Have you been interested in printmaking, but were a little hesitant due to the cost?
Well, you’re in luck!
It’s completely clear and able to take a myriad of different impressions, making it perfect for monoprinting, so you can use this ONE plate HUNDREDS of times!
And at only $12.59, how can you go wrong?
Here are just a couple of different ways you can use these plates:
I wanted to make a simple picture, so I decided to do a branch of cherry blossoms.
The first step was laying down a background because, with printmaking, you have to work from back to front.
I mixed up some Joe’s Prime Really Good Acrylic in Titanium White with Golden High Flow Acrylic in Cerulean Blue Hue and a smidgen of Teal.
I mixed with my Speedball Hard Rubber Brayer because I didn’t want the color to be TOO even.
I also added a bit more Teal, just to really make the sky interesting.
Then, using my brayer, I spread the paint completely across my Gelli Plate.
I cut a piece of Strathmore 400 Series Heavyweight Printmaking Paper down to a 4×6″ (slightly larger than my 3×5″ Gelli Plate) and laid it across the Plate.
I pushed down a bit, just to make sure it got pretty evenly-coated, and then peeled my paper back up.
And here’s what I got for my first layer!
You can see all of the unique ridges and impressions it made on my paper–and it dried that way, too!
With my background done, all I had to do was rinse my Gelli Plate off with water and it was good as new!
Just a hint of blue there (from where I didn’t get ALL of the paint off), but otherwise perfectly clear again!
This would be a good time to mark off your print on the back of your paper, to make it easier when laying it down and making more layers.
And now, for branches!
I mixed Diarylide Yellow and Dioxazine Purple to make a nice Umber shade.
The Golden High Flow Acrylics are great for printmaking because they’re beautiful, vibrant colors and have a lot of flexibility, so you can pretty much form them however you like.
Some of the colors are semi-transparent, making them even better for layering.
For my branches, all I did was paint directly onto the plate and I got exactly what I put down…only backwards.
It’s important to remember that, in printmaking, whatever you put down, you’re going to get the mirror image of.
For my third layer, I mixed a little more purple into my brown to give my branches some depth.
I missed the mark just a hair on this, but that’s one of the beauties of printmaking–you can’t be certain what’s going to happen when you pull that paper up! How exciting!
My 4th layer was my outer blossom petals.
I mixed Naphthol Red Light with Titanium White and a few drops of Dioxazine Purple to get this beautiful pink shade.
The good thing about having my previous layers left on my Gelli Plate is that I knew where to put my pink paint!
Lined up pretty well with my third layer!
My fifth layer was the insides of my blossoms, which was my original pink color with about 50% more Naphthol Red Light mixed in.
Unfortunately…right as I was laying my paper down, my hand slipped and missed the mark AGAIN…resulting in off-center flowers.
But I still think it looks nice! Just gives them a little bit of perspective, right?
As Bob Ross would say, “No mistakes, just happy accidents.”
Now, I got to this point and felt like my print still needed something…
So I painted little streaks of Teal around the blossoms and applied one more layer…
In this layer, some more of my branches came off onto the print. But, again, I think that just makes it more visually interesting.
Here’s my finished print!
Something simple and elegant, ready to grace the front of a greeting card or be framed and hung on the wall!
Now if you REALLY want to see what these plates can do, stay tuned! I got into a LOT of layers my second time around!
Rather than rinsing my plate again, I just flipped it over since most of the paint was dry and it wasn’t hurting anything.
If you don’t like the possibility of error with your printmaking, you could consider mounting your Gelli Plate to a clear acrylic pane or even the package it comes in!
After all, one of the beauties of this Plate is that you can see through it, so use that to your advantage!
The gelatin consistency makes it stick pretty well to just about anything non-porous.
My second print began with a random swatch of the mixed up pink that I used for my cherry blossoms just brushed across the side of the Plate.
This time, I left my paper on the table and picked up and placed the Gelli Plate onto the paper.
I also opted for Strathmore 500 Series Riverpoint Printmaking Paper because I didn’t know how crazy I’d be getting with layers, and I knew the 500 Series would be able to handle anything I threw at it.
My second layer was more Dioxazine Purple on the opposite side, with a little pattern I made with my paintbrush going through it.
As you can see, the Gelli Plate held on to BOTH textures left behind by my brushes and transferred them identically to my paper.
My third layer was a band of Naphthol Red Light going across the bottom.
I wanted a pretty even texture for this, so I just applied the paint directly from the bottle and skipped brushing it on.
My fourth layer was a mixture of Cerulean Blue Hue and Titanium White. The Joe’s Prime Acrylic really helped to thicken the Golden High Flow because Golden High Flow is about as close to ink consistency as you could get, and I needed something with a little more viscosity for what I was about to do…
Enter: Princeton Catalyst Contour!
The Contour I used was #C-22 and, let me tell you, these things are SO cool! The Contours and Gelli Plates truly go together like peanut butter and jelly–or should I say…Gelli.
The opacity of my contoured layer provided an amazing effect!
Now, it probably would have behoove me to stop right here…but I really wanted to pile on some crazy layers, so I kept going!
Rather than washing the plate again, since I was right in the middle of this awesome print, I just wiped the remaining Cerulean away with a damp rag and I was ready for the next layer!
My fifth was another layer of applying the paint straight from the bottle, this time with this Teal I cannot get enough of.
And then switched it up a bit by creating my own stamp…
From a highligher!
The end of this highlighter I just had at my desk was the perfect circle for me to make little Diarylide Yellow rings with.
And with that, I called it a day on this print.
Here’s a better look.
Check out the way the Teal blended with the Cerulean and Red! And how some of the Yellow rings actually made it through to the white paper!
And now THIS print is ready to be made into a backdrop for another work of art, or cut into a bookmark shape, or framed as is!
And even with several layers of paint and peeling up the plate, the paper didn’t buckle at all!
This stuff is STRONG!
One good, final rinse of the Gelli Plate, and it was back to clear–only with a Cerulean tint around the edges.
But that almost makes it better because now I don’t have to worry about losing it!
For these supplies and MORE, check out the Summer Sales Event we have going on at Cheap Joe’s now through July 13th!