Be a Flamingo

This week I’ve had loads of fun experimenting with my super new Faber-Castell Gelatos, so I thought I’d use them to create a background with one of my favourite techniques – using a stencil. Having found some flamingo fabric bunting in my craft stash, I was inspired to use the brightly coloured gelatos to create a tropical look on my page.

I started by covering the page with a thin layer of Pébéo white gesso in readiness to apply the Faber-Castell Gelatos; I’ve found out that to achieve a smooth coverage on my textured mixed media paper, then prepping the page with gesso first is a must. Next I scribbled Bubble Gum, Orange Soda, Limoncello and Mango gelatos onto my page, dipped my finger into water and then rubbed them to blend the colours. I didn’t use too much water as I wanted a heavier coverage of gelato for the next technique. I covered areas of the page with a Distressed Dot stencil by Creative Expressions and rubbed with a baby wipe to remove and lighten the colour producing a lovely effect. Next I mixed some acrylic paints into a turquoise colour and applied it using a blending tool through a Dutch Doobadoo Mask to create different circles on my page. I also used the blending tool as a stamp to add circles of the paint straight to the page. Then I stamped tiny circles, tropical flowers and a postage mark using black Archival Ink. As I stamped the images directly onto gelatos I was able to remove some of the ink from the flowers by dabbing the images with a baby wipe and then I stamped the images again, this gave more of a layered 3D look. I used the same Doobadoo mask to add a grid of dots using Black Soot Distress Ink and Pébéo Modelling paste. Once the modelling paste had dried I painted the dots with white acrylic paint to intensify their brightness. Next I added circular shiny pink flamingo stickers over each of the turquoise circles and also added some rub-on flower transfers to the page. To finish, I used a piece of fabric flamingo bunting and arranged it on the page with some card embellishments and pretty pink buttons so it looks like it is hanging on a string of bunting. The saying on the flamingo bunting makes me smile, it reads “Be a flamingo in a flock of pigeons”.

As my background features lots of circles, I’m pleased to be able to join Rosie who is hosting the “Circles” challenge over at Art Journal Journey.

With all the interest that was generated from my previous post, I thought I’d share some of the techniques I have been using with my gelatos as well as my tips and learning so far. In the photos the mixed media paper I used is prepped with white gesso and the gelato colours are Red Cherry and Passion Fruit, so firstly let’s look at some of the ways you can use gelatos:  

Scribble on paper and smudge

Just scribble gelato onto your paper (which is a nice effect in itself) and then rub it with your finger. I have found dipping my finger in a little water first then rubbing the gelato works best for me. There are several ways you can smudge gelatos and the simplest one seems to be with your finger however you can also use a paint brush or a wet wipe. As you can see from the photo above you get similar results regardless of how you smudge them and all give a heavier coverage. Although you can achieve a more translucent watercolour look or a more opaque look depending on how much pigment you use and how much water you add.

Use like Inks

As gelatos are activated by water, I experimented by using the gelatos like I do my Aqua Markers and Distress Inks. So I scribbled the gelatos onto an acrylic block (acetate would work as well) and then I spritzed them with water and pressed the block onto the paper.

Use like paint

You can also pick up the colour with a wet paint brush and paint with them so it looks similar to watercolor. I found you can even use it straight out of the tube by touching a wet paint brush right up to the gelatos. Both of these techniques resulted in a softer colour which could be intensified depending on how much pigment is used and how much water is added.

Drips and splatters

For this technique, I applied a thick layer of gelato onto the top of my paper and then I sprayed it with water and tipped the page to make drips. Although, I found that I preferred to add the water with a brush to make the drips because I could use less water and therefore control how the gelatos blended to get a more vibrant colour. I accidentally found out that you can also create splatters of colour by flicking a wet paintbrush over the end of the gelato straight from the tube (grin!).

Use a Stencil

This is the technique I used on my page, in summary just scribble gelatos onto paper and smudge the colour. Then cover with a stencil and use a baby wipe to remove the colour. The colour can be lightened to varying degrees depending on how much you rub off with the baby wipe giving a great tone on tone effect. If the surface is prepped with gesso first, you’ll be able to remove more colour getting a higher contrast effect.

Stamp with it

This is where you apply the gelato right onto the stamp, spritz with water and stamp. You can also colour areas of the stamp with different gelato colours that may blend together a bit when stamped or you can apply the gelato by picking up the colour with a wet paintbrush and painting it onto the stamp to give a softer look.

Tips and learning:

  • If you want smooth coverage, then prep your paper with gesso first. I have found that it gives the mixed media paper I use a much smoother surface, which helps to smudge and blend gelatos more easily. Plus if you are using cardstock, a layer of gesso helps the paper withstand water and rubbing.
  • I have even experimented prepping the page with Matte Gel Medium which gives a slicker surface and is great when misting with water to blend the gelatos and create drips.
  • Remember they are water based so when using a baby wipe be careful not to wipe away the gelato accidentally.
  • If you make a mistake or don’t like you what you have created on gesso prepped paper, then you can just wipe the gelato off straight away with a baby wipe and some kitchen roll and start again.
  • If you contaminate a gelato by getting another gelato colour on it, simply rub it off on a piece of paper.
  • Cleaning up after using gelatos is very easy as they are water-soluble, so just use a baby wipe or a wet cloth to get everything clean.
  • Unfortunately (for my hubby) these gelatos are nothing to do with ice cream!

Overall, I love the look you can achieve with these new gelatos and it’s been fun experimenting and learning what they can and can’t do. I really enjoy learning and I still have more techniques to try, I hope you have had fun too!

Thanks for joining me today! If you have any questions or comments, I would love to hear from you.

Here is a list of all the materials used to create this art journal page:

  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • Faber-Castell Gelatos (Bubble Gum, Orange Soda, Limoncello, Mango)
  • Liquitex Artist Color Acrylic (Christmas Green, Swedish Blue)
  • DecoArt Artist’s Acrylic (White)
  • Tim Holtz Distress Ink (Black Soot)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Faber-Castell Big Brush Pitt artist pen (Black 199)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line Marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Pébéo Modelling Paste
  • Hampton Art Graphic 45 Cling Mounted Rubber Stamps (Tropical Travelogue ICO134)
  • Sugarloaf Inc. Anita’s wood mounted rubber stamp (26631)
  • Creative Expressions That Special Touch of Mica Masks (Distressed Dots)
  • Dutch Doobadoo Dutch Mask Art A5 (Geometric Tiles)
  • The Range (Craft Stickers CR1243)
  • Poundland (Homemade Embellishments 138127)
  • Royal & Langnickel Rub-on Transfers (SYN1470G)
  • Aldi Kirkton House (Bedroom Bunting)
  • The Range double-sided foam tape

34 thoughts on “Be a Flamingo

  1. I love this fantastic vibrant page Jo! Just AMAZING and thank you for showinfg us all the different ways to use it! So versatile – I am still in awe of this vibrant color spectrum of your set!!!
    I say thank you once more for a fantastic page linked to AJJ! You rock!
    Happy rest of the week and weekend for your!
    oxo Susi

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much dear Susi! Working with colours like these makes me smile and is so much fun too. I love the tropical vibe of this page and I’m only to pleased to be able to join you at AJJ again 😀. Enjoy the rest of your week and have a wonderful weekend! J 😊


  2. A fantastic post Jo.
    The page and the pink flamingo looks fantastic, super bright, vibrant, happy shades, to brighten the day. {Its been raining all day here today}
    It was good to read and see the your experiments with Gelatos, if it wasn’t so late I would be going to try some of your tips, although I only have a few gelatos, I think the ideas you shared may work with wax crayons as well.
    Yvonne xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks very much Yvonne! We’ve had rain too on and off this week, so I was only too pleased to create this bright and cheery page … lol 😉. Glad you liked the experiments, using crayons sounds fun! Enjoy the rest of your week and happy weekend! J 😊


  3. I love your page! The colours are so bright and cheerful! I have never used gelatos, but it looks like a fun medium with lots of lovely effects you can achieve from using different techniques. I learned a lot from your post and feel inspired to have a go!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for this, Jo, this is terrific, with all the photos too. Now I know so much more about gelatos. They do look fun to use. And what a great brightly coloured piece you’ve made with them, and I love the quote.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Brilliant post Jo and thanks for all the useful Gelato tips and techniques too. I think the set I have is a basic one and I made the mistake the first time I used them of not using gesso – disastrous results of course.
    The colours you used are so gorgeous and vibrant and what a stunning and happy piece you have created – I really – really love that!
    Wish the weather would make up its mind – everything but snow – and still quite breezy on and off.
    Loved the last comment about Mary Poppins you left me – and I think you really must be Mary Poppins because of all the useful details ( ie stencil reference numbers etc) you always add at bottom must take you such a time to do, that I can only imagine that like ‘Mary’ tidied up the nursery with the children, that you magic-ed up the info at the bottom – just like that!
    have a great day a lovely weekend Jo..
    Gill xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • I wish I was able to magic it up just like that and also tidy up like Mary, wouldn’t that be fun … lol 😉. The weather is hot and sunny here today with a bit of a breeze so we’ve just been out on a 14 mile tandem ride to the ice cream parlour and back – yum! Thanks so much, it’s always nice chatting to you. Happy Friday and have a lovely weekend too! J 😊


  6. That is a fabulous page Jo. I really think the colors are outstanding. I feel like I am someplace very tropical and it is summer! 🙂 And I love your Gelato demo. I’ve only used them once in a class and didn’t really know what I could do with them. I may need to get a box and try them out since I am a sucker for new media. Hope your weekend starts off in a great way. Hugs-Erika

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You have created a simply STUNNING Flamingo journal page. I simply adored the mixed media effect, too.

    BUT, the tutorial on gelatos was out of this world. I’ve never owned gelatos, but they are on my wish list of things I would love to have when I marry a millionaire (grin). I have bookmarked this post in the event I ever do get some. You have certainly shown me ways to use them, as well as how beautiful they are when they are used properly. Thank you for this!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m always inspired by everyday things and like to use them on my pages, I saw the bunting on sale and loved the design so I thought I’d give it a go 😀. I love how it turned out and it reminds me of tropical sunny climbs too! Have a lovely weekend! J 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  8. A little late to the party. Love your flamingo page. So happy. The pink, plastic lawn flamingo was invented by Donald Featherstone from Leominster, Massachusetts (north of the city of Worcester) in 1957. When Mr. Featherstone passed away in 2015, the Worcester Art Museum paid him an homage by decorating the courtyard and outdoor spaces with hundreds of pink flamingoes. Also enjoyed the tutorial on how to use the gelatos. I’ve never heard of them

    Liked by 1 person

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