travelsmall and light. Roylco Paint Scrapers offer several more combing patterns and their flat shape makes them super handy to pack and easy to use!

For making collages with your printed papers, a few basics like a Cutter Bee Scissors with Safety Cover and UHU Glue Stick are great travel supplies! And throw in a few rolls of washi tape for the fun of it!

And let's not forget to include some Purell Hand Sanitizer and Wipes for cleaning things up!

There you have it! Enough cool supplies to keep you in Printmaking nirvana On-The-Go!!!


Ready for our HUGE Holiday Giveaway?!!!

We're stuffing ALL of these amazing supplies into a canvas bag for our most STUPENDOUS GIVEAWAY EVER!!! A Holiday Travel Art Bag Giveaway!!!


Enter our Spectacular Holiday Travel Art Bag 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!a Rafflecopter giveaway   

A special thanks to our wonderful friends at DecoArt, Strathmore Paper and The Crafter's Workshop for their generous contributions to our Holiday Travel Art Bag Giveaway!!!

Happy Holidays from all of us at Gelli Arts!!!

Happy Printing and Good Luck!!!

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 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! 

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