Monday, November 25, 2013

Gelli Printing with Masking Fluid!

Masking fluid provides unique and creative possibilities for Gelli printing. Watch this video to see how it works!


Masks are used as a barrier between the paint on the gel plate and the printing paper. The purpose is to block the transfer of paint from the plate to the paper in selective areas. 

It's easy to cut a paper mask to the shape you want to block out on your print — or use a found object or stencil as a mask. (See previous blog tutorial for more information on using paper masks!)

But what if you want to mask handwriting, or a gestural line, or drawn symbols, or small random marks? 

That's when using masking fluid is the way to go!

Gelli print with masked marks
Masking fluid (also called liquid frisket) is a fluid solution that dries to a rubbery film. It creates a barrier — and paint applied over it is easily removed by peeling it off.

Watercolorists use masking fluid for preserving selective areas of the white of the paper — or for preserving areas in a layer of color that will be painted over. 

Good news! Masking fluid can be used for Gelli printing too!

You can apply masking fluid directly to your unprinted paper. 

Masking fluid preserves areas of the white of the paper in a Gelli print

When applied onto a printed layer — masking fluid will preserve the color under it.

Masking fluid applied over a printed layer preserves the color of that layer

These steps explain the process:

1. Pull a print to add color to the paper. (This is the color you'll see when the mask is removed)


2.  When the print is completely dry, apply the masking fluid to the paper. 
Masking fluid applied over a Gelli print

3.  Allow the masking fluid to dry completely! Thin areas dry quickly, but thick areas or blobs can take a while.

4. When the mask is completely dry — you can print on the paper as usual. 
Dry masking fluid on Gelli print

5. You can print multiple layers over the masking fluid! The mask can be removed even when there's quite a bit of paint covering it!
Several layers printed over dry masking fluid

IMPORTANT:  The print must be completely dry before the next step.

6.  When the paint is fully dry, gently rub the mask off the paper. You can use a rubber cement pick-up, or gently rub with a clean finger to remove it. The stretchy, rubbery mask will ball up and can be pulled off.
The print is dry and ready for the masking fluid to be peeled off

Important Information and Tips for Using Masking Fluid:
  • Do NOT use a good brush to apply the masking fluid. It will ruin your brush.  
  • A disposable brush is recommended. 
  • If using a brush, dip it in soapy water to help it flow.
  • An eyedropper is easy and fun to use — but it isn't good for controlling fine lines. And it tends to leave blobs (which can be artful!).
  • You can keep adding different layers of masking fluid as you build up layers on your print. Just remember you'll need to let the mask dry and the paint dry completely each time.
  • It's best to peel off the masking soon after your print is completely dry.
  • As with any new art material, it's best to experiment before applying it to an important piece.

For success with masking fluid ... always keep in mind:

The masking fluid must be completely dry before you print over it.

The print must be completely dry before you remove the masking fluid.


Gelli print (after masking fluid is removed)

And one more fun thing … after you pull a print, the relief from the dry masking fluid can sometimes leaves a nice imprint in the paint left on the gel plate. Quickly pull that ghost print for another cool image! And the ghost is right-reading! (See previous blog tutorial for more information on Ghost Printing!)

Ghost print
Have fun exploring the creative possibilities using masking fluid with Gelli printing. Consider it another great tool for making your mark!

And now we have a SPECIAL GIVEAWAY to get you excited about using masking fluid ... on our NEW 8'' ROUND GELLI PLATE!!!


This Contest is officially CLOSED

WE HAVE A WINNER! Our random generator chose #326  which belongs to 
(blogger name) "RuthArt" !!



Our fabulous prize includes the following:


All you need to do to enter is leave a comment here on the blog. Comments will be accepted until this WEDNESDAY, Nov. 27th at 5:00pm EST!! Leave your comment now!

One lucky winner will be selected at random and announced no later than Thursday morning, Nov 28th at 10am.  (Yes - Thanksgiving morning!!) The winner will be announced here on the blog and on our Facebook page!

Good luck ... and Happy Printing!

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