Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Koala and Kangaroo Collages

The people and animals of Australia are in our thoughts and prayers right now during the horrible fires. Sometimes creating art is a nice way for children to work through their feelings and at the same time honor these beautiful animals. Here are some ways to use your gel plates to create koala or kangaroo collages. 


 8x10 Koala Gelli Print Collage

For the Koalas
 1. Add gray paint to your Gelli Plate
2. Create texture with an old toothbrush (tissue paper or cotton balls)
3. Make a print using 8x10 paper or card stock



Create a simple template using cardstock or posterboard and cut out
Trace template on the textured gray paper and cut out koalas

Background Print

 1. Spread green paint on your gel plate for the trees
2. Make a print
3.Spread a background color and lay down a few flattened branches
4. Make a print using the same green paper


             Add some details to your cut koalas using black and white pens
Glue them to your background print

Here are some steps if you have a small gel press to create
small artworks or cards

1.Repeat the steps above to create a gray textured print using a piece of
paper cut or folded to the size of your plate (5"x5")
2. Spread a background color on your plate and place your koala template
to create a mask.
3. Make a print using the same gray paper. 
4.Now you can add details to your koala using white and black pens or paint.
5. You can add extra details to the background using paint, pens or markers

5"x5" artwork


Here is another idea to create a kangaroo collage
using an 8x10 or larger plate
 1. Spread out a few colors on your plate using your brayer
2. Make a print
3. Create a print using a few different shades of brown paint
(this print was leftover from my fish bowl project that I used for rocks)
4. Draw a simple kangaroo shape. I looked at black silhouettes and illustrations.
5. Add some details using fine black marker. I used a white pastel to a few areas as well
6. Cut out and glue to your background. You can add some extra details to your piece
(I created some kangaroo silhouettes, stars and plants in the foreground)

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Mixed Media Gel Printed Fish Bowls


Here is a fun way to use your gel printed botanical pages to 
create fish bowl or terrarium collages.

 Gather some leaves - the greater variety of silhouettes, the better

 I press mine in an old dictionary. The kids get the biggest kick out of the fact that this is how we used to look up the spelling and definition of a word before the internet. 

 Add some paint to your Gelli Plate - Remember that this will be the color of your plants. With that in mind, you might want to use light or warm colors for a nice contrast.


 Now add some paint for the water or background of your fish bowl or terrarium. Lay down some leaves and make a print using the same paper as above. 

Use a template to trace for the fish bowl. You could use any vessel shape. We used metallic markers and added white pen to create highlights in the glass. You can use different pens and markers to add more plants if you want. 


I had some Gelli Arts DIY Kits with 5 inch square plates. These were perfect to create 
small fish bowls following the same steps as the larger bowl. 


You can create collage rocks using gel printed papers 
or you can add them with paint or markers. 




 Some of my students created shadows under our fish bowls 
using chalk pastels with water and a paint brush. 
Just color an ellipse and spread it out with water for a watercolor effect. 





I offered a variety of ideas for creatures to create, cut and place in the fish bowls. 
You could go realistic, whimsical, cartoon or imaginary,


You can use leftover gel printed papers or create fish 
or creatures using white paper and markers.


We glued our fish bowls on watercolor paper. 

 This background was created using acrylic paint for the wall, watercolor for the table
and charcoal for the shadows,

You could create single vessels with painted backgrounds
using an 8x10 or larger Gelli Plate. 

 Added collage succulent




The pieces below were created by students, ages 5-12.

 6th grade

 Kindergarten

 Kindergarten


 3rd grade

3rd grade


6th grade

A special thanks to Natalie at at smART class for her Fabulous Succulent Garden art lesson here https://elementaryartfun.blogspot.com/2018/05/succulent-gardens.html
and artist, Clair Bremner for her Create a Terrarium Artwork with a Gel Press art class on Skillshare for Inspiration.

Friday, November 8, 2019

Gel Printed Forests with Animal Illustrations

Phase 1 for our gel printed forests

 Phase 2


 Carlie - 3rd Grade


 Blake - 3rd Grade


 Brooke - 1st Grade


 Ella - 4th Grade


 Alexa - 4th Grade

Blake - 3rd Grade

Below are my experiments/samples


I never get tired of experimenting with gel printing. My students are well aware of this. 😄 So for this session, we created fantasy forests with my collection of pressed leaves and our Gelli plates (8X10 and 9x12). We created a colorful print (on card stock or watercolor paper) first followed by a reverse black silhouette using the leaves as a mask. This made the perfect backdrop for our animal illustrations. I allowed my students to create a full body whimsical raccoon inspired by artist, John W. Golden, a charcoal raccoon portrait, or other creature of their choosing. They could adorn their landscapes with other details: veins for their leaves, moon, stars or snow. Animals were then cut out and glued to their backgrounds. There are so many possibilities with this process!

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Gel Printing Fun


I recently had the opportunity to explore the uses of Gelli Arts© DIY Kits with my after school classes. The children had a lot of fun creating cactus gardens and animals. These kits make great gifts for children and adults to create small works of art and greeting cards. 



 Everything needed to create your cactus garden or llamas & flamingos
is included in the kit.

 Charlee working on her cactus prints.


 Alexa pulling a print for her llama background. 




 Just a little bit of fine black pen
for some finishing touches.