Making backgrounds with Gelatos

Hello wonderful Get Messians! I recently got my first gelatos and I’ve been obsessed! I thought it will be a nice idea to share with you some of my favorite techniques to use gelatos and create some fun backgrounds. First of all, you will need to prime your paper using gesso. If you don’t, the color won’t blend easily and you will end up with rough marks. So let’s get started!

One of my go-to supplies while using gelatos are stencils. You can get some really lovely effects using them together. Remember to start by priming your surface with some gesso and then just scribble with your gelatos. Don’t worry about how it looks, just add some bits of color here and there. Once you are done, get a big soft brush, load it with water and start blending the colors. Because there’s a coat of gesso, the gelatos won’t get absorbed into the paper and you can move them around easily. You can totally stop there and use your watercolor-looking background but you can also take it a step further and add some more interest to it. After you let your page dry, grab a stencil and place it on top of your colored area. Then using a baby wipe, remove some of the color through the stencil. You can play around with multiple stencils and remove as much color as you like until you are happy with the result.

Background Techniques using Gelatos

Since we are already talking about stencils, let’s continue with something along those lines. Use a stencil and add some texture paste on your page (again don’t forget to prime your base with gesso). Once it’s completely dry, scribble some of the color on the area right next to the texture paste (not right on top of it) and again using a wet brush slowly pull the color around. Your texture paste will still absorb some of the color but you will still see a clear difference on the shade you get on the paper and the shade you get on the texture paste. Maybe some brands of texture paste will give you a more resistant result so you can experiment with what you have in your stash.

Background Techniques using Gelatos

For the next example I actually used three techniques on the same page. I started by using some rub-ons and just like we did with the texture paste, add the color outside the rub-on area and bring it on top of it as you blend with your brush. The rub-ons will completely resist the color, just make sure not to add too much. Next, as you can see on the video, I’m playing around with two different ways to apply color through a stencil. At first I use a baby wipe and pick color straight from the gelatos to add them on the page. You don’t really need to pick a lot of color, the moisture of the baby wipe will help you blend it easily. Another way to achieve a similar result is to scribble your gelatos right on top of the stencil (yes the color will only be on the stencil instead of the holes). Then you will just use a baby wipe to rub the color on the stencil. Again try not to add too much color cause you will end up with a messy look instead of a crisp image.

Background Techniques using Gelatos

Another really easy and super fun technique to use is what people often call, the packaging technique. You may wonder why on earth would it be called like that, well that is because the main “tool” you’ll need is a piece of plastic packaging. Use your gelatos straight on the packaging piece and the spray it with a little bit of water (careful, don’t overdo it cause you will end up with a huge mess of color dripping all over the place, don’t ask me how I know). Then just smudge the packaging a little to blend the color with the water and smoosh the color onto your page (yes some people actually call this, the smooshing technique). You can add multiple layers and different colors until you are happy with the result. Oh and by the way this is the only example that can work fine without a primed base. The result will be slightly different but still very pretty.

Background Techniques using Gelatos

The last technique I’m going to show you is definitely one of my most favorites. After you prime your page, add little areas of color. Add your gelatos as thick as possible cause we want a log of pigment for this technique. Then grab a spray bottle filled with water and spray right on the paint. Add water slowly to make sure not to flood the place. Once the colors are wet enough, lift your page and let the color drip. Use a paper towel to wipe the excess blobs of color that will appear at the bottom of your page. You can keep adding water to reinforce the drips until you are happy with the result. If the spray didn’t blend your colors fully, you can go in with a small paint brush and soften the marks of the gelatos.

Background Techniques using Gelatos

So that was everything! These are the techniques I got mostly excited about while playing around with my gelatos. I really hope you got inspired and give some more love to your gelatos if you’ve been neglecting them.

Background Techniques using Gelatos

Until next time, stay creative <3


Zinia is an art student from Greece. She loves everything about colors, cats, puppies, cupcakes and pretty paper products. Zinia dreams of one day being an art educator and spreading confetti of inspiration to the world.


  1. Lucia

    Super, I love the idea 😉 I have gelatos and never used them, right time 😉 thank u 😉

  2. Misty GRanade

    Very cool! Thanks!

  3. Melody Willoughby

    Wow great examples. I am going to be able to use my neglected gelatos now. 🙂

  4. julia Thomas

    Pastel Perfection as usual Zinia! <3

  5. Katie Smith

    I should play with my gelato set more often! I love what you did with them!

  6. Romana

    I have been looking at those and wondering about them. Thanks Zinia, I will wonder no more, so nice!