Experimenting with Watercolor Gelatos
Inspired by one of Blick Art Material’s Instagram post, I discovered Faber-Castell Watercolor Getatos and was immediately intrigued. I also happened to have a 20% off coupon at Blick Art which was expiring soon, so I decided to make good use of it and buy a Faber-Castell Designing with Gelatos Kit!
This kit includes 10 watercolor gelatos (opaque and metallic colors), a guidebook, a misting bottle, eye dropper, paintbrush, a small tube of gesso (this is a medium that is mixed with gelatos to create texture and lighten colors), floral stamp, bird stencil and an 8 page blank swatch journal.
As with any new endeavor (especially a creative one), practice is needed in order to learn how to use any new material and become comfortable with it. But that being said, I have a mixed opinion about gelatos!
Let’s start with what I like about them:
- You can create nice colored backgrounds on watercolor paper - simply use them like crayons. Color your paper using different colors, then use water (with your paintbrush or misting bottle) and blend with your paintbrush.
- They are easy to use.
- It’s fun to experiment how to create different textures using water, bubble wrap, sponges, stamps and different mediums.
For this design, I first brushed the watercolor paper with a layer of gesso and let it dry (this is a clear medium). Then, I colored the paper with Gold Champagne, Metallic Melon, Guava and a hint of Green Tea. With a wet paintbrush, I blended the colors together. While wet, I used a round sponge brush and simply dabbed over the color to create a textured background. The flowers were added using Mixed Media Flower Transfers and I used Sharpie markers to color them.
This now leads me to what I didn’t like about this kit and gelatos in general:
- You can’t use them for detailed design work; as I said I above, I feel they are best used for creating unique backgrounds.
- They work best when used with other tools like markers, Pitt Artist Pens, watercolor pencils, transfers, stencils etc.
- The colors are not vibrant enough.
- The guide book is not detailed enough and the instructions are vague. For a person like me who takes the time to write detailed instructions for the guidebook that is included in my DIY Silk Painting Craft Kits that I sell in my Etsy shop, I know the importance of having clear instructions!
- The kit comes with an 8 page swatch journal book and inspirational images on how to design them but then they add this: “Most of these pages incorporate materials and tools not included in your kit but that are easy to find in your local craft store or online”. I wish they made this disclaimer on the box itself! Hence, why I ended up buying the Mixed Media Flower Transfers which I used to create the design shown above and then colored with Sharpie markers.
My conclusion about this kit: I’m not as impressed about it as I thought I would be, however, I will continue to practice the techniques covered in the guidebook and probably not expect to use them for much more than creating nice backgrounds. I can see using watercolor gelatos along with different materials and tools to create a nice set of handmade notecards or other stationery. I plan to try this next!
And I definitely want to continue to experiment using gelatos with Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pens.
Now that I have created several hand-painted designs - either with traditional watercolor or gelatos, my next goal is to learn how to digitize these designs in Photoshop/Illustrator and start creating them as digital prints and repeat patterns. Be sure to check back as I will be sharing my progress on this digital venture!