Friday 11 January 2013


There are lots of blog posts and YouTube videos about the latest craze - monoprinting with a Gelli Plate.  This is a gel plate on which you put your acrylic paint and make patterns before smoothing a piece of paper over the top to take a print.

I love how things come round again in the crafting world.  At least 10 years ago I was doing monoprinting and producing handprinted papers.   I attended a workshop with Ruth Issett based on her book Glorious Papers.

You can see the most amazing gelli plate prints on Patti's blog.  And she also has made a video you can watch on YouTube.

So what can you do if you don't have a gelli plate? 

I use a glass plate but you could use your non-stick craft sheet.

You will need various colours of acrylic paint, a surface to put your paint on, a brayer, sheets of paper (try different sorts) and some items to draw with.    You can use the same things that are suggested for the Gelli Plate.
  • Fun textures are easy to find ... to get started, try using bubble wrap, plastic grids, foam stamps, stencils, leaves and string to create interesting imagery on your plate.
  • For hand drawn mark-making, use soft-tipped tools like paint brushes, cotton tipped swabs or soft rubber-tipped tools.

  • Splodge (technical term) your acrylic paint onto your surface and roll out with the brayer.   Make your pattern marks.
    Put your paper over the top and smooth it on to take or pull a print.

    I tried Patti's idea with the stencil

    I smoothed it with the brayer and my hands.
    This was the print that I got through the stencil.

    I peeled the stencil off and took a print directly from the glass

    and one from the stencil itself

    I had cleaned my brayer off on a piece of cartridge paper.

     I put orange acrylic on the glass and pressed a piece of bubblewrap into it.

    I removed the bubblewrap and pressed the piece of paper onto the glass and took a print.

    And then it pressed the bubblewrap onto this printed paper.

    I sprayed ink and water onto the page to make the drips.

     And here's with added pink.

    On this paper I had put the yellow acrylic on the glass and then scribbled in it and printed. Then added the pink ink.

    And lastly I put some shades of red on the plate and made patterns with the brayer.

    And here's the print.

    Here's another print taken from the remains of the red using the second print from the photograph of the turquoise paint at the top of this page. 

    You can keep building layers as long as the paper can take it.  This cartridge paper was fine with the acrylic but didn't much like the spray inks and water.  Mixed media paper or watercolour paper will give a different reaction.

    As for the Gelli Plate - well I'm going to a workshop with Dina Wakley at Art from the Heart in March to learn all about it - so watch this space to see if I'm a convert.  Or an addict like Patti!

    Thanks for stopping by.



    1. I have had a Gelli Plate for a couple months and I LOVE it!! And I must admit, I never really thought about Monoprinting before that. I've used it to create some backgrounds in my art journal, and all the backgrounds in my sketchbook project submission this year have been made with them. I'm waiting for summer to start creating 'stand alone' pieces with just the gelli plate - I like using all the organic matter that grows in the summer...and right now, the snow has it all hidden away. Happy MonoPrinting!

    2. Thanks. I watched a couple of you tube videos a month or two back about the Gelli plates and thought you could probably get the same results with a piece of glass, this confirms it for me. I must get round to doing some as it is ages since I have.

    3. Hi Bernice!
      I made my first Gelli prints this week! Come see what I did with them! What fun and such a creative way to make your own original designs. Love the one you did with your brayer in red!

    4. Cool techniques. Thanks for sharing. :)

    5. I like all the different ways you used this technique andI like different ways to use acrylic paint. Can't wait to try this.


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