Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Stamping with Gelli Plates

The new 3"x5" Gelli plate is so versatile! Watch this video and see how easy and fun it is to use it as a stamp!

As you can see... the smallest Gelli plate doubles nicely as a monoprinting plate and a stamping surface!

All you need to do is press the 3"x5" Gelli plate onto a smooth, flat plastic or acrylic surface — like an old CD case or acrylic stamping block — and you're good to go. It's that easy!

3”x5” Gelli plate on the lid of a CD case
TIP: If you're using a CD case, it's best to take it apart and use the smooth front cover by itself. Or, simply flip the case open when you press it to your substrate. If not, you may find there's a bit too much 'give' in the empty closed case when you stamp with it, and the plastic can crack if you press too hard.

3”x5” Gelli plate on a 5”x7” acrylic stamp mount 
Inexpensive acrylic box frames, available at art and craft stores, are another source for excellent Gelli mounts. Here’s a 3”x5” Gelli plate on a 5”x7” acrylic box frame — ready to use!

Look for small plastic storage boxes with smooth surfaces or lids that the Gelli plate will stick to. 
Do not stick (or leave) the plate on a surface that has a texture or dimensional logo or pattern in the plastic, as that can imprint into the Gelli plate surface.

3”x5” Gelli plate on a lid of a small smooth plastic storage box
As an alternative, try using a piece of acrylic, plexiglass, styrene or glass that's slightly larger than your Gelli plate. To keep things safe, apply duct tape to cover the sharp edges.

Once your Gelli plate is stuck to whatever base you've selected, you're ready to use it as a 
stamp! The bond created between the Gelli plate and the 'mount' is temporary. You can easily peel the plate off the mount at any time and print with it in the conventional way.

Here's how to stamp with your Gelli Plate:

Apply acrylic paint to the gel plate, roll it into a thin smooth layer with a brayer — and make your marks in the paint. Then flip the whole thing over and press the plate onto the printing surface of your choice. This creates a monoprinted image that's stamped onto your substrate. It's a fun alternative method for printing with the Gelli plate. And remember, the image you create on your plate will print in reverse, like any stamp!

You can use masks and stencils in combination with the stamping technique. The easiest way is to place the mask or stencil directly on your substrate and stamp the painted Gelli plate right over it.!

Using a clear mount allows for accurate placement of your monoprinted image! Add stamped monoprints to sketchbook pages, art journals, larger works, fabric pieces and more!

The following pages are from a small art journal filled with Gelli-stamped images:

I like to roll the excess paint from my brayer onto sketchbook pages. Those pages are wonderful beginnings — and stamping additional layers over them with the 3"x5" Gelli plate is a fast and fun way to add interest to those pages. 

Be experimental and try different techniques! This is the perfect opportunity to play with different color combinations!

Stamping is one more fun and easy way to use a Gelli plate... so go ahead and give it a try!!

Have fun... and Happy Printing!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Printing with Small Gelli™ Plates!

Love creating tags, cards and ATC's? Now there are two smaller Gelli plate sizes — perfect for these small print formats – and great for so many other projects and artwork. Watch this video and see how much FUN these new sizes are to print with! 

The NEW Gelli plate sizes are 3"x5" and 5"x7" ... just right for creating tags, cards, ATC's, 
postcards, small fine art prints or adding monoprinted images directly to larger work. The 
possibilities are endless!

It's so much fun creating small printed images. Printing on tags is so fast and addicting! It takes no time at all to create interesting layers. Use your favorite texture tools, stencils, and masks — and the acrylic paint of your choice.

The hard part is stopping!

FYI — the following materials were used to make the prints shown in the video:
3"x5" Gelli Arts® Gel Printing Plate
5"x7" Gelli Arts® Gel Printing Plate
Speedball 4" Soft Rubber Pop-in Brayer

Texture Tools:
  • Leaf 
  • Grafix Edge Stencil Film (various 'O' shapes cut on Silhouette Cameo)
  • Grafix Stencil Film - Heavyweight (punched circle masks)
  • Dura-Lar (masks: hand-cut with fancy-edge scissors)
  • Assorted commercial stencils
  • Embossed paper (from Spellbinders embossing folder)
  • Novelty yarn
  • Rubbing plate (Roylco)
Small prints invite free and spontaneous printing. As you can see from the list above, anything goes. Use your favorite materials and techniques! Cut your own simple masks! The small format invites experiments of all sorts. And printing on index cards is a wonderful way to try out new ideas!

This Contest is officially CLOSED

****Congratulations! Our winner for this giveaway via a random number generator drawing was Lilotte! You can see more of Lilotte's artwork here... http://lilotte.canalblog.com/ 

And now... Our exciting giveaway includes both of our new small Gelli plate sizes:

1 — 3"x5" Gelli Arts® Gel Printing Plate
1 — 5"x7" Gelli Arts® Gel Printing Plate

One winner will be selected at random to receive our two new small plates. To enter to win 
simply leave a comment here on the blog. Comments will be accepted until Monday, June 23rd, 12noon EST. Our lucky winner will be announced here on the blog and on our Facebook page no later than Monday, June 23rd, 5 p.m. EST.

This Contest is officially CLOSED

Good Luck and Happy Printing!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Gelli™ Printing Faux Chine Collé

Chine collé is a printmaking technique where lightweight paper is adhered to heavier paper as it's passed through a press with an inked plate. The result is a print on a collage. Watch this video to see how this process can be adapted for Gelli printing!

If you'd like to print on fragile vintage papers, brittle book pages, or thin, delicate papers that may tear — this is your technique! 

Here's the basic process:

1. Prepare a collage of your lightweight paper by adhering thin papers to a piece of heavy paper with matte medium, PVA, or your favorite paper adhesive. When the collage is dry, you're ready for printing.

2. Roll paint into a thin layer onto the Gelli plate with a brayer, then add textures and marks in the wet paint.

3. Place your collaged paper onto the gel plate, rub to transfer the paint, and pull your print.


• The papers need to have a good bond, so glue stick is not recommended as it doesn't always hold. 

• Smooth paper, such as bristol, hot press watercolor paper and mixed media sketchbook 
pages will all do a great job here. Printmaking papers, such a Stonehenge or Rives BFK, are excellent choices.

• Masks and stencils are particularly effective, as they create a barrier between the paint and paper, preserving areas of the collage from being covered with paint. Ghost prints pulled on collaged paper can make beautiful prints.

• Use transparent paints where you want the collaged papers to show through.

• Opaque paints can be used to block out areas of the collaged paper, giving the print a very different look.

• You can print multiple layers and build up colors and complexity in your print. 

Try this:

For great results, try this process using stencils and two (or more) colors of slow-drying paint. The objective is to print the ghost image on the collage paper:

1. Roll a thin layer of slow-drying paint onto the gel plate with a brayer. 

2. Cover the plate with a stencil. 

3. Cover with thin paper, such as deli paper or copy paper. Press into the holes and pull the print. 

4. With the stencil still in place on the gel plate, roll a contrasting color of slow-drying acrylic paint over the stencil with a brayer. 

5. Again, cover with thin paper, such as copy paper or deli paper. Press lightly and pull the print. 

6. Remove the stencil. 

7. Place your collaged paper on the plate, rub and pull the print. This is a chine collé print!

Experiment with layers of paint and stencils and see the different and interesting results you can achieve when printing on collaged paper! So much fun!!

For more examples, please take a look at this older blog post: "Something Borrowed", and 
check out the slideshow video of faux chine collé prints. There's no tutorial there, just prints. And hopefully, a little inspiration!!

FYI: Materials used in this video:
  • Stencils and Masks ( The Crafter's Workshop, Stencil Girl, Green Pepper Press, Tim Holtz). The 'bee' mask was cut from Graphix Edge Stencil Film on a Silhouette Cameo — from a clip art design)
  • Vintage book text, newspaper, maps, sheet music
  • Various 'found' textures 

This Contest is officially CLOSED

This months Gelli Arts blog giveaway winner (random number generator 179) is Anne Siciliano! I felt like I was the winner when I found her facebook page.... gorgeous artwork! Congrats to Anne and we hope she shares her good fortune with us by sharing her Gelli artwork!

 And now for our fabulous giveaway - a kit with materials especially selected for experimenting with this technique!

The fabulous giveaway includes:

  • 1 - 8"x10" Gelli Arts Gel Printing Plate
  • 1 - Speedball 4" soft rubber Pop-in Brayer
  • 1 - 4 oz. jar of Golden OPEN Acrylic paint - Quinacridone/ Nickel Azo Gold
  • 1 - 4 oz. jar of Golden OPEN Acrylic paint - Quinacridone Magenta
  • 1 - 4 oz. jar of Golden OPEN Acrylic paint - Ultramarine Blue
  • 1 - 8 oz. jar of Golden Soft Gel Medium (matte)
  • 1 - Stonehenge Pad - 9”x12” - 15 sheets - 100% Cotton - 250 GSM

To enter to win, all you need to do is leave a comment here on the blog. Comments will be accepted until Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014 at 12noon EST. One lucky winner will be selected at random on April 22nd and announced here on the blog and on our Facebook page no later than April 22nd at 5 pm EST

Good Luck and Happy Printing!

This Contest is officially CLOSED

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!!

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