The first thing I did was to jump right in like I knew what I was doing. I found out quickly that even finding a well done tutorial on transfers, it still takes some practice to get the hang of it. There are a lot of factors involved that will have a bearing on the outcome of your transfer. Like anything else, practice, trial and error and once you get your own nuance down, you won't stop!
Here are some of the transfers I made using my large Gelli Plate and some things I learned along the way:
Size Matters - I went with the large Gelli Plate because my interest was already peaked at making print transfers from the beginning. With the larger size Gelli Plate, you can make large or small prints. If you are wanting to make cards, or smaller scale prints, there are smaller Gelli Plates perfect for just that as well as round ones and there are Gelli Stencils to use on your Gelli Plate. I will probably get a round Gelli Plate as well once I move on from transfers (if ever) and start playing with making back ground papers. (Another whole world of possibilities ahead).
Paper Matters - depending on what you are wanting to use your transfer for, try all types of paper. Good practice paper is plain ol' white copy paper, also great for using in journals and collage work. You will also need this for cleaning your brayer and you can also save those papers for background work, cutting out shapes etc. Otherwise, you can use any magazine pages, book pages or even junk mail to clean your brayer each time, maybe even envelopes, etc.. see where my mind is going with that?
Once I got my mojo going, I did make some large prints on
....... water color paper. A nicer, thicker paper that transfers really well and is great for prints...(Still working on being less messy for those).
This is one where the face did not transfer well, but I figure I can fill in the face on my own.
Paint Matters - most all the tutorials said that paint didn't matter and for the most part, I found that to be true. However, as you experiment and practice you will find the ones that work best for you. I found that my best image transfers were done using Golden Fluid Acrylics, they roll out a nice thin layer, which you need. Too much paint on your Gelli Plate will cause your transfer to smear and the image you are transferring to move around which also causes smearing. No matter what type of paint you use, you need a thin layer and that will just take some practice to get a feel of how much works best for you.
The places that are white is where I had the paint too thin and it did not transfer. Again, I can add my own colors to the print.
Image Matters - The first tutorial I watched said you needed glossy images. I did not have any success with those. The transfers that worked the best for me were not glossy images but ones that had good contrast with light and dark colors. Practice, practice first. Don't use an image you love without some successful transfers first because once you use that image, it is gone. A great resource I found is the public library. Our library has a book sale once a year. That is a great time to find some interesting images and books to use, some for practice and some images for keeps, as well as flea markets etc. You can pick up a lot of nice coffee table books at flea markets with great images.
Patience Matters - I only say this because no matter how many successful images you have, you never know how the next one will turn out. That is one of the things I love about the Gelli Plate, the amount of you paint use, the amount of pressure you put on applying your image, the type of paper you use, the type of image you use, all these things affect the outcome and most of the time I am always happily surprised at what transpires onto my paper.
This is another example of too much paint and the face smeared but offers up another fun challenge to play with this print.
Sometimes, Small Things Matter - I am a huge fan of baby wipes when creating art but I found that the baby wipes, at least the ones that I have, leave little lint hairs on the Gelli Plate that show up when doing transfers. This may not matter when you are creating backgrounds, but I switched to a wad of wet paper towels when cleaning my Gelli Plate between transfers. I also randomly clean off my brayer , I was finding little specks of paint stuck to my brayer and anything stuck to your brayer will "lift off" the paint on your Gelli Plate.
I hope I have inspired you to try your hand at transferring images using a Gelli Plate and mind you, I am just a wee beginner finding my way in this magical maze of Gelli Art. If you are a Gelli user and you have tips to share or a site you found to be helpful and inspiring( including your own) please do share here and leave a comment and or follow, I would love to follow you back. It would be greatly appreciated. I am definitely excited to move onto the next phase of making back ground papers... and more!