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Bible Journaling Mediums Part 2: Gelatos and Ink {How To Use Them and Everything You Need To Know}

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Earlier this week, we took a look at my two most used mediums for Bible journaling- acrylic and watercolor paints. Today, I am sharing two more common mediums: gelatos and ink. These are techniques that I love using, though I must admit I am still learning all the tips and tricks myself. Let's take a look:

This page uses BOTH mediums in this post. A subtle background using the acrylic block gelatos method, followed by a stenciled on ink design. Don't be afraid to mix and match various mediums!


How To Use:
First of all, let's get the most obvious question out of the way- what exactly ARE Gelatos? Gelatos is the name of the highly pigmented crayons from Faber-Castell. Their intensively vibrant colours and ease of use are bound to impress. Thanks to their creamy smooth consistency, they glide on easily over a variety of surfaces such as paper, fabric, canvas or wood. There are MANY ways to use gelatos, and again I'm still learning many of those myself. Check out tutorials on YouTube or Pinterest to really expand your gelatos techniques! Here are a few very simple ideas to get you started:

  • Baby Wipe Method. This is perhaps the easiest way to go. Color on your page with the gelatos much as you would with a crayon. Once you're done, take a baby wipe and glide over your design, smoothing it out and giving it a great water color look. This technique is great with a solid color, or to create and ombre. To create an ombre, overlap your colors slightly for a seamless look. You can also do an ombre with one color. For this, you can use less gelato as you go down and/or wipe less with the wipe to create your desired look. You can also go back and add more color if needed. I love the smoothness of this look, and how easy it is to accomplish.

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  • Acrylic Block. This technique is new to me, but has quickly become a favorite! For this, you will need an acrylic block like you use for stamping. Bigger is probably better for a full background effect in one quick step, but you can use whatever size you have. Color onto your block with the gelato. You can do a design if you'd like, but I just scribble on a color or two at random. Then use a spray bottle to mist the block until the gelatos are saturated. If I'm doing more than one color at once on the block, I'll give it a little swirl to let the color blend in places. Now, press the block, color side down onto your page. Continue this process until you get your desired look. Be sure to wipe down your block when you finish. This technique is again very simple, and I love the beautiful background it creates. It delivers a stunning watercolor like effect. Much like watercolors, you can use more or less water to get the right amount of color.

The Pros:
There are many great reasons to love gelatos including:

  • The Versatility. While I may not personally be the most experienced with all of the possible techniques out there, I can say that there are MANY! They can be used as a watercolor, in stamping, with stencils, even to create a color spritz. If you're looking to play around with new techniques, you'll likely never grow bored with gelatos.
  • The Smooth Colors. The colors we are able to get with gelatos are smooth and creamy...and oh so gorgeous. With practice you'll also learn how to get more or less pigment for your desired look. As far as color options, there are a TON to choose from too. 
  • Easy To Read Through. For MOST techniques, especially those used with water, the color of the gelatos is going to keep your page readable... a big plus when it comes to Bible journaling. 

The Cons:
As stunning as the results may be, they're not perfect. Here are a few cons to consider:

  • The Price. Of all of the mediums talked about, I would say Gelatos are likely the least budget friendly. This is in part because there aren't really a ton of budget friendly alternatives as there are with the other. Faber-Castell does offer Gel Sticks which does cost less but has fewer color options. These can be found with kids supplies, and though I've not used them myself, others say they find no difference aside from the lack of color options. Aside from that, I have not yet personally found a budget friendly option that goes on as smoothly and vibrantly as the real deal. 
  • The Learning Curve. Gelatos take a lot of practice! Even knowing the HOW sometimes isn't enough. It takes time and practice to really master it. As I said, it's one that I am still learning myself. Of all the mediums discussed, I would say that this is one that I would not recommend for the beginner just yet!

Where To Find:
Ready to give them a try? You can find Faber-Castell Gelatos at many craft stores. I personally like shopping for them on Amazon, as there are often great deals on them there.


How To Use:
When we think of ink, most of us probably go right to stamps, right? Stamps are certainly a great way to use ink, and even to create backgrounds, but for this post we're going to look at a few less obvious ideas.

  • 'Distressed' Edges. One technique that I'm really enjoying lately is that of the distressed edging on my pages. Now, in the example I am showing, I merely kept the ink to the outside of the page, but you can do a full page of color with the edges darker, simply by building up more color where desired. This is very easy to do, but might take a little practice. Simply take an ink blending tool, dip into your desired color and tap into the edges of your page until you reach the color you prefer. Helpful hint: makeup sponges work well as a substitute for an ink blender and are generally cheaper and easier to find too. I love this technique as it can kind of frame whatever journaling you're doing on your page without the need for all over color.

  • Stencils. My newest favorite way to use inks is with stencils. To do so, lay down your stencil and tape in place with washi tape. (You can certainly skip this step, but I find it helps keep it from shifting.) Using a blending tool or makeup sponge, tap on your ink pad and dab onto the page to create your stenciled design. You can use a solid color, create an ombre or play around with other multi color looks. Once you've finished, remove the stencil. I love this technique for how easy it is, and the limitless possibilities you can create with different stencil designs.

The Pros:
What makes working with ink so great? Here are a few reasons to love them:

  • Budget Friendly. You can generally find basic inks in a variety of colors for as little as $1 at craft stores. I've even found great inks in the dollar spot at Target too. There are more expensive options available as well, BUT if you're on a budget, the more inexpensive options work just as well.
  • Easy To Adjust Pigment. Looking for a more subtle look? Dab on just a bit of color. Really want it to stand out? Layer on the ink until it works for you. Ink is again very easy to work with in creating various shades, all with one ink based on the amount used and pressure applied.
  • Easy To Read Through. Aside from perhaps black or other darker colors, ink is generally going to be able to be read through, allowing you to create designs over your words without losing the ability to read past it. 

The Cons:
Every good medium is not without it's flaws, so here are some things to keep in mind when using inks-

  • They're Messy. Or maybe it's just me, but I find I always end up covered when using ink in these manners. While the other mediums do have some degree of mess associated with them too, I find with ink I have to be most careful with smearing the page due to ink on my fingers, so that is something to keep in mind.
  • They Bleed Through. More often than not, regardless of brands used, I have found that ink does tend to bleed through, especially when I'm using darker colors or adding multiple layers to get a more vibrant look. 

Where To Find:
Ink can be found at just about any craft store in a variety of colors and brands. Personally, I love Distress Inks. These are on the higher priced end of ink options, but I find they have a great color variety and they blend very well.


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