Thursday, June 20, 2013

Gelli Monoprinting with Molding Paste Texture Plates

Create your own unique texture plates for printing with a Gelli® plate with molding paste! Watch this video and see how easy it is!

Here's what you need to make molding paste texture plates:

        • Canvas panel
        • Molding Paste
        • Palette knife, old credit card or scraper for spreading molding paste
        • Stencil  
        • Textured items to impress into molding paste

Here's how:

  1. Place a stencil on your canvas panel (or other stiff substrate).
  2. Spread molding paste over the stencil with a palette knife, spatula or scraper — then scrape off excess. 
  3. Press textures on top of the stencil — into the molding paste. You have a little time before it sets up. If you want to make changes — just smooth out the surface and press your textures into the molding paste again.
  4. Carefully lift and remove the stencil. 

IMPORTANT:  Allow your texture plate to dry completely before using. 

Plan ahead, as it can take a while for the molding paste to dry. While you're at it — make a series of them!

When you're done making the texture plates — it's a good idea to clean your stencils and tools. You don't want molding paste to dry on them :)

Printing with your texture plate:

  1. Apply acrylic paint to your Gelli® plate — and roll into a thin layer with a brayer.
  2. Press the texture plate into your painted plate — and remove.
  3. Place your printing paper onto the gel plate, rub to transfer the paint — and pull your print.


Next steps:

After you've pulled a print, quickly apply a new layer of paint to your Gelli® plate and press the texture plate into it. There should be some paint left on the texture plate from the previous print. Some of that paint will transfer when pressed into the Gelli® plate, creating a print with more complex coloring.

Experiment and PLAY! 

Here are a few ideas ...

  • When you've made several prints, you'll get a build-up of wet paint on the texture plate. Without adding more paint, press the paint-covered texture plate directly onto the Gelli® plate and remove — and pull a print. 
  • Try rolling a loaded brayer over the relief surface of the texture plate. Then press the texture plate onto the Gelli® plate — remove — and pull the relief image print. 
  • Stamp the texture plate directly onto a previous print!  
  • Combine texture plates with other texture tools and mark-making. Once you've pressed the texture plate into your painted Gelli® plate, continue to make more marks in the paint before pulling your print!
  • Try pressing sections of the texture plate into different areas of the painted gel plate.
  • Layer prints, changing the position of the paper as you print each layer. Create areas that partially overlap previous layers. 

You'll get great effects using masks between layers, too!

Here are some prints made with overlapped layers and a simple mask!

These textured prints were created with a second layer of paint applied to just part of the plate.

This print is simply printed as two layers, partially overlapping.

And sometimes it's impossible to remember exactly how a print was made :)


TIPS for creating texture plates:

  • Instead of using a stencil, apply a layer of molding paste directly to the substrate and make assorted marks and textures over the entire surface — or part of it.
  • Food wraps (plastic, foil and waxed paper) and bubble wrap create great textures and patterns when pressed into wet molding paste.
  • Draw into the wet molding paste with a soft-tipped tool or stylus.

  • Use combs to create patterns in the wet paste.

  • Press into an area of wet molding paste with a putty knife or palette knife —and pull it up. The suction creates beautiful organic shapes! The lines created this way make stunning, unique prints!

NOTE:  If the dry molding paste has any sharp areas, gently sand the points.

As the texture plate becomes covered in layers of paint, it can take on a wonderful patina. You may want to use it as a piece of art in itself — or as the beginning of a new painting or collage! Or how about book covers!

Creating your own texture plates with molding paste is fun and addictive! 

Explore the possibilities!

Good Luck and Happy Printing!

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