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Tutorial: Painting on a gelli print

Relax with some realtime gelli printing and speed gouache…

Watch the video below and scroll to the end to leave comments or questions — or click HERE to watch it on YouTube and leave comments over there. I read both dutifully!

Gelli plates & brayers

I’m no expert – but I do know there seem to be 2 companies that make the plates – Gel Press and Gelli. I have some of each; so far I don’t see a major difference between them. Keep alllll the plastic when you open them – you’ll want the heavy plastic sheets for both sides, plus the plastic box they come in. You can wiped them down with baby wipes but for a full cleaning I just take them to the sink and stick them in a big pan of soapy water to clean them up.

I’m using soft rubber brayers by Speedball, a 6″ and 3-1/2″…..guage your size by how big your plate is.

Lefranc & Bourgeois Flashe Vinyl Paints

I’m not completely sure what these are, but these  were in the aisle with the acrylics. The manufacturer’s website says they were first made in 1954, come in over 70 colors, and were Europe’s first synthetic paint…

As versatile as it is revered, Flashe can be used on almost any surface for a consistent matt finish. Made with high quality, single pigments wherever possible, Flashe is designed for mixing.

Whatever these are, they feel like good paints, not that I know what makes a “vinyl emulsion” a good one. But they dry like gouache, so they seem to be a good pairing! They’re pricey though, that’s a drawback – but if you have one color you really want to play with, it’s worth getting a jar to see how they work with your other paints.

That spatula thing…

They’re Tonic’s Nuvo Spatulas.  Nice and soft, no hard edges; you don’t want anything sharp poking into a gelli plate, including any of the tools you use around it.

Gouache painting

The transfer passed by while I was yapping during the voiceover – I was using white transfer paper, Bet you didn’t know that existed! I flipped my sketch so i could turn it to match the direction I wanted to place the dragonfly.

The first blue layer under the body was painted in the Flashe paints, and it showed me they take far longer to dry than gouache. But the gouache covered it nicely without any lifting once it was dry. 

Using these two together will apparently LOOK like they go together, but please don’t be fooled into thinking these will make your art qualify as a “watercolor” piece (for shows that require all-watercolor and include gouache on the approved list). These are water-mixable, and can be diluted, butI don’t know enough about them to give much more info. Research will be forthcoming since I do seem to like these a lot.

The dragonfly

The dragonfly reference photo is flipped horizontally. I had to fuss with colors since my background is totally different colors – make sure you have your background showing through those transparent wings. 🙂

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  1. Gelli plates:
  2. Speedball rubber brayer 6″ 
  3. Speedball rubber brayer 3-1/2 
  4. Flashe paints (different colors cost different amounts)...the colors I chose:
    • Verdaccio (green)
    • Blanc (white)
    • Gris de Payne (Paynes Gray)
    • Bleu de Prusse (Prussian Blue)
    • Ocre Rouge (Red Ochre)
  5. Saral White Transfer Paper 
  6. Yasutomo Sumi Sketch Paper 
  7. Tonic Nuvo Studio Spatulas 
  8. Daniel Smith Gouache 
  9. Jack Richeson travel brush set for gouache Blick • Amazon

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