Three videos – Why Use Gesso, How to Seal Paper Stencils & 3 Ways to Use Gelatos

Today I have three videos for you – 3 Gelato techniques, How to Seal Paper Stencils, & a How To & Why use Gesso. It’s a mediums kind of a day today. YAY!

Over at StampNation, we’re right in the middle of a live Masterclass with Faber-Castell. Last week the coverage was all about Gelato techniques – those super richly pigments little sticks of colorful joy. I’ll be honest – I have had Gelatos on my wishlist for three years (a girl can’t buy it all…and Santa kept skipping over them…guess I wasn’t nice enough…lol).

Faber-Castell Gelato Techniques

I finally got my hands on two of the 15 piece sets – Iridescents and Pastels. Plus last week I was showcasing at a Trunk Show over at Betty’s Creative Studio in Greensboro, NC with Catherine Pooler…and Betty had this WHOLE WALL of Faber-Castell goodness. (Insert Heavenly music and cherubs here…okay – no cherubs).

Seriously – all the colors individually, in sets, stencils, mediums, tools – you name it! Well, I had to quickly snap up 8 more colors. There are 68 gorgeous colors available, and I want them all after this last week. I seriously can’t put them down – I have gelato techniques on the brain. I’m surprised I haven’t put them on my lips yet…lol. OKAY – be honest – who has? Tell me in the comments!

Here’s the skinny…Gelato’s are a little chapstick like tube that is super richly pigmented and creamy. They literally (no joke) go on like butter – and yes, I’m saying that in a thick Long Island, NY voice. There are so many quick, simple techniques you can do with these little sticks from heaven. Today I’m teaching you three simple ones.

Faber-Castell Gelato Techniques

But first…a little prep is required for our project and tools. I thought I’d film two 1 minute tool tip videos for you – whoohoo!

How and Why to Use Gesso

Before we can even talk about Gelato techniques, we have to talk about Gesso. To spread like butter – you need to prep your work surface a bit with Gesso. This video talks about how to do this, and WHY:

Click Here to watch in HD on YouTube

Now that your paper is prepped – you can always use watercolor paper too, but regular cardstock works just fine with gesso. I do several full sheets at once and set them aside to dry – it’s great having those cut down and ready to use when I need to!

Gesso also comes in clear and black. I’ve been using Gesso for a while now in Mixed Media projects. Another great use for it is to go right over a mistake – it’s a blank slate…love that! (And I’ll admit…I’ve had to use that before)

How to Seal Paper Stencils

Faber-Castell makes these awesome paper stencil packs. For about $7 you can get TEN 6×6 stencils – seriously!!! When a regular stencil costs $5-$8, I’ll take $.70 any day! Plus the packs are themed – there are some Mixed Media ones, patterns – you have five packets to choose from.

But the dilemma for me was…I like to use wet mediums with my stencils – so why have to replace something? Regular stencils are made out of a plastic material, thus can take wet mediums and abuse. Paper, not so much. SO…seal them! This is where Glaze medium comes in handy. Plus you can use it for other things too (semi gloss look, collages, etc).

Here’s a quick little 1 minute video to show you just how to seal your stencils:

Click Here to watch on YouTube in HD

Okay – so we’ve got our stencils sealed, and our paper is prepped. Here’s the big tutorial you’ve been waiting for.

Three Gelato Techniques

At its core – a Gelato is a colored medium. Just like an ink pad – it’s a medium you can manipulate in several ways to add vibrant color to your projects. If you think of it like that, it’s not so scary – you use ink pads every day?!!

You’re going to learn how to use gelatos to do three techniques today: Seamless Wet Blending, the Vanishing Stencil Technique, and how to stamp with Gelatos.

Here’s a video to show you exactly how:

Click Here to watch on YouTube in HD

Blending is the most basic Gelato techniques. If you’ve rubbed your gelatos over cardstock that hasn’t be gesso’d, it’s not going to blend well. And forget about using water. To use water – you need watercolor paper or gesso’d cardstock. It’s just frustrating without the proper set up – set yourself up for success!

Regular blending and water blending is a very different look. Try them both and see which one you like more!

Tips for Seamless Wet Blending

  • To get that seamless look, use your finger or a paint brush. I like to use my fingers, as I can really control what and where the medium flows.
  • Control your water – don’t add too much at the start – go gradual, better to need to add, than have to take away
  • Spray a little water onto your craft mat or acrylic block for a quick place to draw just a little H2O
  • Choose colors that blend well – stay away from complimentary colors that will create mud
  • Keep going – if you feel it needs a pop of color – directly add your gelato for a little pop

I’m a stencil addict – and the vanishing stencil is a huge wow for me. Usually I’m always adding color through a stencil – so to remove it is fun.

Tips for the Vanishing Stencil Technique

  • Pull away with a clean part of your baby wipe, twist and rotate it to get a clean piece. You don’t want to transfer right back down
  • Keep your stencil steady – if you aren’t confident you can hold it in place, secure it with tape
  • Your gelato base can’t be set. The best result is to create your background color then remove while still slightly wet even.

Once you’ve removed the color – try adding a new one in the newly blank space! Tip for adding color through a stencil – add it to your stencil and wick it to your project with a tool or fingers. It’s much easier than jamming that creamy stick through the stencil!

Gelato Techniques

Tips for Stamping with Gelatos

While I didn’t end up using that piece in the project – it did turn out super cool. Be sure to properly remove your gelato from your stamp when done. A baby wipe or water should do the trick.

  • Add an even layer of color to your stamp
  • Lightly spritz with a fine mist spritzer. Try not to over water your stamp – you will lose a lot of the crispness in your image the more you add

So how was that? Now it’s YOUR turn! Seriously, don’t be afraid of this medium. It’s super easy to get crafty with.

Do you have Gelatos? Do you have favorite Gelato techniques? If so – tell me what you think in the comments below. If they are in a drawer – get them out and have some colorful fun.

Faber-Castell Masterclass

I’m looking forward to experimenting with more Gelato techniques and if you’re not a StampNation member – be sure to check it out. We had a Gelatos challenge this week (with a prize – still time to enter) Here is a little of the inspiration from the Dream Team:

There are over 700 videos, and several classes. There’s a live chat with Faber-Castell directly answering your questions this Thursday – hope you stop by there!

Till next time –

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About Ingrid Blackburn

Comments

  1. Thank you Ingrid for the fun tutorial and tips. Gelatos are my favorite meduim for mixed media and totally have fun creating with them. I am looking forward to see more videos on SN forum.

  2. Love your techniques and your card. What die did you use to cut the stenciled piece?

  3. Theresa T says:

    Hi Ingrid,
    Awesome card. I was curious, what type of paper are you using for working with gesso? Standard cardstock or watercolor paper. I just picked up some gelatos and gesso and was curious.
    Thanks so much
    Theresa

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