Friday, June 05, 2015

Artist Journal: Glass Bead Glitter Gel!

I have discovered a product that I now cannot live without: Glass Bead Glitter Gel from Faber-Castell. Whoa. It's a whole new dimension of sparkle and texture...and I love it. (Despite not being much of a Glitter Girl!)

I've played with it a couple times and decide that I like it best applied rather thick through a stencil. So, yup, you guessed it: that's what started off this page in the Artist Journal.

My idea: Use glass bead glitter gel! (Seriously, this was the whole idea when I sat down!) My idea expanded when I saw my large butterfly stamp at the ready on my craft table. I love the look of natural elements on old paper. But I realized I already had several pages in my Artist Journal all ready to go. (Translation: I had two pages glued together and covered with white gesso.) So I decided to replicate the look of old paper using Gelatos for the primary coloring agent. I just love this product and it works like a dream on gesso covered pages.

Minions assemble! Got out all the stuff I figured I'd need for the idea.(Honestly, this is fastest I've ever come up with and implemented an idea for the journal!)

Step 1:
The stamp I selected (Swallowtail from Stampin Up!) didn't have a coordinating stencil or die so I went ahead and cut one myself. I just used an old manilla folder and stamped it right on there. It didn't have to be perfect. (But I did use a waterproof ink as I didn't want the ink to come off of it when I used the mask portion of it.) Cut it out with an exacto blade and voila! I had a stencil and a mask of my stamp.

Step 2: 
Now that that was done, I went ahead and stamped the butterfly onto my journal page. Once again, I used a waterproof ink (StazOn in Timber Brown). Then, I placed my newly cut mask over the image to shield it from my background. I didn't tape it down or anything, just held it in place with my hand. (Really, you can use any of your preferred forms of masking here.) I added two colors of gelato to the page to make the background. I just scribbled it on then used my finger to rub it around and blend it together.

As you can see the gelato blends beautifully on a gessoed surface. I didn't use any water here just rubbed them in with my finger but you can use water to help the process. (Both of these colors are from the Steampunk pack; Iced Chai and Cinnamon.)
Step 3:
After this was blended, I LEFT THE MASK IN PLACE.
Here's why: I added a bunch more stuff to the background. I stenciled, stamped some text, and added black paint splatters.

For stenciling, I used more gelato. I used two shades of green (lime and margarita mix) and the stencil, Branches from Joggles. I applied the gelato directly to the stencil and rubbed it into the design with my finger. (This method gives you quick and easy blending of colors without disturbing the gelato layer beneath it!) If you don't like messy fingers, you could use a blending foam or dauber here.

So once you've got all your background done, it's time to remove the mask! (Sorry, my photo doesn't show my paint splatters. I actually added them as an afterthought...but it's easy enough to throw the mask back on the image!)

Step 4:
Now it's time to color in the butterfly! Again, I used gelato. I finally settled on purples and pink for something different. (I'm a traditional girl about butterflies and like them to "look real" most of the time!) I scribbled some gelato (purple metallic, purple, and passion fruit) onto my craft sheet. Then, I just added a touch of water with a paint brush and painted the image. (I added a bit too much water at did I know? My color wasn't as dark as I wanted. Less water, deeper color.)

Last Step!
Add the Glass Bead Glitter Gel. Here's where we use the stencil we created at the beginning. I just lined up the stencil over my butterfly. I held it in place with one hand and applied the bead gel with a palette knife with the other. As stated, I like the look of a relatively thick layer. Just be careful along the edges as you apply the gel so it doesn't seep underneath the stencil.

Looks scary, huh? I mean, I colored it so nice and now it's covered with sparkle frosting.
Not to worry, it dries clear. I let it dry overnight. When you come back in the morning, it's like Christmas!

The photo shows off the sparkle but you really got to feel this stuff and see it up close. There are tiny little glass beads imbedded in there. You can see little round "bubbles" in the gel and it's such a unique texture. It shows off any color or pattern you've got underneath it so it makes a great top layer.

Hope you liked my page and I hope you'll try out some Glass Bead Glitter Gel soon. It's really a show-stopper.
"Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you."  --Nathaniel Hawthorne

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