Creating with Printables | Part IV

The three previous posts in this series focused on methods using RB Clearly Elegant Stenciling Gel to mount or transfer images, which coats the paper surface.  What if you want to retain the natural feel of the paper on which you have printed the digital art?  You can use the gel to mount (glue) heavy weight paper onto a solid surface.

This process opens up a realm of surface options.  For example, pencil and watercolor applications are traditionally rendered on paper, which then must be matted and framed.  The option to
permanently mount paper of a firm substrate such as wood panels with deep sides or dimensional surfaces.  This eliminates your matting and framing expenses, which can be used to create more art--but I digress.  This focus of series is digital art.  You can add to, or modify the digital images, before or after printing so you have the option of printing a finished image or using the print as a background* to which you add hand painting or other techniques making each one truly unique.

*Boldly colored backgrounds and images can be softened by adjusting the transparency before printing.  This allows you to make the digital art as subtle as desired so that your additions can shine.


Print the desired imagery on the paper of your choice.  Using a heavier weight minimizes buckling; I like to use 140 lb. watercolor paper.  Allow margins around the print; do not trim.  Protect your work area then place the print face down.  Position your surface face down on the paper.  Use a pencil to trace along the perimeter of the surface.  Use a large brush to completely cover the back of the paper with RB Clearly Elegant Stenciling Gel.  Carry the gel past the pencil outline to make sure no area is missed.

Carefully place the surface, face down, on the back of the paper.  Flip it over so that the ensemble is face up.

Cover the paper to protect it.

Begin in the center of the panel and roll a brayer toward the edges of the surface, pushing out any trapped air. Turn the surface so that it is once again face down; weight it with heavy books.

Allow this to dry overnight.  Once the surface has dried you will trim to remove the excess paper along each side.


Place the surface face down on a cutting mat.  Then, use a sharp blade the to trim the paper flush with the edges of the surface.

Turn the surface face up and use an emory board to unify the cut edges of the paper with the surface.

To do this, hold the emory board at an angle, draw downward across the edge to create a bevel.

Once you have completed any further embellishments, protect the surface with a finish compatible with your chosen medium.

I have also developed an alternate method  for dry mounting paper and fabric that allows for the surface of the fabric or paper being mounted to remain in its original, uncoated state, which is perfect if you plan to watercolor, pencil or use other media that will not bond with a coated surface.