Friday, June 10, 2016

Getting Ikat with Gel Press

Welcome to the Gel PressBlog Hop featuring Zentangle inspired projects by all of our great creative team. Hop through all of the posts then go to the Gel PressBlog and comment on how you were inspired. One person 18 or over will win a Petite Set! Go to the Gel PressJunkie page on Facebook and share your Gel Press creations! "LIKE" our product page for the latest news on All Things Gel Press!

My love affair with all thing Ikat (pronounced 'ee-KAHT') is still going strong.  Our challenge for this post is to create something using zentangle.  I love to look at other artists' zentangles and what they do with this emerging art form but I must say, it's not for me to create.  However, I view Ikat as very simlar to zentangle as an art form: They are both about creating unique patterns.  For whatever reason, Ikat really speaks to me.  So I am combining my love of this art form with my love for Gel Press™printing. To be honest, I have a zentangle stamp that I could use and be done with this project very quickly.  But I really want to try my hand at creating an Ikat pattern.  Oh why, oh why, must I always take the harder path?!

Ikat, or ikkat, is a dyeing technique used to pattern textiles that employs a resist dyeing process on the yarns prior to dyeing and weaving the fabric. In ikat the resist is formed by binding individual yarns or bundles of yarns with a tight wrapping applied in the desired pattern. The yarns are then dyed.

I decided to use a large piece of butcher paper to create my pattern.  Since the Gel Press™ comes in petite shapes, I figured I could use the triangle to make a diamond and the oval for my shapes and use them as guides to create my pattern.

Before starting my project, I practiced making the Ikat shapes.  My practice sheet is in the photo below.  Using the Gel Press™ to make my pattern is going to make this much easier to create.

24" x 18" Butcher Paper
Angle Paint Brush
Acrylic Paint


Mount the triangle Gel Press™onto an acrylic block and set up the 5"x 7" Gel Press™.  I kept my sample sheet close by for reference.

Apply paint to the 5" x 7" Gel Press™ and brayer it.  Press the triangle Press onto the  5"x 7" Gel Press™ to load paint onto the triangle.  I'm using the triangle as a stamp and 5"x 7" Gel Press™ as the ink pad.

Stamp twice, reloading paint in between, to create a diamond shape.

I filled a bit over half the paper before I got bored with the shape and decided to include an oval.

Repeat the process using the oval Gel Press™ and blue paint.

Clean the Gel Press™ Plates and put them away in the clam shell package.  Place a small amount of the purple paint onto the acrylic block.  An angle brush is important for this technique.  I tried it with a regular flat brush and it did not give me the result I wanted.

Hold the brush so the longest point is facing up and make short strokes along the edges of each diamond with the tip of the brush.  It's better to have less paint on the brush to get feathery strokes.  The edges should look blurry or hairy.  Reload the brush often with more paint.  I made several layers in some places.

Repeat the same process for the blue ovals.

Add layers of colors using the same painting technique.

Ikat patterns are typically bright colors so I layered colors that would pop against one another.

Here is the completed sheet.  So what am I going to do with it?  I thought about wrapping a gift with it, but this took lots of time and the thought of someone ripping it apart and throwing it away didn't make me happy.  So I got out one of my art journals.

I realized that I could cover two journal spreads using this size paper.  So I cut the sheet in half and glued it down using matte medium.  

I printed out some images that represent what I love about Ikat.  Identifying and recording what inspires me is a great way to use my art journal and this spread does just that! I want to play more with these patterns!

For more inspiration, visit the other designers' blogs:
Kathy   <------- you are here

For more info on Ikat:
The History of Ikat
How It's Made Video
How to Paint Ikat

Monday, May 30, 2016

Mixed Up Manic Memorial Monday

Hi creatives! Hope you are having a fun-filled extra long weekend! I had a marathon Gel Press printing session on Friday night where I used lots of my favorite stencils and some rubbing plates that I bought a while back but never used.  I shared some of my prints on Instagram and you can check it out HERE. While you are there, how about following me?  I am planning on using it more and more so stay tuned for some sneak peaks of future projects, and up-to-the-moment snapshots of my art-in-progress. Well, maybe a few dog pics thrown in once in a while too!

I pulled out my 6"x6" Gel Press and a stack of cheap white card stock, 8 1/2" x 11, from Office Depot. I used lots of different paints, including heavy body, fluids, cheap and expensive.

I used rubbing plates for these prints. 
I think the first three would look better using the round Gel Press. 

The next few prints I used Art Anthology mediums.

Used Gemstones and Retro Stencil from Art Anthology

I love the bright orange, Art Anthology Juicy Colorations Spray, against the purple Art Anthology Velvet medium.  The spray resists the medium.  So cool!

**Do you notice anything interesting about the last two elephants?  If you do, you might want to know how I did that. I'll be doing a blog post on this technique for my next Gel Press blog post. (see the ** at bottom of this post for the answer)

Here is a sneak peek of my project for Art Anthology's blog on June 3 that will include a tutorial. 

And here is a sneak peek of my project for the Gel Press blog on June 8th.  I used Natalie Kalbach's bird foam/rubber stamp set for this project.

** Did you notice that the elephants are facing in different directions?  I used Natalie's stamp for them, so how did I get one of them facing the opposite direction?  I will show you how I did it in my tutorial on the Gel Press blog on June 8th. 

Please comment below about your favorite creative ways to use gel prints.  I have so many and I need some inspiration!!  

Thank you for visiting!