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Gel Print with me

Happy Sunday! If you don’t have a fresh cup of coffee I suggest you get one, or another beverage of choice, because this is going to be a LONG post. The last time I sat down with my Gel Press gelli plate I took some photos along the way to share with you so you can see my process for making backgrounds!

Last week Lori shared her 2021 Word and gave you some background on the One Little Word. It’s been a few years since I selected a word to focus on throughout the year, and well this year it just felt right! My word is Embrace…there are many things I want to embrace throughout the year.

This little 4×4 canvas is magnetic and now sits on my inspiration board in my craft space as a regular reminder. This was a quick little project to make because the background is one of the clean up prints that didn’t really need much else to make it beautiful! Aside from my print, I added the Tim Holtz moth stamp & my word. I actually stamped onto white tissue paper first, I wanted to make sure I got a good image. Then the tissue was added to the canvas with some gel medium.

Before I start I always get all my supplies ready and select my colour pallete. I try to limit my colours to 3-4 plus black and white, it takes the thinking out of the process.

Sometimes I’m a little undecided on my colours so I will have a couple extra accent colours on hand, just in case!

I have my plate, stencils, papers and brayers ready to go! I used a combination of regular printer paper and some old transfer paper I’ve had for over 20 years. One tip is to also have your journal on hand to roll off the excess paint onto the pages…get’s a journal page started & no waste!

Because I like the grungy look I always start by using a page from a magazine, usually with mostly text, and black paint to get an image transfer. I’m not concerned with the quality of the transfer I just want some of the black on my plate. It’s like a warm up exercise!

When doing an image transfer you don’t want too much paint on your plate, just enough to cover it. Here you can see I the image transfer was pretty good, you can actually see the woman’s profile and hair!

Now I will keep building layers directly on the Gel Press plate, letting each layer dry. Here I am adding some gold paint through this stencil. I’ll add it in random places capturing just bits of the stenciled image.

I have more than one plate…yes I quickly decided I needed more plates 😉 Here I am using my 6×6 Gel Press plate as my pallet to pick up paint on my brayer to either brayer onto the larger plate directly or through stencils. The bonus of doing this is there is no wasted paint….keep reading and you’ll see!

Rather than using the brayer to apply paint through stencils I often use makeup sponges. I find this gives me extra control to decide how much I want to add.

I keep adding, different patterns and layers until I’m happy. Really I never know how the print will turn out anyway!

Here is how my plate looks with all the different layers added.

Once all the layers are dry apply a thing full coat of paint over the plate. Here I’ve used ‘vanilla’ but this can be any colour, all depends the look you’re going for. While this layer is still wet place your paper overtop and rub over top. You want to give all those layers time to soak into the paper, so you don’t have to rush this part!

Here is the result! It’s a bit plain, but it’s a great background that can be built on! Remember not every print is going to be magical, but you can keep adding to it with more prints, stamping whatever you choose!

Now for me this is where the magic really starts to take off. Look at all this goodness still on the plate! Now I can just add another layer of wet paint and repeat the process above, or if I feel it needs it I can add more layers and let them dry first. Really the options are endless!

I decided there was enough left of the plate so I added a layer of portrait pink paint to pull the print. Yes pink I know…it’s the pandemic drawing me to pink! LOL

WOW!! Yes this to me is magical!!! It looks like an old fresco painted wall that’s showing it’s age with spots and crumbles! Honestly I could never make this with purpose, it’s up to the mercy of the gelli plate!

Remember earlier I showed you that I was using my 6×6 plate as a pallet, well look at all that fun colour layered on there! Yes I pulled prints from that, and I got some very cool and unexpected prints! Actually the print I used for my little 4×5 canvas came from cleaning up this plate!

Here’s the pile of prints I got from my session! Each one is unique and beautiful on it’s own!

Well if you made it this far thank you for joining me today! I hope this post will inspire you to pull out some paint and your gelli plate to try the tips I’ve shared!

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