Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Gelli Arts® Printing on Feathers

Hello, Birgit here with a new tutorial video! Today, I will show you how to create beautiful printed feathers on the GelliArts® gel printing plate!

FYI - Birgit did this project and it was such a big hit - we decided to create a DIY Feather 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!

I used both feathers that I bought (the white ones) and feathers I found in the woods and on the beach.  Besides that, I used the 8” x 10” Gelli® plate, acrylic paint from DecoArt Media, stamps and stencils from Carabelle Studio, Stazon stamping ink, and Posca paint markers.

Start by rolling out a thin layer of paint on the plate and carefully place the feathers on top. Cover the feathers with a sheet of printer paper and rub carefully. Make sure to apply some extra pressure around the rachis, or the center shaft, of the feather. Then remove the paper and lift the feathers from the plate.

Now add a new layer of paint to the plate and layer stencils on top. Use a sheet of printer paper to remove the paint from the open spaces. Then remove the stencils from the plate and place the painted feathers on top of the remaining paint.

If you want to add some bits of extra color to the feathers just roll out some paint on the plate and lightly push parts of the feathers into the paint.

You can add more patterns and colors using stamps. You can either stamp with a permanent ink like Stazon or use acrylic paint. Roll out some paint with your brayer and use the brayer to apply the paint to your stamp. This way it’s easier to spread the paint evenly and avoid getting a lot of paint in the lower parts. Make sure to clean the stamp right after using it!

Finally, you can add some texture and color by creating little splatters. This is very easy with paint markers. Shake them to mix the pigments and then hit them with something a little bit heavier like a big brush.

Aren’t these feathers just beautiful? You’re probably wondering what to do with them.
You can just frame them as a piece of art, use them in your art journal, or as an embellishment on scrapbook pages! You could even use them to spice up a nicely wrapped gift!

Thank you for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and I would love to see your feathers. Please share and use #gelliprintedfeathers so I can find them!

Happy printing!

Birgit Koopsen

Monday, May 1, 2017

Gelli Arts® Printing with Watercolor

Hi there! It’s Marsha here today with a fun little watercolor technique!

You may be thinking that watercolor isn’t the most suitable paint for Gelli® printing. The viscosity is thin and that causes the paint to bead up on the slick surface of the Gelli® plate. However, with a little experimentation, I was able to use watercolors to create amazing prints!

If you like surprises, apply watercolors directly onto the plate and just let the magic happen. The paper you use will affect the outcome. I experimented with different kinds of paper and I found I preferred drawing paper and smooth watercolor paper.

Keep the brush fairly dry and gently rub the paper without applying pressure when pulling the print.

Don’t use a brayer. Pressure will push the watercolors around on the plate and it’s possible to end up with more watercolor next to the Gelli® plate than on the print.

Add more water for a real watercolor look. Just load the brush with more water when applying the paint to the plate or spray water over the paint on the plate with a spray bottle.

For a little more control over the paint, you need a carrier or something that will make the surface of the Gelli® plate less slick.

In her last blog post, Birgit used gel medium as a carrier for her spray ink technique. This will work for traditional watercolors too. But once use gel medium with watercolors, you cannot reactivate the watercolor paint on your print.  It will act more like acrylic paint. 

If you want the watercolor to keep its characteristics, try using a tiny drop of dish soap instead. The soap will create a thin film on the plate that will stop the watercolor from beading up as much.

You don’t need to add a new drop of dish soap for each new print. I used a baby wipe to spread the dish soap over my Gelli® plate the first time. That baby wipe absorbed a lot of the excess dish soap, so from then on I just cleaned the plate with that same baby wipe to distribute dish soap onto the plate in between prints.

Dab the baby wipe with dish soap onto the plate to create foam. This will cause tiny bubbles that will show up in your prints!

Now add the watercolors with a brush. Try dragging and dabbing the brush for different print effects and use mark making tools and round pointed brushes to create designs.

Watercolors stay wet longer than acrylic paints on a gel printing plate, so there is plenty of time to work on the designs before pulling a print.

Let the printed paper dry properly before pulling another print on top.
Be mindful of the colors you choose! Go for colors that mix well, because watercolors are transparent and each new wet layer can also re-activate the watercolor that has already dried on the print.

The most important thing is to have fun and experiment!

Happy printing with watercolors!!


Gelli Arts® 5" x 7" Gelli® Printing Plate
Drawing or watercolor paper
Watercolors (Winsor & Newton)
Flat watercolor brush
Round, pointed watercolor brush
Mark making tool
Dish soap
Baby wipe

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