Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Painterly Monotype

One of the many exciting advantages of the Gelli® gel printing plate is how simple it is to create a painterly monotype without a press! 
This video shows how to create a painterly monotype using a reference photo under your plate! 


Here's the info … and some tips:

1. Place your reference drawing or photo on your work surface and tape in place.

2. Place your Gelli® gel printing plate onto a plastic sheet — position this over your reference picture, and tape the plastic sheet in place. Mylar, plexiglass or acetate are great for this. (I use an inexpensive piece of styrene from the craft store — intended for faux stained glass.) 

Note: Do NOT place your Gelli® plate directly onto your reference picture.

3. Use a soft paintbrush and paint your plate with slow-drying paint, such as Golden Open Acrylics

4. When your painting is complete, cover with your printing paper, gently rub to transfer the paint — and pull your print. 


  • To retain the beauty of your brushstrokes — apply the paint in a thin layer. Thick applications of paint will print as blobs.
  • Slow-drying paints, like Golden's Open Acrylics, will give you time to develop your painting.
  • Adding an extender, like Golden Open Medium, Open Gel, or Glazing Medium to your regular acrylic paints will slow their drying time. They will also add transparency to the paints.
  • Remember: Your print will be the reverse of your painted image.
  • Using a guide under your plate is an excellent way to work in a series. You can create different and unique prints based on the same image.
  • Painterly monotypes are often great beginnings! Consider working back into your prints with watercolor, pencils, ink, pastel, and collage!
  • The clear nature of the Gelli® gel printing plate is perfect for using a reference picture under it. If you prefer creating spontaneous images — place your Gelli® plate on a piece of regular white paper. That way, your plate is a blank surface for painting.

Either way, have fun creating painterly prints! We hope you'll 
share your prints with us on the Gelli Arts® Facebook Page! Thanks!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Monoprinting in Layers: Step-by-Step

There's something curious about monoprints created from multiple layers. They draw you in — inviting a closer look to decipher "how" they were created.

Watching this video will demystify the process! Here we go, layer by layer… so easy!

TIP: To get an approximate registration when printing consecutive layers ...
Place your Gelli® plate on a piece of paper that is the same size as your printing paper. Use this as a guide. When you are ready to place the printing paper on the Gelli® plate, line up the edges with the paper under the plate.

You'll notice I've taped the paper under my Gelli® plate to the craft sheet to keep it in place on my work surface :)

To help visualize the effect of one color over another, I am using Golden Open Acrylics in highly transparent colors for this demonstration. Using masks on each layer creates the complexity in the image. (for a tutorial on masks, please take a look at my previous blog post, "Who Was That Masked Man")

This time I've cut some very simple "donut" shapes from Tyvek to use as masks. Tyvek is a perfect mask material: thin, strong, easy to cut, and reusable. Shipping envelopes are a good source for Tyvek, so save them! Cutting your own masks is a great way to upcycle those envelopes!

This process yields two multi-layered prints. One print is the layering of each paint color. The other is a layered ghost print of each layer. Very different effects!

Hope you have as much fun making layered prints as I do!

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