Thursday, June 28, 2018

Collage Art 101 With Gel Prints by Joanna Grant

Hello everyone! I am absolutely thrilled to be part of the amazing group of artists who make up the Gelli Arts® Artists Team. I’ve been a fan of Gelli Arts® products since they first came on the market and love to share my projects using them.

As a mixed media artist who specializes in recycling stuff into art for others to treasure, I have found that using my Gel Printing Plate adds another level of “cool” to my art. Today, I am going to share an easy recycling art project that has been super popular with my students. It’s also a project that will allow you try your hand at collage art if it’s new to you. And because this is a small-scale project, you won’t find it too intimidating if collage is something you haven’t tried before. I promise!!

One of the many recycled things I have used in my art over the years are old CDs which I love to turn into small collage art magnets. There’s something just so fun about working “in the round” on these little unintended substrates. Let me show you how!

CDs you no longer want
Flat backed magnet (see photo below at Step 3 – I recommend the business card sized magnets)
Various glues: 
Glue stick, White glue or gel medium, and E-6000 or Goop
Assorted gel prints you wish to use as the base of your mixed media art
All kinds of other materials to use as accents and embellishments

Step 1:
Choose a CD you wish to use and decide which side of it is going to have your art created on it and which will be the back (to which the magnet will be adhered). I generally try to leave the clean side of the CD for the back and use the written side (or label side) on which to create the art since it’s going to be covered up anyway. Because I sell most of my CD art, I like the back to look as good as it can. In the image below you’ll see I have two CDs along with the plastic protective liner that is on the top of a package of new stack of CDs. Might as well use this too!

Step 2:
Choose your gel prints that will become the base of your artwork you’re going to create on top of the CD. This is a great project to use up some of those prints you aren’t too happy with, as we are going to cover them up (somewhat) with collage art anyway.

Glue the gel print to the CD and allow it to dry completely before carefully trimming the excess paper away from around the edges of the CD. I like to use either a heavy-bodied white glue (I used Aleene’s Tacky Glue here) or a fairly heavy gel medium. Don’t use your glue stick. It won’t have the strong adhesion you’ll want for this application. 

Once cut out, check around the edges of the CD to make sure you have good adhesion to the paper. Use a toothpick with a small dab of white glue to tack down any spots you might have missed. Here’s what my example pieces look like once they were cut out.

Step 3:
When everything is dry, flip the CD over and take one of your business-card magnets, peel off the backing paper to reveal the sticky side of the magnet and adhere it to the back of the CD. I usually position mine centrally to cover the hole of the CD. Then, I clean up the back side of any paint or glue.

NOTE:  you can use other types of magnets, of course, if you can’t find the business-card magnets I’ve used here. Be sure to adhere them with E-6000 or Goop to ensure they will hold well.

Step 4:
Now the fun begins! Here’s where you can create anything you want to make your CD collage art. In the examples below, I have made little collaged persons out of a variety of images and papers, including some more gel prints. I’ve also used some rubber stamps and bits of text taken from a magazine.

What have you got in your art stash that would make a great collage? Do you have little bits of cool things that you’ve been saving (also known as hoarding in my world, LOL) to use just for a special, small-scale project? Here’s your chance to use those pieces!

Take all the little bits you’ve chosen for your collage and play with them on top of the gel print. Move them around until you get a pleasing arrangement. Cover up areas of the background you don’t like and let areas you do like show through.

It’s up to you how much you add to your collage or what you add. The sky is the limit! I am a firm believer that I will just “know” when a piece is done and I don’t fuss about it too much. If you aren’t sure if you need to add more stuff to it, set it aside for a day and then come back to it. Don’t overthink it!!

I’ve used a glue stick (generously applied) to adhere all the little bits of paper to the background of the examples you’ll see below. You can also use gel medium or white glue. When you are all done with adding flat elements to the CD, give it several coats of gel medium or some other kind of sealant. Magnets tend to take a bit of wear and tear and although art magnets should not be handled too much, it doesn’t hurt to give them a fighting chance by coating them several times. I normally put on about five coats in total. At this point you can attach any 3D elements as the top layer to your collage with E-6000 or Goop.

That's it, you're done! How easy was that? These art magnets are so much fun to make and they do becomes quite addictive. They make great presents for friends and family and who doesn't having a boring file cabinet at work that needs a bit of artsy pizzazz.

And what other kinds of recycled materials would make a good substrate for your gel printing/collage art? I hope this project has inspired you to look around your home and studio and see what else could be put to use for future fun projects.

It’s a great feeling to keep stuff out of our landfills. It’s an even greater feeling to turn that stuff into something to treasure! Thanks for being here to share in this project. Happy printing!!


© 2018 by Gelli Arts®, LLC Philadelphia, PA
All rights reserved.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Peeled Paint Effect with Gelli Arts® Printing Plates from Birgit Koopsen

Hello! Birgit here with a fun technique today that lets you create a peeled paint texture.
All you need is your Gelli Arts® gel printing plate, some clear tape, and your favorite colors of acrylic paint.

Start with applying a thin layer of paint to your Gelli Arts® gel printing plate and let it dry.

Then apply strips of clear tape on top of the dried paint leaving a little bit of space between the strips.

Now apply contrasting colors of paint on top of the clear tape. When pulling the print the colors from the first layer will pull up in the open areas, creating different colored lines.

Place your paper on top of the wet paint, rub firmly and pull the print.

The first print usually is not my favorite one as it is still to clean and doesn’t have much of that peeled paint effect.

But, when you continue pulling prints from the same tape, little bits of left over paint from previous prints will also pull up, plus there will be areas where the multiple layers of paint will dry and not pull up at all. This is what gives that peeled paint look.

So continue printing, varying with colors, and the prints will get only better!

Extra bonus at the end of your printing session is some beautiful colored tape that you can use in your mixed media projects.

Thank you for stopping by! Happy printing!


© 2018 by Gelli Arts®, LLC Philadelphia, PA

All rights reserved.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Gelli Arts® Birch Tree Prints by Tania Ahmed

Today, I am thrilled and honored to be on the Gelli Arts® Blog as part of the Artist Team! I am sharing a project on how you can create birch tree inspired art. I had seen some artists create fantasy birch tree art and I decided to recreate these, but with Gelli Arts® Printing Plates! I had so much fun creating these prints and I love that they make a beautifully finished project that I can use to give away as gifts or decorate with at home.

There are two ways you can create your backgrounds: you can either apply your tape to your Gelli® Printing Plate or to your card stock. The video tutorial shows both ways. For all products used for this project, please see the materials list at the end of the post.

Step 1:
Mask off your “tree trunk” and branches with washi tape or low tack tape. You can angle them or even overlap them to make your scene look interesting.

Step 2:
Apply Cosmic Blue and Deep Jungle Gelli Arts® Premium Acrylic Paint with your roller. You can use any color in your background, I used blues and greens to give the effect of a sky and a green forest.

Step 3:
Place your stencil on top of your painted Gelli® Printing Plate. I find that stencils with open spaces work best.

Step 4:
Lift some of the paint through the stencil with Gelli Arts® Parchment Paper. You can also use this paper to clean your roller in between prints. I like using these clean off papers in collages.

Step 5:
Before taking a print, make sure to remove your tape from the Gelli® Printing Plate.

Step 6:
Pull your print and you will see that you are left with white space where your tree trunks and branches will appear!

Step 7:
Practice creating the swipes with the straight edge from one of the Gelli Arts® Mini Printing Tools. Swipe Gelli Arts® Jet Black Premium Acrylic Paint lightly and at an angle to partially paint the tree trunks and branches. If you think that you are getting too much paint on your project, dab off some of the paint from the tool.

Step 8:
Use the textured edges of the combs from the Gelli Arts® Mini Printing Tools to add more irregular paint swipes.

Step 9:
I added my finished prints to some card bases with double sided tape and mounted one of the prints to an inexpensive picture frame.

Gelli Arts® Premium Acrylic Paint Set - Classic Colors (Cosmic Blue, Deep Jungle, Snowbound, Jet Black)
6" x 6" Gelli® Printing Plate
Gelli Arts® Parchment Paper
Gelli Arts® 4” roller
Gelli Arts® Mini Printing Tools - Set of 3

Double Sided Tape
White Card Stock
Low Tack Masking Tape and/or Washi Tape

Picture Frame
Black Card Stock

© 2018 by Gelli Arts®, LLC Philadelphia, PA
All rights reserved.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Gel Printing with the Gelli Arts® Feather Printing Kit

Hi there! It’s Marsha here today sharing a fun project you can do with the Gelli Arts® Feather Printing Kit.

The Feather Printing Kit contains everything you need for gel printing: a 5x5” Gelli Arts® printing plate, 3 bottles of Gelli Arts® Premium Acrylic Paint, a 4” roller, 8 white feathers, a three-sided Gelli Arts® mini comb, 12 pieces of 5x5” parchment paper, bubble wrap, yarn and punchinella.

The white feathers in the kit are perfect for gel printing on, but have you ever tried to use feathers as a texture tool? The results are stunning and super detailed. Let me show you!

Step 1
Place your Gelli Arts® printing plate on a smooth flat surface. I’m using the mylar sheet with 1” grid that comes with the new 9" x 12" Gelli Arts® gel printing plate underneath.

Take a sheet of paper (I’m using A5 sized paper, which is 5.83” x 8.27”) and tape it to the surface on one side to create a hinge. This will make aligning the paper easier because the sheet can’t move in between prints.

Step 2
Roll a drop of acrylic paint onto the Gelli Arts® printing plate with the roller. You can use more than one color if you like!

Step 3
Use the three-sided Gelli Arts® mini comb or press the bubble wrap, yarn, or punchinella into the paint to create texture. Or leave the paint as is for a solid colored background print.

Step 4
Place the paper on the Gelli Arts® printing plate and print the first layer.

Step 5
Roll a layer of contrasting color onto the plate with the roller.

Step 6
Take one or two feathers and ruffle them a bit.

Place them on top of the painted plate and pull a second print on top of the previously printed layer.

Step 7
Remove the feathers and pull a third print on top of the previously printed layers.

You can use the feathers over and over again. Just make sure that the paint on the feather is dry before using it for another print otherwise it might stick to your paper.

Step 8
I decided to create cards with my feather prints.

I splattered a contrasting color onto each print and left them to dry. Then I trimmed the prints to fit 14,5 cm square notecards (this is approximately 5.75”) and machine stitched a border around the prints before I adhered them to the front of the notecards with double-sided tape.

Enjoy gel printing with Gelli Arts® and feathers!

Gelli Arts®:
Gelli Arts® Feather Printing Kit
Gelli Arts® Premium Acrylic Paint (Freshwater, Jet Black, Mixed Berries, Snowbound, Sunbeam)

Paper (A5 size: 5.83” x 8.27”)

Paint markers
Sewing machine and thread
Notecards (14,5 x 14,5 cm: approximately 5.75” x 5.75”)
Double-sided adhesive

© 2018 by Gelli Arts®, LLC Philadelphia, PA
All rights reserved.

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