Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Faber-Castell Mix & Match Gelatos Gift Set Review

I'd been wanting one of these Faber Castell Gelatos Gift Sets for absolute ages (or so it seems) but I couldn't get myself to shell out £60 for it. When I spotted a half price deal for £29.99 on Amazon (including shipping and taxes) it didn't take me long to make a decision! I know a good deal when I see one! I'm very happy with this purchase and feel so lucky to own this set. I decided to write a review to help you make a purchasing decision.

This set comes in a sturdy cardboard box, which opens like a drawer. It's lovely quality and looks as if it will last for many years. The Gelatos inside are nestled in a black tray with a velvet finish, which also feels quite sturdy and good quality. Apart from the 28 colours (as detailed below) you'll also get some accessories: 2 sponges and 2 paper stumps for blending, a water brush and a design idea leaflet.

Faber Castell Gelatos Gift Set - outside packaging

Faber Castell Gelatos Gist Set - inside packaging

I've prepared a colour chart to show the individual colours. The surface is a bit rough because I used gesso to seal my paper. This makes the Gelatos glide on and blend effortlessly, but you can also apply them directly on paper, canvas, textile and even wood surfaces.


Faber Castell Gelatos Gift Set Colour Chart
The metallic colours have a strong shimmer

What are Gelatos?

Gelatos are basically highly pigmented gel crayons. They're very creamy and melt into your surfaces like butter. They glide on smoothly and you can smudge them with your fingers or use some blending tools.

How can I use Gelatos?

You can use Gelatos in many ways. I like using them for creating backgrounds. This one, for example was created on a gessoed surface, where I blended three different colours together just with my fingers.

Gelatos are also great for outlining and shading. You can find an example for this in this project.

Gelatos are water soluble so you can use them like watercolour paints.

Gelatos are suitable for stamping as well, though keep in mind that the stamped images will not be as sharp and detailed as if you were using archival ink, but they're great for background texturing. Just mist your stamps with a little water and apply a thin layer of gelatos to stamp with.

You can also try using Gelatos over a stencil blending them with a sponge or your fingers.

Some people dilute Gelatos and use them in spray bottles, but I think it's a bit of a waste doing that!

Are there any drawbacks of using Gelatos?

There are a few things you need to keep in mind.

Because Gelatos are watersoluable, they will not be permanent on your surfaces. They will be affected by any wet medium on top. You can try sealing them with clear gesso or a fixative, but I normally only use them when I know I will not be applying anything too wet over them. They seem to be OK with gel medium, as long as you don't smudge it too hard.

Gelatos are wax-based, so it's very difficult to use any pens on top of them, especially on a thick background layer. Sealing with clear gesso might help, but it's best to avoid Gelatos if you plan to use pens on top. They behave much like oil pastels in this respect.

Conclusion

Despite these drawbacks, Gelatos can be a valuable addition to your mixed media arsenal to help you produce amazing art work. Like with any other medium though, you have to learn what you can and can not do with them, so you can use them to their best advantage.  Have fun creating with Gelatos!


Here's a video by Heather Kraafter from the Kaaft Shaak, who will show you Gelatos in action. She's also found a way to seal them with matte gel using a Gelli plate. Jump to 47:40 to see this!