I really like gel printing! I like the surprise factor of never knowing exactly what the print will look like. Some of my prints I love. Some, not so much.
Here are the prints I made during the first week's worth of lessons:
After I did the first day's foundational lesson, I kept playing.
These 3 prints were made after I discovered what happens when you try to make mud. I wanted beige paint and knew I could make it by mixing the primary colors and white. I mixed the colors on a gel plate and then cleaned my brayer on a piece of paper. What was cleaned off the brayer did not look beige. I wanted to see if I could duplicate that effect purposely. So again I put red, blue, yellow paint dabs on a gel plate, mixed them with the brayer, added white. Voila, a pretty beige, at least that's how it looked on the plate. I added a favorite stencil and pulled off some excess paint.
These are the surprising prints. Not very beige!
Paint and stencil.
Paint, a piece of ribbed plastic, foam stamps.
I really like these prints. There's a certain control, like maybe I could duplicate this.
The white and orange 6x6 gel plate in the corner is waiting for me to add something else,
though I don't know exactly what it will be.
Day 4: Q. What happens when you add lots of colors to the same gel plate?
plate 1 -- first pull left, ghost print right
plate 2 -- first pull left, ghost print right
I'm using up a lot of old craft paint. You know the kind -- on sale for 50c a bottle or 3/$1. I've had some of it for a long time and it's time to use it up. Not high quality paint, but it does make for some interesting results: When I made this I hadn't figured out how to get less paint to come out, so these prints took a looong time to dry; if the paint isn't fully shaken it comes out separated; and the brayer slips and slides around if I'm not careful.
Day 5: Q. What do you do if you have an ugly or uninteresting print?
A. Add more color and pattern!
I made this print for the grunge lesson.
I thought I might improve it.
This looks less interesting than the original.
Sometimes "fixing" a print does not make it better.
And sometimes it does!
I love how vibrant this print it.
The camera didn't capture it all, but the background has a lot of very interesting green bits.
I learned about gel printing about a year ago when I watched a video on the blog at Joggles.com, where they sell the Gel Press printing plates. Last October I saw that Carolyn Dube was teaching a gel printing class at Art-is-You, and it seemed the perfect time to try out this new technique. What a great introduction!
Mastering the Layers is Carolyn's 3 week online course which is greatly expanding my understanding of print making, how to use a gel plate, and, because it's Carolyn, FUN!