Let's Get Your Creative Juices Flowing!!!
Faber Castell Gelatos are one of my all time FAVORITE art supplies. Lots of mixed media artists aren't quite sure how to use them, or only associate gelatos with background work.
In today's art supply demo, I'll show you why they're a MUST HAVE in my studio + the QUICK & EASY way I use them to create MAGICAL mixed media portraits. If you're a beginner in the world of mixed media art, or just curious about what gelatos can do for you - today's video is a MUST SEE!!
Before we continue, super quick announcement! All product links noted below are Affiliate. I may earn a small commission if you choose to order through these links, but by law there is never any additional cost to the consumer for doing so. I only reccommend products I actually use and love. Thank you for your support!
When students first start working with me, they often ask, what are gelatos? Gelatos are a fun art supply made by a fine art supplies company called Faber Castell! Gelatos are supposed to be a fine art product, but I think a lot of artists would probably put them into the "craft" category because they are not light fast.
If you haven't seen these before, they kinda look like a tube of chapstick with a blunt tip.
Gelatos come in a wide range of colors. They even have a metallic line. I do want to caution you if you're drawn to metallics. If you follow me and have picked up the Faber castell gelatos metallic set, hoping to use them like I do in my Mixed Media "Hamburger" projects, unfortunately they DON'T work. So just be forewarned, if you want to play along with me- the metallic version has been tested, and sadly failed.
Pick up the flat/matte set and you'll be good to go! In fact, here is my favorite. It's got all the skin tones I love, and I think you'll REALLY enjoy yourself!!
Not sure what my Hamburger System is? It's my signature mixed media layering process!
Lots of people struggle with understanding their mixed media art supplies and how they work best together. It's really not that hard once someone shows you how! I compare layering my supplies to the way you layer toppings for the perfect burger!
I've got an entire FUN YouTube series of tutorials, cheatsheets, and even wrote a mixed media art BOOK about it!! Download the FREE, one-page cheatsheet that explains it all by clicking the button below.
I'll send it straight to your inbox so you can print it and keep it at your art table for reference to help you with your own mixed media layering.
If you haven't worked with them before, gelatos are a watersoluble product. That means if you put them down on a piece of paper and add water to them - they WILL melt and move around on you.
There are a lot of other products on the market that work just like gelatos- including Marabu art crayons (they can really smear on you) and Distress crayons (not lightfast at all, so I quit using them).
What I LOVE about gelatos is they're not AS watersoluble as these other brands.
The way that I like to use them is for accentuating the shading and tones on top of my acrylics. They blend out just perfectly, and I'll show you in today's video.
I think they're AMAZING for adding skin tone shading, or adding any shading on any subject you're featuring in your mixed media projects!
Personally I love mixed media projects to be fast and FUN!! And I want to see an instant success. For me, Faber-Castell gelatos DO just that. I don't have to spend TONS of time blending my acrylic paints, I can just work some gelatos on top of my acryilcs, it's super easy, and BOOM.
Gorgeous shading, every time!
Watch the video to see where I've used gelatos specifically in this cute mixed media face and in the one above.
Now, let's move on to the product demo! CLICK over to the video so you can see exactly what I'm talking about ;)
To get the demo started, I painted an acrylic head shape in four different skin tone shades using craft paints. Using craft paint is totally normal for me when I'm doing skin tones because I love how the paint that comes out of the bottle in the prefect skin tone I'm looking for in a base coat. I don't have to mix a thing! Then I add 2-3 shades of gelatos on top for shading, and they look amazing!
I noted the gelato shades I used in the above girl off to the side, and showed you just how EASY it is to blend with these on the right. They totally melt right into each other. And this is without adding anything to them.
In this one I used five shades of gelatos instead of three because I just couldn't stop! LOL! I love these things. Isn't that the most beautiful blend off colors off to the right? I told you these things were magical for mixed media work!!
So fun!! I love how these shades blend together for a rich medium skin tone. You really can add such a rich layer of color to your faces and I'm not kidding... it only takes a couple of strokes and a little blending with your finger and you're done. SO much faster than doing countless layers of blending with your acrylics!! The highlights throughout this face (above) were done in the color caramel. Using white would've been too strong here. Make sure you try incorporating tangerine if you're playing with darker skin tones because it REALLY adds a beautiful effect.
And here is the last one! Just a different direction from the first pale skinned girl. This one goes more into the yellow color family and butterscotch. If you look closely, you'll see a few white highlights I added with my white gelato. This has a very soft effect. And again, SUPER easy and fast. Especially if you're only using three shades!
Now! If this was a "real" mixed media project for me (not just a value scale demo showing you how I love to use gelatos)... there are a lot more steps I take to tie a project together.
Be sure you click over to the video to see a quick demo of what comes next. I know tons of people have questions about how to SEAL faber castell gelatos!
I have found they do fantastic with a layer of mod podge on top!
Check this out...
but this STILL isn't the end...
There's even MORE!! If you want to see what comes next, click over to watch my Hamburger System playlist after today's video, and I'll take you layer by layer through the entire SUPER FUN process!!
Thanks for hanging out with me today! I hope you have a fab week!!
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Mary Ann Farley
5/6/2021 04:03:42 am
Hey Karen! Do you find gelatos to be lightfast? I know Faber Castell says yes, but some blog testers have found certain colors fading pretty quickly. I'm guessing putting a sealer or varnish on top would help lightfast issues? What's your experience? I want to take these things out of my journal and onto canvas, so I'm hoping you can advise. Thanks sweetie! --Mary Ann (P.S. I'll be closing my school soon. The music finally took over and there are only so many hours in a day right? I'll still be painting tho! Thanks for all your help. The whole experience was great.)
5/6/2021 05:03:46 pm
Hey Mary Ann! So great to hear from you!
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Founder of Awesome Art School. Mixed Media Artist. Author of 18 Instructional Art Books!
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