Another Look at Using Gelli Arts Printing Plates

July 3, 2013

130408_IFJM_FinchesDetailLeft: One of the pages from my 2013 fake journal, which contains a lot of printed bits made using the Gelli Arts Printing Plate.

My demo last Wednesday at Wet Paint was a ton of fun. I appreciate everyone coming out and being so receptive to this fun art tool.

A couple people had some questions about how I created the pages for my 2013 fake journal—which was what I started using the Gelli Arts Printing Plate (GAPP) for in the first place. The conversations got a little fractured when people started printing their own prints.

I thought I would post another page from that journal and recap the process here—but you can read more about how I tested materials, and how I used the GAPP on the Official International Fake Journal Blog. Just go to the category list on that blog and select "Roz's 2013 Fake Journal." Most of the related posts will come up. Or browse that blog's archives from March 2013 through May. (There are also posts on this blog about my 2013 fake journal which will provide you links to get to those review posts.)

130408_IFJM_FinchesDetailLabeledLeft: Here's the same image with some callouts that I detail in the following text.

I explained on Wednesday my working process—I put paint on the plate, clean my brayer in a journal (to use that extra paint to create background texture and color on a page spread), put items on the plate, make a print, remove the items and put them in my journal to get any extra paint off in the journal (essentially using them as "stamps"), put a new sheet of paper on the plate and make a ghost image. Sometimes I pick up the GAPP at this point and use it as a stamp in my journal. (The plate is a little wobbly and slippery when you pick it up and flip it but it can be done. Or if you prefer you can flip the journal you're printing in and mash it down onto the plate—it's harder to control placement, but it gives a fun effect.) Then I clean the plate and start with an new round of colors. 

I worked on most of the pages in my fake journal that way, before I ever started journaling in it.

I like backgrounds.

So if you look at the labeled page the following applies:

A: Brayer full of paint was rolled on the page. Also under the blue paint you can see a sort of honeycomb of brown lines. These were the imprint from a stencil that had been on the plate and moved over and stamped into the journal.

B. Bubble wrap that had been pressed into the plate was removed and pressed into the journal.

C. Under the blue here you can still see the original brown line print that was everywhere over the page.

D. Collaged paper scraps—oranged textured paper at the letter. Also below a piece of a technical manual sent to me by someone participating in the interactive portion of my celebration of fake journals this year.

E. Collaged scrap of blue paper that had been printed using the GAPP.

F. Bird sketches made from life (at the aviary of an elder care facility) with BienFang Watercolor brushes on thin Japanese paper. These were sandwiched with the same paper in yellow, and then they were glued to the page. 

G. Rubberstamping a line of solid dots with Brilliance rubberstamp ink. Also stamping, deliberately out of register, a series of circles of the same size, in a different ink color. At the bottom of the page you'll also see additional stamping: Numbers and lines, and of course the red dot that appeared on each finished page.

H. Stenciling with Brilliance rubberstamp inks. (That's a portion of an O or U I allowed to bleed off the top of the page.)

That's the order things happened as well. (The red dot going on last.)


Left: Another page spread from my 2013 fake journal using the GAPP to create the page. Behind the man's face you'll see all the same techniques used on this page. In addition he was painted on a piece of lined paper (actually several pieces as this is Piecemeal Style) and you can also see washi tape at the hairline. I used a Sepia Pentel Colorbrush for the face sketch. (Note: Pentel Colorbrushes are NOT lightfast, if that matters to you, but they are fun to use.)

All of the elements in these pages were built on the prepainted pages. I would work on them well in advance of journaling. Then when it was time to journal on a page I would turn the page and see what was on the page, and respond to in in some way. In this way I got a lot of texture and many layers, but with no "real" outlay of time. If I had sat down to build a page from scratch I would have had drying time for each phase, and glue drying time, and so on. By working constantly ahead in the journal, doing bits and pieces on various pages—all when I had a few moments of spare time—I was able to arrive at a journal page all built up and just ready for my final journaling.

If you read my other blog you'll also see that many times I simply used my sketches, a pile of which I created on a daily basis, as "collage material." The keeper of my fake journal wasn't really interested in creating a journal that explained anything about her life and often the images don't relate to the journaling.

In my regular journals I'm always working ahead in a similar fashion—always prepainting page spreads, pre-gluing collage scraps on to pages. I find that when I get to those pages it provides a great break from the totally blank page I might have just dealt with on a previous spread. 

Note: I just thought to make a "Gelli Arts Printing Plate" category in my category list. However I have already written many posts about this "tool." To find the other posts, if this is the first you've come upon on my blog, please use the blog's search engine, or check the category cloud for "Printing" and "Specialty Tools." I doubt I'll remember to go back and retag all the related posts, but will try to put future Gelli Arts Printing Plate posts in its new category. Thanks.

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