Thursday, August 20, 2015

Awesome NEW Gelli Arts® Printing Tools!!!

Sometimes bigger IS better! That's exactly what we discovered while developing our dream for the fabulous NEW Gelli® combs! Watch this video and see our Great Big Gelli® Combs in action!

It's a THRILL to introduce Gelli Art's® first mark-making tools! Our goal has been to develop fun tools that enhance the Gelli Arts® printing experience — and we came up with these two sets of BIG combs. I love, love, LOVE them!!! All of us at Gelli Arts® do! And we know you'll love using them as much as we do!

Each set contains three combs — each with a different edge producing a different mark. They work beautifully together for creating a huge range of striped patterns and swirly marks, depending how you apply them. Lots of mark-making to explore!

One set has squared 'teeth'.

The other set has rounded 'teeth'.

Swiping a comb through paint is intuitive and easy — and watching amazing patterns emerge is mesmerizing! There's so much variation in the patterns you can create with these large combs. Pulling combed prints is as addictive as it gets — start combing patterns in the paint and you're in the flow! Such FUN! Just look at some of the possibilities!

To create a great print in one layer, try this:
  1. Apply more than one color to your Gelli® plate and roll into a smooth layer with a brayer.
  2. Comb through paint in one direction.
  3. Using a different comb — swipe in another direction. You'll see the dimensional result, as one pattern appears on top of another. It's fascinating!!

An easy way to create dynamic prints is to layer combed images. It never fails! The trick is to create a contrast in color and value in the layers. If you don't love the image you have — once your print is dry — print another combed layer over it. You can do this over and over on the same print — with the creative use of opaque colors or metallic paint — and end up with amazing, complex images.

There's usually enough wet paint left over on the plate, and you may find you'll have lots of second and even third pulls of combed prints. So keep layering!! It's so much fun to watch a print evolve this way from layers and layers of ghost prints!

You'll get beautiful color blends by applying several colors to your Gelli® plate and combing through them. Using analogous colors (next to each other on the color wheel) helps keep your colors clean and avoids making muddy mixtures. But there are NO RULES! Here's an example of a multicolor print created with complementary colors (opposites on the color wheel) — and no mud :) Just use a light touch and take care not to over-blend complementary colors with your brayer.

All of the paint used in the video and in the prints shown here are Liquitex® Basic and Liquitex® Professional Acrylic Color Soft Body. The colors are vibrant and the paint viscosity is wonderful for combing. As a plus, you can usually get a great ghost print (second pull) as well — and sometimes a third!

After you've pulled two or three prints from the plate, there's often a thin layer of residual paint remaining on the plate. It's too dry to print at this point. But don't clean your plate! The dry paint will come up in the next combed print you pull! (I find this technique works best after the third pull) Simply apply fresh paint right over the dried paint on your plate, comb your design — and pull your print. Magical!

The ghost print after that first interesting print is often another great print. The negative space is usually free of paint in this pull — creating a great opportunity to work back into the negative space. For ideas on how to do that — take a look at this older blog post

If you're wondering if a single color produces interesting combed prints — the answer is YES! In fact, some of my favorite prints are done using black paint, resulting in beautiful movement with a lovely tonal range.

Aside from making amazing prints, these combs are sturdy and flexible — optimized for working on a Gelli® plate. They're comfortable to hold and use. And they're so easy to clean!

While we designed the Gelli® combs primarily for Gelli Arts® printing, you'll find they're perfect for any paint or medium application where you want to create interesting patterns! So keep them handy while you prepare a surface with gesso or molding paste — or for applying paint on your favorite substrate. Instant texture and pattern!!

Here I've added some textured sand paste with a palette knife and scraped texture into it with a Gelli® comb!

Using combs is a subtractive process — and that means you're removing paint from the Gelli® plate to create your image. That also means you have a build-up of wet paint on your combs — so you'll want to have paper or other substrate handy for wiping off that paint and creating more fabulous marks!

What a great way to start an abstract painting!! Be free and go with the flow!

Eager to try our new Printing Tools?


Winner is Lori W.


    One lucky winner will receive our prize kit including:
    • 1 - 8"x10" Gelli Arts® Gel Printing Plate 
    • 1 - Set of Round Edge Gelli® Printing Tools (3 combs) 
    • 1 - Set of Square Edge Gelli® Printing Tools (3 combs)   
    • 1 - Liquitex® Acrylic Painting Set includes:  
      • 12 Tubes of Heavy Body Acrylic Artist Colors 0.75 oz.,  
      • 1 Tube Titanium White 2 fluid oz.,  
      • 1 Tube Gloss Gel Medium 2 fluid oz.,  
      • 1 Palette Knife & 2 Brushes!!

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 Tuesday, August 25th at noon EST. Our lucky winner will be contacted by email and announced here on the blog and on our Facebook page no later than Wednesday, August 26th at noon EST.


Remember, we now have Gelli® partners all over the world, so it's easier than ever to find a Gelli® retailer near you!

Special thanks to Liquitex® for generously donating their wonderful Acrylic Painting set!

Good Luck and Happy Printing! 

Materials Used in Today's Blog:

8x10" Gelli Arts®
Printing Plate
'Square' Gelli®
Texture Comb
'Round' Gelli®
Texture Comb
Liquitex® Basic
Liquitex® Professional
Acrylic Soft Body
Liquitex® Natural
Sand Texture Gel
Liquitex® Freestyle
Palette Knife

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

DIY Gelli® Printed Fabric Patches!

Before we jump into Joan's amazing project (and it IS amazing!) - we want to share TWO exciting pieces of information!
  1. Gelli Arts® is on Instagram come join the fun! 
  2. And, we now have over 2 MILLION views! 
FYI - Joan did this project a few years ago and it was such a big hit - we decided to create a DIY Patch Printing Kit for you!  You can follow along her blog using the items in your new kit.  Feel free to use additional items to create textures or additional colors of acrylic paints - just remember to add the Fabric Medium!  Have fun!

Now... onward to Joan's super hip project: 

Gelli® Plate Printed Personalized Fabric Patches!

Seems like everywhere you look, someone is wearing a pair of shredded jeans with blown out knees or personalized jeans with laced edges, patched holes or artful stitching. Lots of interesting and creative mending going on as well with fabulous handmade patches! Getting ideas?!!

You can call the trend Boho Chic, Urban Chic, Vintage or Hipster... it falls into all categories! Here are some great examples from Pinterest which is loaded with ideas and inspiration for personalizing your vintage jeans and clothing. 

Here's my version inspired by this fun trend!

Using a small Gelli® plate with fabric paint — to stamp on fabric — is about the fastest, easiest way to create a variety of unique printed fabrics! For patches, all you need are small fabric fragments. It's the perfect opportunity for printing up some fabric scraps and pieces cut from old garments.

And don't overlook commercially-printed fabrics! I found some fun designs at that I couldn't wait to monoprint all over! The preprinted backgrounds add another layer of interest to monoprinted images.

When printing on fabric, I almost always iron it onto freezer paper to stabilize it. It helps to iron the fabric before printing on it — to get rid of any wrinkles. I figure if I'm going to iron the fabric, I might as well iron it onto freezer paper while I'm at it! But it's absolutely okay to skip this step if you want to.

Stamp as many images as it takes to cover a piece of fabric — with each imprint different from the next. Change up the colors. Use stencils, masks, combs...and all of your favorite texture tools. FUN!

I came across Fabric CreationsBlock Printing Stamps by Plaid Industries — and had to try a few! As expected, they're great for gel printing! Just press the stamp into wet paint on your Gelli® plate (like you would with any stamp) to remove paint — and print a negative image. You can also stamp them directly onto fabric, which is what they're designed for.

Using the 'wrong' side of commercially-printed fabric — where the pattern is muted — gives your print a more subtle, washed-out looking background.

You'll quickly find outit's as addicting to print on fabric as it is on paper! Try ityou'll see!

For stamping, a clear acrylic block or acrylic sheet is a perfect mount. Just press your Gelli® plate onto the acrylic piece and it'll stick until you take it off. And since it's clear, you can see exactly where you're stamping! All of these images printed on fabric were stamped with a 3"x5" Gelli® plate mounted on a 4"x6" clear acrylic stamp block.

If you're making patches for clothing, it's important to use paint that holds up to laundering. My go-to fabric paint is DecoArt® SoSoft. It's available in a nice range of colors, and you can mix them to create your own custom colors. And another good thing — SoSoft doesn't need to be heat-set! The instructions say to wait 48-72 hours before washing, and that's it!

And, as its name indicates — the hand of the fabric stays soft. Some paints can have a plastic-y feel. Definitely not what I want on my old, worn jeans.

For printing, apply some paint to the gel plate and roll it into a smooth layer with a brayer. Create your design in the wet paint, then stamp it onto your fabric. So easy!

If you want to embellish your printed fabric — there are lots of fabric markers made for that purpose. The Pentel® Gel Roller for Fabric is a 1.0 mm pen that's great for doodling and drawing lines — my favorite!

After printing the fabric and letting it sit/cure for a few days, I tore and cut it into pieces — ready to fashion into patches.

This is where you follow your muse and create patches that suit your taste. I wanted to preserve the worn look and feel of my old jeans. Layering hand-sewn patches — with frayed and unfinished cut edges — seemed like a good way to do that. And it presented a perfect opportunity to try my hand at a little embroidery!

Almost all of the stitching on these patches and jeans was done with DMC® Six Strand Embroidery Floss, but there's also some DMC® Pearl Cotton Size 5.

If you're not familiar with Japanese boro (translates as rags, or scraps of cloth), much inspiration can be found in these amazing garments and textiles that have been patched and repaired many times. The extensive mending and patching, sometimes over generations, imbues each unique piece with an extraordinary inherent beauty that speaks of its history. There's a visual feast of stunning examples on the internet, so I hope you'll take a look! (do a Google search for 'Japanese boro' and look under 'images')

Sewing the patches onto my jeans proved to be a meditative process with happy results. Not to mention a bit nostalgic — a throwback to my college days in the early '70s when we all wore threadbare and patched jeans!

Maybe I got a little carried away patching these jeans? And still, it's easy to visualize this as a work in progress! I intend to keep adding more layers of printed fabric patches and more stitching to this pair of jeans. Some projects feel so good to work on you don't want to stop — and this is one of them. Being able to add bit by bit with no specific end-result in mind makes this a great on-going project to work on when the mood is right.

If you have a worn garment that could use some repair — or are just looking to personalize or embellish a pair of jeans for the fun of it — try gel printing on fabric and making a few patches!

It's time to CELEBRATE over 1 Million views on this blog!! 

We are giving away one 3"x5" Gelli® Printing plate and one 4" Round Gelli® printing plate to one lucky person so that they can make their own personalized Gelli® printed patches! Enter below!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Remember, we now have Gelli® partners all over the world, so it's easier than ever to find a Gelli® retailer near you!

Have Fun and Happy Printing!

Materials Used In Today's Blog:

3x5" Gelli® Plate
Reynold's Freezer
Fabric Creations™
Block Printing Stamps
4x6" Acrylic
DecoArt® SoSoft
Fabric Paint
4" Speedball®
Rubber Brayer
Pentel® Gel
Roller for Fabric
DMC® Six Strand
Embroidery Floss
DMC® Pearl
Cotton Size 5

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