More gelatin printing!!

In my last post I wanted to show some pictures of the process of gelatin printing. But before I do that let me show the gelatin plate itself. I made up a batch of gelatin using 12 packages of unflavored gelatin in a 9 x 13 glass baking pan with instructions from printmaking without a press blog which was very informative. Go check her out - she has lots of excellent tips on gelatin printing. The biggest plus in making your own is that you can make it as big as you like. Also if I were to do this again I would use a dedicated shallow jelly roll pan and just leave the gelatin in it. I'm sure one has to make lots of batches until one gets it just right.

After it has set up on the counter, you take a knife or something similar and go around the edges to loosen and then very very carefully flip it out onto some plastic support. I used a white kitchen garbage bag wrapped around some thick cardboard. Then place it the refrigerator and let it set up until it's really firm. I did mine overnight. Notice how it hogs up a lot of space. Make sure to let family members know that this is not something to eat.

So on to the printing. The next picture shows how to brayer the paint onto the gelatin. You can also brayer it off to one side and then roll it on too. It's probably a good idea to use a softer brayer like the Speedball tan one instead of this black one but that's all I had to use.

Next I added a mask cut on my die cutting machine in the shape of a dress form. I laid it down over the paint on the plate to block out the color. I placed the paper on top, smoothed it out with my hands and pulled it off the plate. The dress form mask left a white impression on the colored paper.

Please excuse my bad picture taking skills. The picture on the left was taken the next day in a different location. If you look closely you can see a hint a plant sprig that was left behind from a previous print. Not sure how that happened but I like it.

 After that first print was dry I went ahead and inked up another color - I think it was a ultramarine blue with a texture plate (Laura Murray?) pressed gently into the paint on the gelatin plate and then pulled off. After that dried I added some Golden yellow ocher and burnt sienna acrylic glaze.

Here are a few more examples of printing with masks.

 Some nice plant sprigs

 Some funky circles
This one is just plain odd looking but you gotta try different color combinations to see what happens. That's what is so fun about doing this. Note: I used a mask that had paint dried on it and it pulled up some of the gelatin with it. Hopefully this won't be a problem when I go to use the Gelli printing plate. I just wish my Gelli printing plate order would come in sooner! More later!

Fun with gelatin printing

Yesterday I got to mess around with gelatin printing and had a blast. A gelatin printing plate is no more than a batch of unflavored gelatin made in a baking pan and flopped out onto a piece of plastic (preferably something waterproof and transportable). What was not so fun, however, is how messy it can be if you're not super careful and in my case I managed to get it on my kitchen counter which if you don't catch it in time will harden to a stiff sticky goo. The other problem was that it did not set up as well as I had thought so it started cracking after about an hour or so of printing. Here in Arizona it gets pretty hot and we keep our thermostats up around 80 degrees or so and I think it may affect the firmness if left out too long.

You know, life is too short so I'm getting a Gelli printing plate here so that I don't have these hassles anymore and I can get to the fun part right away!!

On to the good stuff. I tried all kinds of paints and stencils and anything I could get my hands on to make marks carefully onto the gelatin plate. I especially loved the unexpected results and the interaction of colors between layers superimposed on one another. It's so nice to have less control over the process of art making and to let the wonderful experiments happen. I wish I had taken pictures of what this process looks like. Maybe next time. In the meantime here are just a few I will share with you out of the 24 prints I made. Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you that you can make a lot of multi-layered prints in just a few hours which makes it very addicting.

This was done in 3 layers: yellow green with red splotches followed by blue metallic paint then a dark reddish purple. The stencil (Crafters Workshop) was laid down on the final layer and the paper laid down over that and printed. Here are a few more:

Recycled cracker box gift bag

After I finished the French millinery kit project for alteredpages I still had some paper left over from the 8 x 8 Glitz Touched with Grace paper pad. It just so happens that the boxes that snack crackers come in are the same size as the papers with some extra to wrap around the sides. I used one pattern for the front and a different one for the back and they fit perfectly. All that was needed was some trim, a nice little french lady and ribbon for the handle. You could do the same to a cereal box which also happens to be a little less than 8 x 11 inches wide.

 From this

To this

Messing around with alcohol inks on transparencies

Yesterday my friend Rita and I got together at her house and played with alcohol inks on transparency paper. I couldn't stop dropping ink and blowing it around with canned air. Oooooh aaaaah! It takes so little to amuse me. I added a little texture with some sticky back grid stuff which I laid down while the ink was wet then pulled away. The white paper underneath is so you can better see the transparency.

Paper Haul

Last week my art group had a paper swap and this is what I got!! There were 9 people participating and each person was to make 9 bundles of 12 different papers. It really felt like Christmas. Now the next challenge will be how to store and organize these and the already big stash of papers I own together. I might have to go to IKEA and get one of those multi-drawer units. This is getting out of control. If you saw my art room you would know what I mean.

Got a serious case of the cutes

Last night I made a wreath for my door. I picked up a metal flower/sign plaque from Michaels for $2.99 and painted it in bright cheerful colors and used AlteredPages collage sheets Little Lassie and Flower Girls. I think it turned out pretty cute. I just hope that whoever comes to the door doesn't think little Miss Sunshine lives here!

Experimenting with painting tissue paper

Yesterday I painted some tissue paper for a paper swap I'm doing with my art group. I've always wondered about the properties of craft paint vs. Golden fluid acrylics. Starting with the Golden paint I knew I had to add some kind of medium in order to get the volume I needed. So I globbed some gel medium in a container and added water until it had the consistency of milk. Add the water slowly or else you have to stir and stir and stir to get the lumps out. Then I put drops of color in and stirred. Depending on the tint (look on the back label) strength of the color will determine how much you'll need. So for my samples below I used very little paint - drop by drop - to get the color I needed. The problem is the medium I used made the paint very transparent  so I couldn't get the strong color without using a wasteful amount of expensive paint. However, I did like the almost gossamer effect it gave the tissue paper.

 Use a wide soft brush to quickly and gently stroke and pat puddles of paint on.
Here it is drying. I love my new nail polish on my tootsies!
Tip: do not dry your papers on a breezy day even if you have rocks to hold it down with. Also don't walk too fast with your wet paper precariously perched on some foam core board:)

 Here's what quinacridone nickle azo gold looks like.

 Here's what the phthalo turquoise looks like over black and white scrapbook paper.

 Here's what cheap red craft paint added with water looks like over the same scrapbook paper. It's a whole lot stronger in color when used straight. I like both in their own ways but the craft paint wins hands down for the ease of use and strength of color as well as the price. I will have to try some other craft paint colors to see what comes out. Then I'll have to use the painted tissue papers in a collage painting. I hope I didn't bore you too much with my experiments.

My little hat ladies

I've finished my Millinery Hat Ladies project and I'm so pleased with the tres chic result!

I used the image sheet "Millinery Hats",  Glitz "Touched with Grace" 8x8 paper pad, and a 3 ring acrylic stand with chipboard pages all from The French ladies are decked out in their spring finery and are available as a kit. It was fun decorating the ladies with added bits and bobs like lace, feathers, buttons and scraps of fabric.