On Wednesday last I had a Gelli party with myself using some junk I had been saving around the studio. I made several 'mark making tools' and then used them on my 8" X 10" Gelli Plate to pull a bunch of cool prints :) There are two things about making Gelli prints I must point out though. One is how freakin' addicting the process is. You think you are going to just make a few...then HOURS later you have a whole stack because you just couldn't stop! The other thing is that feeling of "OK now what do I DO with these prints" I think some of my friends answer to that would be 'hoard them because they are so cool' But in this post I show you what I did with some of mine. I made a canvas collage with a big butterfly :)
So I started out using this big box of things I had 'saved for the good' in my studio. There was toilet paper rolls, Styrofoam meat trays, netting from onion bags, lids of water bottles, shelf liner bits, corrugated cardboard, you know...JUNK. I used up all this stuff making mark making tools. The Styrofoam trays became the base of most of my tools and I used hot glue to stick some of the other things on it. I also cut strips of Styrofoam to make a sort of 'stamp' type thing. As you can see below..I had FUN and I made a ton of prints. The paper base I chose this time was newsprint from a big sketching pad. It is a nice weight for collage.
To begin my collage I started with a blank 12" X 18" canvas. I torn some of my lighter orangey/turquoise prints into strips for my back ground and attached them using matte gel medium. I like the GEL medium for attaching thicker papers. I also prefer a matte look. You could use a gloss medium if you like yours to be shiny.
Next I drew a butterfly shape on a piece of deli paper. I like to make patterns from deli paper because it is lightweight..adding no bulkiness to my collage and it is also translucent so I can use it from either side. I picked out some prints that were orangey/yellowy for my butterfly.
Then I decided I wanted my butterfly to have a black background. So I brayered over the deli paper with black gesso. Why gesso? It is very matte finish where as my black acrylic has a sheen. Then I cut out my butterfly and attached it to the canvas using liquid matte medium. I prefer the LIQUID for attaching light papers such as deli paper, tissue, or napkins.
Now to start forming the wings. I cut pieces of my varied orangey/yellowy papers and started to fill in the sections of the wings. Attaching the pieces with matte gel medium.
Then somewhere in the middle of doing the wings..I got distracted by the background. I decided I needed some branches and leaves. So I torn strips of a brownish/rust print and started attaching those. Then I cut some leaves from a darker turquoise/green print for my leaves.
Then I went back to finishing my butterfly. Filling in the wings and body and making eyes. Once I was all done and had let it dry..I came back and decided it still needed 'something'. So I punched out some flowers from a light yellow/pink prints. I attached these to my leafy clusters on my branches.
Then..I went away and watched an episode of Chopped on food network and had a fudgecicle :) When I came back...I started doing detail work with my white and black acrylic paint pens. I tried out my new Molotow white pen but don't see much difference between it and my beloved Posca pens.
Next I wanted to add more depth with some shadowed areas. This is a subtle step..but I really like to do it. I used my very water reactive Stabilo All pencil in black. Because my entire collage is sealed with matte medium..it is very easy to blend out my pencil using a Aquash water brush. Compare the top area to the bottom area to see the difference in this photo.
My final touch to this canvas was to add some diluted white acrylic paint spatters. I used my fan brush to do this..tap tap tap.
Here are some close ups of the canvas. I collage over the edges so it is ready to hang with just a thumb tack :)
I hope you enjoyed this Gelli print collage on canvas :)