Distressed Gel Print backgrounds

Last week I taught a couple of gel printing classes and had a blast seeing others fall in love with the process and results. As you might imagine I have many prints now, a big box waiting to be used. I thought I would use a few scrappy patchy prints as backgrounds. Some of these prints are ghost prints where I pick up a patchy layer of paint left on the gel print after a more distinct print has been taken. I also have some patchy distressed looking prints taken from a damaged gel plate. I don’t know how the surface got damaged but I still use it as a place to roll out paint before brayering on the main plate or to clean off excess paint after brayering on the main plate. The little dots you see on today’s prints are from imperfections in the damaged plate.

On the print above you can see not only the specks of black paint from the plate but also the leftover paint from the border of the plate. Most gel printers love being able to pick up some of those colourful leftovers on a future print.

Both the print above and the one below were made from excess paint so there is very little defined pattern but instead some lovely specks, blends and blobs.

I chose to make cards from these prints not just because I wanted distressed backgrounds but also because it shows how even the scrappy, incomplete, messy prints can be worth saving.

The only colour on the background print above was some black. I used rustic wilderness, wild honey and frayed burlap archival inks to stamp flowers and grasses from Darkroom Door sets, nature walk and wildflowers vol 2.

The ghost print above was pulled with rice paper. When I stamped the purple flowers in versafine clair they soaked through the paper and spread to give the image a halo surrounding it. Although it was an interesting effect I switched to archival inks for the rest of my stamping as they sit of the surface and dry quickly.

I used similar colours to stamp flowers from DD sets, tall flowers and art de fleur vol 1 over the purple ghost print.

The print above was by far the busiest one I used so a bright contrasting colour seemed like a good idea. I used thistle, wild honey and faded jeans archival inks to stamp flowers from DD sets, nature walk and wildflowers vol 2. I also added some text with a stamp from the nature walk set

To attach the cards to the neenah card bases I used double sided adhesive sheets. I added some black and white paint splatter and Darkroom Door sentiments.

If you have read right to the end you are a champion. If you are a gel printer I hope you are inspired to use a few of those patchy prints you might otherwise discard. I have been using them in my art journals but it is nice to see them on cards too and it’s not as if I am going to run out anytime soon!


7 Comments on “Distressed Gel Print backgrounds”

  1. patricia rowe says:

    No wonder you had fun. These look amazing. I love the hazy or ghostly look.
    these are great. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Brechtje says:

    They are right beautful. The combination of gel printing and stamping is a very good one.

  3. cakewizzardhotmailcom says:

    Looks like a lot of fun. Makes me want to get right at my Gelli plate!!!

  4. Pat says:

    These are all wonderful scrap gelli print pieces which make brilliant backgrounds, and the wild flowers stamped over them go beautifully Heather. x

  5. Clelie says:

    I had to chuckle…yes, I read to the very end!☺ I love ghost pulls, the feel of the plate connecting with the paper before a pull…and BITS OF LEFTOVER PAINT!…AND I have a box of leftover pulls waiting for inspiration to transform them into cards. Thanks so much for sharing these beautiful examples!♥

  6. nancystiz says:

    These are brililant! And to think I threw away my ugly prints. Never thought to try and use them. Love the backgrounds on these and it shows what creativity can achieve by using them. Thank you for the inspiration! I’ll never toss one again.

  7. nise says:

    Nifty! I don’t have a gel plate and am not sure how much I would use one, then I see creations like yours and am now wondering about a future tool investment. Thank you for some thoughtful inspiration.

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