Gelli Plating – Done For Now


The past two days I have been talking about gelli plates and showing you how I break in a new one. For me it is all about the layers. Seriously. Hahaha! Think about all the layers you can build up in a mixed media piece. It is the same idea.

In the last photo yesterday, I ended with most of the paint being cleared from the gelli plate. Not by cleaning, but by pulling prints. For this print, I placed a large undersea kind of stencil on the plate and placed my sheet of printmaking paper over it. I used my hands and the brayer so I could lift as much color as possible. This is the print I pulled. I had enough color still on the plate to get this seahorse. You can see part of the plate behind the paper at the top of the photo and see that much of the color has been removed.

I put two smaller stencils down onto the plate and rolled a light layer of a really pretty green acrylic over the entire plate and both stencils. Then I placed these two pieces of paper on top of the whole thing and used my hands and fingertips to smooth down the paper and makes these pulls.

To finish these two pieces up, I put down a light layer of the same color green and made a lift using a heart stencil for the one on the left. Then after I removed the stencil from the plate I just laid the other two pieces face down into the color that remained and smoothed them down with the brayer – lifted and I had these two pulls. By using the brayer, I was able to also lift some of the residual color from previous pulls along with the pretty green. I did the same thing with the heart piece.

At this point I wanted to lighten up the color on the plate because I was getting ready to put it away for the day. I rolled a layer of white over the whole thing and made one last print. I have a few pages in my stack that I apparently didn’t take photos for. To wrap this post up – and this breaking in of my new gel plate – let me show you how they all look now.

Thank you for reading along these past three days. I did all these prints in about an hour. I really don’t have more time than that in a day to make art so it has to be easy. And that includes pulling out all the supplies. It is so worth it and so much fun! I hope that maybe I can inspire you to give it a try. Gelli plates come in all sizes – even minis. So please don’t be intimidated and think you have to work large. You do not. A couple cheap bottles of acrylic craft paint from Walmart, a brayer, a gelli plate and printer paper is all you really need to get started. From there – the sky is the limit!

Gelli Plate
FolkArt Craft Paint
Printmaking Paper
Rose Stencil
Seahorse Stencil

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17 thoughts on “Gelli Plating – Done For Now

  1. Thanks for such a thorough and encouraging demo. I’ve now got Gelli printing firmly in my ‘to try’ pile. The reassurances that fineline pens work over the acrylic is good to know – that would have worried me. Do you ever use any other colour medium on your plates – gouache? inks? Also – does the paper you use need to be quite thin to pick up the ink through the stencil – I mostly use watercolour and worry it wouldn’t be flexible enough? I find that some printmaking papers break down at the shading stage of tangling – their surfaces aren’t built for lots of scrubbing with a stump!

    • I have tried gouache, acrylic, watercolor, brusho crystals, fabric paints, various powder colors – with no problems. I’ve used mixed media paper, watercolor paper, computer paper, card stock, mail, envelopes, Disney fliers, tags, you name it – everything works fine. if you have really heavy paper I would do a test run to start with. I’ve never had a problem – with the thicker paper use your hands to smoosh it down so you can feel where it is going. paper doesn’t have to be thin – but it can be – anything works pretty much

  2. They are all beautiful Alice, thanks for sharing them and for the tips.

  3. Oops, I seem to have missed some posts, sorry. I love the results though!

  4. That’s such a variety of background papers, intriguing to see how they vary – that 12th one remains my favourite, with the white & green floral pattern. It’ll be fun seeing if I can spot any of these as backgrounds in future projects of yours……. uh oh, that’s a whole new game to play!!

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