Friday, August 21, 2015

Playing Around for PaperArtsy!

I was very excited when PaperArtsy asked me to post a little something using various mediums.  I have long admired the hot glue work of Vivian Keh, aka Contadina K, and decided to try to emulate that look using clear tar gel.  In addition, I wanted to try using glass bead gel, and to try for an encaustic look using a lot of soft matte gel.

I hope you'll pop over to PaperArtsy to take a look at all of the wonderful demos that have occurred over this fortnight!  This is a photo heavy post for my own records...but at the end you can see the other piece I made using these mediums, a portion of which you see here.

For the piece shown on the PA blog, I started with heavily inked card, using orange and yellow Distress Inks.  From these, I cut out the  Butterfly, Bee and Dragonfly from Tim Holtz' steel rule dies. I did not use the corresponding embossing folders, as I wanted to stamp them instead.

I also prepared a background, using Bristol Vellum, and applying various embossed scraps I had (the left-over centers from making the pages for this little book, and stamping with the PA script stamp, which is my favorite.

I applied my various insects with a generous amount of matte gel, and as expected, the Distress Inks reacted a bit to the wet media, so I got a nice golden glow around them.  Once dry, I went over some of their wings and bodies with even more gel, and then I stamped again with the Lynne Perrella stamp to get even more interest.  I used only the very tip of the stamp, as I loved the detail and depth it added.  I used Stays On Ink, as I wanted to cover the whole thing once more with matte gel.


Then I put some bead gel wherever I thought I would get good drippage.

And then I sprayed the whole bit with blue and yellow Distress sprays - I think it was Faded Jeans and Mustard Seed - I was looking not only for these beautiful colors, but that wonderful green when they mix.

As the finish, I added words and a heart by dipping the end of a paintbrush into the tar gel.  It self-levels when drying (I discovered) as you can see below - my "o" and "e" no longer have apertures!  Because the tar gel dries clear, the underlying color or image comes through beautifully.

Here again is a picture of the final pages - very busy but I like looking at them nonetheless!

For the other piece, I also used embossed scraps, some of which also had been previously inked with Distress Inks.  I painted the pages with Fresco Vintage Lace. Again I stamped, but this time my next layer was the clear tar gel.  The color in these shots comes from the reaction of the ink to the gel despite the thin layer of paint....that is why is stops at the edge of the two little tags I used in the background.  The pink is from a doily that I had colored - you can just make out its texture in the background.  I was quite surprised to see the color, and finally realized what it was!

Where the underlying piece was white, the clear tar gel has no color to pick up.  After the gel dried, I again sprayed - I think this is Peacock Feathers and Stormy Ocean.  I then buffed the dried tar gel to remove the ink.

Thanks so much for stopping by, and if you've time, please do comment!  I love hearing what you think!


  1. Thanks for joining us this evening Lynn, fabulous page, just love the layers and mixed colours. Beautiful.

  2. I am visiting from your PaperArtsy tutorial.
    A stunning piece of art.
    Lynne (your latest Follower)

  3. Just fabulous Lynn, you have achieved such cool effects! Never heard of, or used tar gel, I shall now have to find out more!

  4. Fantastic experimentation with all those amazing gels and mediums. Been admiring the pages over at PA, and I just love the bluesy ones here too. The clear tar gel lettering is just fantastic.
    Alison xx

  5. Wonderful work Lynne - I'm so impressed with the tar gel, you've got some amazing effects there - I've never heard of it before so shall be off to investigate! I love the depth and interest in the finished pages, so much to look at I bet you see something new every time!

  6. A last visit...this was a fab post over on paperartsy...really tempted by the tar gel, a very inspiring post Lynn. Ruth xx