I was at a trade show in Salt Lake City the week of July 11th. During the time there I was able to walk the show floor in addition to demoing and otherwise working the event. One of the most fascinating things I saw involved as unlikely a combination of products as you’ll ever see: a Gel Press Plate, Alcohol Inks, and hand sanitizer.
Sally Lynn MacDonald was demoing this technique in the Gel Press booth and I was fortunate enough to watch and pick her brain during the show, and a little afterward. She’s an excellent instructor and I was immediately excited about trying the process. Of course that meant waiting until I was home, but once I was, this technique was the first thing I played with.
The results can vary depending on how much of the hand sanitizing gel you apply to the plate. You can roll out a thin layer with a brayer or apply a heavier one with our plastic scraper/spreader. With a thicker layer of gel, you can print, add more color, print again, and keep going until you exhaust the gel.
Something else you can do is spritz 91% Isopropyl Alcohol on the inks when they’re sitting on the plate. I like to do it when there is only a little left and then capture the pattern by printing on Strathmore Mixed Media Paper. You’ll also see me use Yupo, which provides a very different look. With paper, the alcohol ink cannot be manipulated once you pull the print. When you use Yupo, the opposite is true: the color can be moved by tilting the sheet or otherwise pushing it around.
One thing you’ll notice is that the 6 new colors of Alcohol Ink that Tim and Ranger released in mid-July 2016 are not featured in the video. If I’d had them at the time I was filming I would have added the colors to the mix. Since I didn’t, you won’t see them today but given the bright, cheerful nature of those new colors, I know they’ll be fabulous when dropped and puddled on hand sanitizer and then printed from the Gel Press Plate.
Supplies For This Video: