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Gelli Plate Printing Demonstration and Information

Hello Lovely Creative People!

Do you use a Gelli Plate?

Honesty moment: I tried them several times but never fell in love so it’s not exactly in my range of techniques – though I do use other printing methods. Too messy for my taste 🙂

But, I know a lot of you love them and may want a little more info, so here’s the scoop straight from the Gelli Arts folks themselves! You’ll find tips, storage, cleaning and more on this page and here’s their demonstration video:

 

So, yay or nay? Let me know what you think – I’d love to hear from you!

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Stencils for Fast and Easy Effects – Video Demonstration

It’s no secret that I love and use stencils in my mixed media paintings. While many are my own custom designs, I also studio trial stencils from the shop to make sure they’re going to make your art more beautiful too.

These tag shaped stencils are a lovely discovery. Because they’re graphic and distinctive, they really add a nice sharpness and clarity to a project. I sometimes find my mixed media projects going a little fuzzy and a dose of graphic contrast is a great fix for that.

Here’s a quick demonstration of the Dress Form Tag Shaped stencil from the shop. The stencil design is 6 inches long  by 3.25 inches wide – a good size for smaller projects. They also work well either as a standalone design or as a supporting component where you use only parts of the stencil elements.

There are three designs in this series and they all play well together!

 

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Easy Stencil Solutions to Boring Art

How do you feel about stencils? Personally, I’m a fan!

Artful Stencils

Stencils add amazing complexity and patterns to your work without hours of numbing effort. By choosing your stencils carefully, you lay the foundation of a coherent and beautiful finished work. Patterns and textures work together to allow you to build on your own personal imagery and express your distinct style.

So, how do you combine different stencils so they work together instead of being a hot mess?

Choosing

I limit myself to three stencils and usually only one or two. Too many patterns – especially if they’re distinctive – starts to look mechanical instead of artful. Sometimes one really nice pattern is all you need. I like this brocade pattern and use it frequently.

When combining stencils, look for contrast in the sizes of the elements and the quality of the patterns and textures: linear vs organic, regular vs random, etc.

 

Placing

I like to use only parts of the stencil pattern on the paper. I’ll usually choose a portion of the pattern and place it carefully. Then, shift the stencil and use another part somewhere else on the paper. I seldom stencil the entire surface with any one pattern because it’s more interesting and visually appealing to have the patterns appear and disappear.

As you place your stencils, look for chances to highlight the focal point of your work and parts of the stencils your eye is drawn to. If you’re layering contrasting stencils, test the layered effect before you commit to your work because it doesn’t always look like you expect!

 

Painting

My experience is a lighter hand applying paint is best for several reasons. One is that it helps keep the stencil edges crisp. More than that, I like to keep my stenciling subtle, both in color and depth of paint. The muted low-key background effect adds a lot of interest without standing out. My favorite tool for paint application is the humble cosmetic sponge.

As you apply your paint, try for a sheer application so that the background is barely covered. Choose colors that are similar to the background or a little lighter or darker to help sink the stenciling into it. As you stencil, you can even wipe away part of it while it’s still damp to help blend it even more.

 

Stencils: Your Secret Tool Kit

I use stencils extensively in my mixed media work. And, I’m currently experimenting with ways to incorporate them into watercolor artwork and even three dimensional works like art dolls. They really are a secret treasure to solve boring art!

Here are some of my favorite stencils from the shop. All of these are sturdy, reusable Mylar, made in the US and in the studio, ready to ship.

 

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Splashy Paint Water Mug Prevents a Nasty Surprise!

Let’s set aside all that sensible advice about not eating or drinking when you paint – because, really, who does that?

How many times have you almost dipped your brush in your drink mug? Or, maybe you’ve even grabbed the wrong mug to actually drink from? Me too…

Here’s your solution – a splashy, happy mug especially for your paint water.

 

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Tutorial: Mixed Media Collage Using Digital Printable Tags, Specialty Paint Technique and Embellishments

 

I’ve been working with paint and paper and other stuff all together (the fancy term for that is “Mixed Media”) to make a Collage Journal Cover and wanted to share what I came up with. You can download the 7-page PDF tutorial for full instructions with pictures here.

A Project to Get Moving

A kind friend gave me this little roughly 5 x 7 notebook from the dollar store. It was just the nudge to get me started!

While you’ll find more information in the tutorial, the gist of it is that I removed the covers from the notebook and painted them (both sides) with a metallic bronze acrylic craft paint. Then using the Steampunk Time Passing set of four tags, I glued two on each cover.

Steampunk Time Tags EMU1

Fun With Paint

The next step was the fun part: crackle painting! Instead of commercial crackle medium, I used plain white glue as the medium and then over-coated that with cream acrylic paint.

Finishing Up and Moving On

Next came embellishments and final touches. Last, I sealed the whole thing with spray sealer and put it back together. It was a fun project – not too involved but very satisfying. The perfect thing to get moving again!

Feel free to share this tutorial with anyone you think will like it, but please don’t use it commercially or claim ownership of it. If you liked this and found it helpful, I’d love to hear from you and learn about your project.

Ta!

Monette