Thursday, December 11, 2014

Gelli Arts® 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 gel 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 gel-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 Arts® Printing on Fabric: Fun with Stencils & Pencils!

Monoprinting is a great way to create unique designs on fabric! Watch this Gelli Arts® 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 Arts® 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 Arts® Printing: Artist Trading Blocks!

If you have stacks of Gelli® made 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® made 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 gel 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 Arts® 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!

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