I purchased a Gel Press a few months ago, but it’s been sitting idly in the package ever since because I just wasn’t sure where to begin. I watched quite a few YouTube videos, but it still seemed a bit daunting to me. Through all this, I discovered Carolyn Dube’s website, A Colorful Journey. She’s an amazing Gel Press artist and teacher, so when I saw last week she was offering a new Gel Printing FUNdamentals online workshop, I jumped at the chance and signed up! The class doesn’t officially start until next week (August 28), but even after just watching her introductory/welcome videos, I couldn’t resist pulling out my Gel Press and playing.
As is generally the case on my blog, you can click any of the images to see a larger view. I think that’s something you’ll definitely want to do for this post. A small photo just isn’t enough. 🙂
This is the very first print I created and I absolutely LOVE how it turned out. Using the tips Carolyn provided in the intro videos, I figured out how to avoid brayer lines in my print, how to achieve a good blend, and more. I used a combination of regular acrylic and metallics to create this patina look. I really wish the gorgeous shimmer of this card would show up in the photos. As usual, the photos simply don’t do it justice.
I achieved this look by doing three different layers. For the first layer, I mixed some Viridian and White together to give me a soft teal color. For the next layer, I used some Festive Green metallic to punch up the green a bit and give it a little shimmer. I decided it was a bit too green though, so I added a layer of gold metallic on a whim. That’s when the amazing patina effect happened. I’m so glad I took Carolyn’s advice and just kept going with it rather than giving up which I was definitely considering after the second pull.
Naturally, I couldn’t let this gorgeous print go unused. After it was good and dry, I turned it into a card straight away. Since I used a 5×7″ Gel Press to create the print, I started by trimming it down first. I decided which section I liked best, then trimmed it to 3-7/8″ x 5-1/8″.
Since I didn’t want my stamped images detracting from the gorgeous print, I decided to keep everything just plain black and white. To dress it up a bit, I decided to try the stamp etching technique I learned from my friend Lydia over at Understand Blue. I definitely need some more practice with this technique, but I thought it turned out pretty well for my first attempt.
The stamps I used are from the Bloomin’ Bouquet set from the Counting Blessings Stamp of Approval collection by Catherine Pooler Designs. I used the coordinating dies for the foliage, but since I did a bit of masking to have two flowers bunched together on my card, I had to fussy cut them. If I were doing it again, I wouldn’t bother with the masking. I would have stamped them separately and using the coordinating dies. This would have given me the opportunity to put them at different heights to create more dimension. Since I masked them, I added a little shading with Copic markers (C2 and C0) instead.
I stamped one of the sentiments from the stamp set directly on the print using VersaFine Black Onyx ink. While the ink was still wet, I added some clear embossing powder then used my heat tool to set it.
To assemble the card, I matted the patina layer on a piece of black card stock cut to 4 x 5-1/4″ using Tombow liquid glue. I used the Tombow glue because the print warped a bit as I was heat embossing the sentiment and I knew a good strong glue would help keep it flattened out. I adhered the foliage directly to the patina layer using some more of the Tombow liquid glue. Finally, I adhered the flowers over the foliage using some thin foam squares and that completed the card.
Until next time …