Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sharon Briss: Glittery Gel Medium

Today, I wanted to show you an easy way to add a little sparkle to your mixed media pieces with glitter and some heavy gel medium.

You'll need:
Heavy and regular gel medium
Variety of paints
Foam brushes
Canvas or suitable surface
Stamps and collage images
Variety of inks
White tissue paper
Foam roller brush

I started my project by painting a base coat of Pearl White Lumiere paint onto my 6x6 canvas.

I used a dry-brush method to add a slight golden hue to this base with Lumiere Brass . To create a dry brush effect, simply put very little paint on your brush and apply very little pressure to the brush while applying the paint to your surface.

I finished by using the thin edge of my foam brush to add thicker lines of brass to my canvas.

While the canvas was drying, I stamped some text (Stampington and Company) and a bustier image (Hampton Art Stamps) onto a piece of tissue cut slightly larger than the canvas. I used Wild Honey Distress Ink to create this layer as it worked with the hues in my selected collage image as well as those already laid down on the canvas.

Brush a thin layer of regular gel medium onto the canvas surface, lay the tissue on top and brush (very lightly so as not to tear the tissue) more gel medium on top.

I then added the collage image the same way - gel medium layer, collage image, more gel medium on top.

I stamped two sentiments (River City Rubberworks) onto tissue and added them in same manner. I use a foam roller to brayer out any small bubbles and even out the gel medium on each layer.

Now, for the sparkle! I put some heavy gel medium on a paper plate and blended it with blue glitter (Ranger) and some Pearl Turquoise Lumiere paint.

I brushed this mixture onto one edge of the canvas, covering the edge of the collage image, and then added a small area to the opposite side to create some visual balance.

I pressed bubble wrap into the heavy gel medium mixture to give it some texture.

This is what it looked like after the bubble wrap:

To finish, I repeatedly pressed my sentiment stamp, Passion (Impression Obsession), into the mixture.

Note: be sure to rinse off any stamps you use with gel mediums right after using so no residue dries on your stamps.

I set my project aside to dry, but I still had some paint and gel medium mixture left... what to do? Well, what I always do! I keep working on projects until I use up any paint and gel medium I took out of their respective containers. I had a wooden frame lying around so I decided it needed a make-over.

I started by painting it as I had the canvas, with a base of white, brass and a touch of turquoise. I mixed in some gold glitter (Stamplicity) into my heavy gel medium mix.

I applied this mix heavily to the four corners of the frame.

I then used a stiff piece of cardstock to drag the heavy gel medium mix in a zigzag pattern along all the edges of the frame.

This provided a nice texture as well as revealing pieces of the white and gold frame below.

Before the heavy gel medium set, I sprinkled pearls all over the piece and then pushed in some white buttons.

To add more shine, I added (believe it or not) some more gold paint in some of the flat portions of the frame with my fingertip. Yes, Sharon actually got messy. Strange but true!

I really liked the resulting frame, but had to make a centerpiece for it as it had no stamping! Ack! or collage! Further Ack! So I added some with a rose from Stampington, the passion sentiment from Impression Obsession and Je t'aime from Penny Black with a sweet collage girl from PaperWhimsey:

Here's the finished result:

I hope you have fun mixing in some fun into your gel mediums!


  1. Wow! Beautiful work! Love the sparkle/shimmer of the collage, and the frame was a great use of the leftovers, for sure!

  2. OH my Sharon, these are gorgeous. I love messy, be it paint, ink or whatever.
    I must try this sometime when I get some heavy gel medium. Thanks for a great tutorial.

  3. Thanks for sharing the wonderful uses for gel medium! Love them!

  4. Love this project and tutorial- I love both- but the picture frame- spectacular!

  5. This is amazing, I cannot wait to try some of your ideas

  6. Your collages are fabulous. How fun you make this look. Gel, glitter, stamping and creativity. Happy creating...

  7. very beautyful, I love them both.

  8. Thank you for these - they are both stunning!

  9. wow, i really appreciate this tutorial. so helpful. and of course your art is absolutely beautiful. thank you much. xo

  10. ohh these are brill techniques thanks for the tutorial....great pieces of art

  11. Great work Shar, must try this - I LOVE messy!

  12. wow, every time I come here there is a great new tutorial, so super for us, i love this one too, thanks again. best wishes from janine

  13. Great tutorial and wonderful results, Shar!

  14. Oh boy, I really want to go and play now - fabulous creations and ideas. Thank you so much.
    Have a great week.
    luv and hugs {brenda} xoxox

  15. Sharon, I learned so much from your mixing of mediums. Your piece and the frame are beyond beautiful!

  16. Wow, These are gorgeous, true works of art, I am astounded!

  17. OH WOW! Thank you for the wonderfully detailed instructions! I've been struggling getting my stamped sentiments to look good on the canvases, but to use some tissue paper - how ingenious is that! Love what you've done! TFS
    Helen -- Firenze Cards

  18. Wow Shar, these are 2 beautiful pieces, thanks for the tut! I saw the frame first, fell in love with it, and had no idea how you put it all together! You go GF!

  19. Wonderful tutorial and beautiful projects, thanks Sharon!

  20. These are wonderful, Shar! What a great tutorial. I learned so much and can't wait to try this myself.

  21. Totally fabulous tutorial Shar and 2 absolutely stunning pieces of artwork.
    Thanks so much for sharing.
    Fliss xx

  22. Oh, NICE--I was thinking about adding some texture to a book I'm working on, without making it too, oh, chunky? This looks like a fun way to do it.

  23. Great tutorial and I love how you used your leftovers!!!!

  24. Fabulous tutorial, very inspiring. Now all I need is some time, lol xx

  25. Totally terrific tutorial Shar, loving them both. Annette x

  26. What a great tutorial and I love both projects. I feel inspired thanks to you!

  27. Great pieces! Gel Medium isn't something I've worked with yet, but I'm feeling inspired after reading this. Thanks!

  28. A brilliant tutorial and the artwork is awesome.

  29. Both pieces are wonderful - i love all that texture!

  30. Brilliant projects. Have had Gel MEdium for a while and not used it yet- will do now.

  31. This is such an excellent tutorial Shar. Mediums are indispensible and I have no doubt you have introduced crafters to a new way of using them.
    Like you I use up every last scrap of paint - "waste not, want not" as the saying goes!
    Thanks for this.
    Lynne M

  32. Hi!

    Wanted you to know I posted a link to this tutorial today on my blog.

    Nancy Ward


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