Marbled Monoprinting


Welcome back! Yesterday I showed you twelve 5″ x 7″ pieces of marbled gelli pulls. Make a beautiful gelli print pull that you love so much? You will never be able to replicate it exactly because every pull is different. That is why they call it monoprinting. One time wonders. A couple days ago I was working with small gelli plates and this project just happened. And this technique that I am calling marbled monoprinting just happened. I love it when things work out that way. And I promised to show you how I made those gorgeous yummy papers from yesterday’s post. Are you ready to get started?

Step One: I will get more detailed in a minute. I used a variety of small gelli plates for the project. I took the first plate which is 2.5″ x 2.5″ and put one drop of four different colors on the plate. That is all it takes. Please excuse the plate’s appearance. I never clean them.

Step Two: Take a small brayer and tap and roll those colors out. Don’t use long strokes like you do with regular gelli plating, just touch the brayer to the color and make short rolls here and there around the plate. I brayered all four colors at once. A little here. A little there. I’ll work on a video in the couple days to show you in more detail. Don’t blend all the colors together – try to keep them in separate blobs like you see above.

Take that gelli plate with the color on it and stamp it on your paper. I will show you in a minute how to do that. Stamp straight down, lift straight up.

And there you go. A marbled monoprint. OK, let’s build this whole project from start to finish.

I told you yesterday supplies were minimum. I used four of the baby gelli plates to make my two page project. Here you can see two of them. I worked in my Report & Art Book from Hahnemühle but any paper you want to use will work. A smaller brayer works best for this technique to keep from mixing your colors together too much. Small brayer, small taps and rolls. For color I used acrylic paint. Someone asked in yesterday’s post if she would need to buy new paint. Over the years I’ve used every media you can name to gelli print with. Even the 50 cent cheapo bottles of craft paint from Walmart and they all work just fine. I am sure whatever you have on hand will work. I have these Dina Wakley acrylic paints in literally every color she sells. You use so little color they last a long time. I’ve had most of my bottles for probably 4 or 5 years. These are your absolute need to have supplies – paper, brayer and color.

Back in the day when I did a lot of scrapbooking and stamping, I had these acrylic blocks in a load of sizes. And I kept them even when I got rid of just about everything else. Thank you, Lord, you knew I’d need them! I took my little gelli plate and slapped it on an acrylic block. That really does turn the gelli plate into a stamp. So if you have one – go find it!

I knew I was going to work over a two page spread and my tangle brain told me to start with the square plate. I used four colors on most of the blocks on these two pages. One little dollop (how’s that for a fancy word?) of each color on the plate somewhere. Doesn’t matter where. And preciseness goes out the window, too. Just put the color on and grab your brayer. Tap and roll that color here and there trying not to mix it all into mud. Cause that stinks. If you do make mud or something equally undesirable, print it with a piece of scrap paper and start over. Another plus for using the acrylic blocks to stamp with – you can see exactly where you are placing the gelli plate. Smoosh it down good like you would a stamp, then lift the block and plate away from your page.

Don’t worry about cleaning your gelli plate. You don’t really need to. All those colors add character to later prints. Hahahaha! I went way too dark on these colors. But – look at that brayer. Maybe that will help you understand tap and roll a little better. You can see I was grabbing bits or color and rolling about an inch at a time.

Like I said this came out darker than I like, so I added a thin layer of white paint and stamped that right on top. I could line it up just right thanks to that clear acrylic block holding the gelli plate.

I won’t show you the gelli plate each time but do look at this one. Do you see how little paint is on there? It really doesn’t take a lot. I stamped it down and . . .

. . . this is how it turned out. Plenty of color. That dark edge came from previous pulls and I am always ok with that.

I used rectangles, squares, ovals and whatever a six sided shape is called. Hahahaha! Geometry was not my thing. And see how I overlap shapes? It all works and it is all beautiful!

I had two colors on this plate and decided to add two more. This rectangle is 3″ long by 2″ wide. So you can see how small those bits of paint really are.

Then I just stamped it in place. If you don’t get good enough coverage the first time – put the gelli stamp right back into place and smoosh it down harder. Hahahahaha! Art play is such a rocket science experiment for me.

You really can just layer these things as you go along. The paints dry so fast the colors will not mix. They will stay just like you put them down.

Aren’t those colors wonderful? Keep working till you feel the composition is complete. Notice that red square in the center covers the middle seam and is on both pages? Hahaha! I didn’t know if that would work like I wanted it to, but it did.

Don’t be afraid to stamp off the page. Just like you did with scrapbooks and stamping 20 years ago.

This is where I called it done √ and I love it just as it is. Was I afraid I’d mess this up if I drew on it? You bet I was worried about that! Hahahaha! Shoot, it isn’t every day I make something this beautiful. But. I’m all about tangling and such so I figured I needed to at least try.

It’s been a few days since I mentioned The 100 Day Project. Mainly because I’m tired of it. And I’m three days behind now. But – when the project is over I am going to do my own project. All by myself unless someone else wants to join me. It is going to be called Use Up All That Art Stuff in Your Closet That Never Sees The Light Of Day Project. Hahahahaha! Not even kidding. Stencils. I have at least 100 if not more. Seriously. A few days ago I pulled out every stencil I could find and put them all in one cardboard box. During my project I am going to use one stencil a day for some art piece, then put the stencil back in its drawer. When my box is empty – my project will be complete. What does that have to do with this post? When I was hoarding up my stencils I came across three I hadn’t had the opportunity to use yet and they were perfect for this art spread. See what I did in that center box? Let me show you how I did that.

Here I am going to work on that 6-sided wonder there in gold. These stencils are really awesome! I’ll give you a link at the end of this post in case you want one of your own, but I’m going to warn you now – I bought three of them! Hahahaha! They call these circles. I used an ink pad and a dabber to put color just where the stencil covered the gold shape.

When I lifted the stencil, this is what I had.

Then all you do is slide that stencil over further – see the circles to the left? And line the right hand side of the stencil – smaller circles – so they fall right in the center of the larger circles. Then use a different ink color for these.

And you get this. I decided to use this stencil technique in blocks that didn’t have amazing color from the gelli printing. Ones that needed more help.

I’ll have to look up the name for this stencil. I think it’s eyes or something like that. I’ll put links at the end of this post. I used a darker pink ink to dab color for this part of the stencil.

Then I slid the stencil over and lined up these ovals in the middle of the openings I had already inked.

And I added a different color over the ink in these openings. I had no idea how this would look. This stencil was much different from the squares in the red block and the circles in the gold block.

This is how it turned out! Awesome! I didn’t love this block before but I do now! Cool! And I am saving those stencils in my cardboard box so I can make these part of my use-up-all-my-stencils project next month.

Here you can see how all three look when mixed with the rest of the two page blocks.

I used my Technical Drawing Pens from Zebra Pen and started adding some tangles. I opted to use more open patterns that would allow the pretty colors to show through.

I added some thicker lines around some of the squares . . .

. . . and some checkerboard lines for this one.

A little line dance which kept the center of this block open to show those pretty colors. Someone asked me about the lines in the paint – yes, those are made from the brayer edges and the technique itself – keeping the colors from blending and smoothing out.

Some overlaps of color I just ignored and went with the general shape of the main piece.

And some overlaps I worked around and changed up the shape of the block I was tangling.

Left . . .

right . . .

. . . and both pages. I limited my tangles to three patterns and kept them light and airy. I left my two favorite blocks open with no tangling at all so I could appreciate the beautiful colors. Marble monoprinting is so easy to do. I did a couple more pieces I will show you tomorrow and I will work on a video soon. Let me know if you have any questions in the comment section. I hope some of you will try this technique. It reminds me so much of batik fabrics – which I love also!

Report & Art Book and other Hahnemühle products with purchase links
Technical Drawing Pens from Zebra Pen
Dina Wakley Media Acrylic Paint
Circles Layer Me Stencil
Squares Layer Me Stencil
Connected Eyes Layer Me Stencil
Set A, Petit Gel Plates
Set B, Petit Gel Plates
2″ wide Brayer

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24 thoughts on “Marbled Monoprinting

  1. only thing I need is a small brayer and I will be off and running…Great idea for stencils. I was looking for one I wanted a few days ago and found at least 10 that I had to have and they were not even opened yet.. Thanks again for the great ideas

    • I found that removing all my stencils from the packaging allowed me to stuff more stencils in the drawer 🙂 hahahaha!

  2. Thanks Alice and I have all the supplies but the stencils! Great technique and beautiful results. I look forward to trying it. I like your idea of using all your art supplies. I have been trying to decide what I will never use so I can de-stash some for the last year or so. I have made decisions on a few things.

    • stencils aren’t absolutely necessary – they just make it more fun 🙂

  3. I can see you had a lot of fun with this – I found out the hard way that acrylic blocks are very handy to have……… one day I’ll replace some but for the moment I have paint palettes which do the job or just bits of plastic packaging……

  4. Alice what a wonderful post. The gel plate prints are gorgeous! Funny, stencils are the one thing I use almost every journal page! Hugs!

    • I’m going to be stalking your art for new ways to use stencils. hahahahaha!

  5. Love this! They look like jewels on the page! I need to drag out my gel plates and have a day of play!

  6. Love the way this turned out. Inspired at multiple levels – including dusting off my fancy sketchbook which I first started a few years back in one of your FB groups.

    Those patches of colour are delicious – some remind me of slices of berry studded cake. The overlaps and stencilling and tangling of some but not all – all perfect!

    I’m keen to see where your Use Up project takes you. I don’t have a tonne of stuff, but I’m sure you’ll remind me of things I haven’t used in a while – or prompt me to use them in different ways!

    • hahahaha! I hope I can inspire you to use what you have and not to go buy anything else. you have to figure out where to put it if you buy something new. hahahahaha!

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