Exploring Mixed Media: 5

Continuing with the Gelli printing & stencilling, I used my original source photos as a start point and reproduced some of the images then cut stencils & masks, plus addition pieces to widen my selection.

These thin acetate stencils are quite robust although hard on the hands to cut with an Xacto knife.  I also cut ‘fronds’ from Yupo – much quicker but they will have a shorter lifespan.  Both positive and negative cuts will be used.

Cutting Tip: When making masks or stencils where you are creating several similar shapes it’s a good idea to cut them as one; i.e. with a bar at one end so they stay together.  They are simple to handle and if the bar is placed below the base line of your background it makes picking the stencil up very easy after printing.

This method also provides the option of selectively masking, or printing, areas by slipping some of the stencil sections underneath the paper so they are discounted.  However, one of my main reasons for working this way is so I don’t have loads of stencils getting tangled or lost.  And they are quick to position if you’ve planned them properly in advance.

I’m not a painter and use acrylics infrequently so here are a few of my initial trials:

Left to right: 1. Paint rolled Gelli plate, acetate stencil resist, overlaid paper pressed with a baren. 2. Painted stencil placed directly onto paper and pressed. 3. Remaining paint on Gelli plate left to dry, then grey paint rolled over the surface and print taken.  The plate had been lightly misted with water, hence the speckled effect.

Left to right: 1. Acetate resist fronds, sponge stippling through stencil. 2. Embossing plate pressed onto painted Gelli plate, overlaid with rolled acetate stencil leaf. 3. Acetate resist trees on rolled background, overlaid with paint-rolled rubber bathmat ‘stones’.

What have I learned so far?

  • Acrylic paints dry very quickly, even Flow acrylics, so getting good image transfer onto dry paper can be an issue.
  • Some of my acrylics are Atelier Interactive brand which are reactivated by water so using a thicker paper, dampened with a cloth is enabling better transfer.
  • When colour mixing using a range of paint brands together, as long as one of them is an Interactive it will improve the transfer process to damp paper.
  • Once equipment has been used immediately submerge it in water to aid removal of residual paint.  Then clean completely.  Leaving acrylics to dry on rollers, paintbrushes, sponges, stencils, etc is a mistake and it requires a lot of effort to clean dried paint.
  • Rolling acrylic paint onto slick acetate stencils is very difficult.  Both the roller and the paint slips around and I’ve not yet managed solid coverage.

The next stage is to work on multiple layers.

About Claire B

I'm a passionate printmaker, paper-maker and a poor sketcher (which I'm working to improve). I've stitched from early childhood and am a perpetual student, loving learning and participating in everything creative.
This entry was posted in Design Play, My Creative Pieces and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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