Thursday, October 11, 2012


My Gelli Plate has arrived!!
If you haven't heard about the new art product in town...
the Gelli Printing Plate used for monoprinting...
you have not been blog hopping.  Everyone is giving it
rave reviews and creating some pretty awesome art prints.  I can't wait to
get started but first let me explain that you don't have to use the
Gelli Printing Plate which is a hefty $29.00 plus shipping for the
larger 8"x10" plate.  You could make your
own by using Knox unflavored gelatin and water.
There are plenty of recipes and You-Tube videos on the
internet so I won't go over them here but I will say that
you do have that option.

I chose not to go the gelatin route because it would take a little
forethought to make the plate beforehand and I know that I probably
wouldn't do it.  Also, the gelatin only lasts for up to two weeks and
would take space the refrigerator.  Which I don't have!
So, I opted to buy the Gelli Printing Plate which will be ready and
available whenever I have the urge to play!

The BEST tutorial for using the Gelli Printing Plate is the
Gelli web site:
Joan Bess who hosts the site is simply amaaaaazing!!  She pretty much
covers it all...she uses stencils and masks,  purchased rubber stamps
and homemade moldable rubber stamps, and found objects.
 She shows how to enhance the print afterward by using dyes, inks, acrylic
glazes and watercolor as a tint.  This lady has loads of ideas and creates the
most unbelievably gorgeous prints using techniques you
would never have dreamed of!  Also, did you know that you can use
the Gelli Printing Plate to print fabric too?
Yes, you can even print FABRIC!
Think of the possibilities!!!!

OK, let me show you some of my first attempts using a Gelli plate and what I have learned thus far.  For this first print I used three colors of soft bodied Liquitex acrylic paints and printed them in this order: Light Blue Violet, Indian Yellow and Deep Magenta.  (Any soft bodied acrylic paint or craft paint will do.)  I fully covered the plate with paint for each printing and used stamps, stencils and flower masks for each.  Also, I fully cleaned the plate with water and a baby wipe between printings but I didn't always clean the roller, stencils or masks.  Most of the time the paint was dry and wouldn't transfer to the plate anyway. 

This first print taught me that too much of a good thing can muddy the pot!  I did too much mark making and stenciling with each layer and lost much of the detail. You can't even see the letter stencil through all the layers! And....I had such high hopes!  Oh well.....this will make a nice journal page once I start adding to it.  

I have to takes a little forethought to decide in which order to layer the colors and when to apply the masks.  For example; If you use a light color for the first printing and then use a darker color and mask for the second printing, the area masked will be the lightest color.  If you did the reverse and used the darkest color for the first printing and applied a lighter color and mask for the second printing, the masked area would be the darker color.  So think about how the different colors and layers are going to work together and when to apply a mask if you are using one.  The process does have its surprises but you can manipulate the effect with some planning.

For my next attempts, I eased up a little on the mark making and stencils and even tried strategically applying the paint to specific areas and not the whole plate.

This next print was made by loading up the entire plate with color for the first two printings using India Yellow and then Bright Aqua Green.  I went a little easy on the stencils and mark making this time.  For the third printing I rolled the deep Magenta color only in the area of the birds, applied the bird masks, a funky ribbon and made a print.   There was paint left on the plate so I removed the bird masks and made a ghost print by using a clean sheet of paper and rubbing it over the plate.  I put this aside for use later.  I decided the print wasn't finished so I rolled the Light Blue Violet paint in select areas, used a circle stencil to remove some paint and printed for a fourth time.  Do you see what I mean about manipulating the print with some planning?

This is the ghost print made from the previous print.  After the birds, I printed the blue areas using stencils and masks and then printed the yellow area just using masks.  I started to embellish this by adding Ranger Distress ink (you could use pan pastels) to the background to soften some of the white areas and then added the inked outline of a "B" stencil.  See how different the ghost print is from the original?  It's all in the order of how the paint and masks are applied.  Two completely different looks!

Here are a few more mono prints using the same colors but in a different order. The first one is the original and the one that follows is the ghost print.  I think that I like the ghost prints better.  What do you think?

Look at all the delicious texture that is created by the Gelli Printing Plate.

Don't you just love it?

Till next time......


  1. Indeed I do, and most of all the ghost one with the reddish birds, the one you kept adding to: GORGEOUS! Have fun playing around!

    Best regards from Eva Mari from Norway,
    currently visiting in Hungary and missing all my crafty stuff....

    1. Thank you! That's my favorite! You can see that I am chomping at the bit to start journaling on it.

  2. Popped over from Gelli Arts Facebook page - LOVE what you've done here. Those birdies really sing to me :)

    1. Thanks Joanna, birds are my favorite too. I also made mermaid masks and have to give them a try.

  3. Great post Ginny! Thanks for sharing the Gelli joy :) Love your prints and your advice is right on the mark!
    Nancy Kelley

    1. You sure are right Nancy...Gelli JOY for sure!

  4. Wonderful post. I popped over from Facebook too and also love the birds prints best.

    1. Thanks Kathi! I think that the birds will be fun to journal. Especially the ghost prints.

  5. Hi Ginny,
    I just bought a Gelli plate on impulse from my local scrapbook store and couldn't wait to play around with it. I saw a link to your post from the Gelli Facebook page. These are beautiful. I don't really understand what a ghost print is, but I'm headed to Gelli's website next for a tutorial. I love the second to the last print with the single bird in turqouise. Gorgeous! I'd love to see a follow up post about what you are doing with your prints!

  6. A ghost print is a second printing with a blank or fresh piece of paper to pick up any left over paint on the plate. They call it a ghost print because it is much lighter in color. The Gelli website or blog has great tutorials! You are going to love it!!!

  7. This is all new to me and I'm salivating to have my own Gelli plate! I love what you demonstrated in the above art pieces. I can see soooooo many possibilities with this that my artistic/creative brain is in overdrive. :)

    Thanks for sharing your process! Love the birds.

  8. You will love it Itaya Art! There ARE so many possibilities....even the paint can make a difference. Some of my paints are transparent and add even more layers. And...It's quick!

  9. These prints are awesome! Love them all :)

    1. Sorry Maggie but Google wasn't cooperating and wouldn't let me reply. Guess that it worked itself out! Anyway, thank so much for commenting and I hope that you are a Gelli Plate user. I will have more posts in the future so keep checking back.

  10. Amazing!!!! Lovely creations. Very artistic..Thank you for sharing..

    1. Thank you Derya. I just started using the gelli plate for printing backgrounds for my journals. I love making my own papers! The excitement of never knowing how the layers are going to mix until you pull the paper off the plate and the ability to choose your own mix of colors. Fun! fun!

  11. Wow! So many new ideas just popped in my mind after your post. I liked it a lot, I want to get started with my printing style. Have a look at this amazing colorful book by Altered Upcycling; it shares many new posts too.