Saturday, December 31, 2011

End Of The Year Fun

A chance conversation on Facebook recently with one of the ladies working at Gelli Arts had me sprinting to my studio. She commented on some of my work that utilized both Styrofoam and cardboard packing materials, wondering if the imagery was created with a Gel Plate. It had not been, but what a great idea it seemed, to combine the two!

I broke out only a few supplies. still trying to hold onto my last few days of staycation. (For detailed tutorials on the uses of gel plates, take a peek at the FAQ and video as well as the wonderful blog provided by the Gelli Arts folks.)


And in case you're worried that you're ruining your Gel Plate because it looks like this...


... don't. I'm of the opinion that the more dinged up and cruddy they become, the more effective they are for mark-making. I expect that sooner or later I'll break out some sharp implements and start carving into mine, but for today, my focus was using packing materials in conjunction with gel printing.

I started with hot colors, brayering paints onto the plate and then impressing it with the packing materials before taking my prints.


To add more contrast, I over-printed with white.


I used both lightweight copy paper and dry wax deli papers, my collage elements of choice. 


The key to working effectively with the gel plate is creating layers.


Layers and layers and layers


Don't be afraid to mash one print down on top of another, again and again. The imagery is interesting specifically because of its complexity!


Leave a lot of negative space to achieve high contrast...


...or allow the prints to blur together for lower contrast.


Change colors frequently on the plate and don't worry too much about cleaning it meticulously after each print.  


If you stick with an analogous color scheme (three colors next to each other on the color wheel), you won't risk muddying your colors, so don't think too much about the process, just brayer and print, and brayer and print.


Happy new year!!
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