If you haven’t heard of this handy, little gadget it’s time you do. Every artist who loves Mixed Media should have one of these in their arsenal. Careful, though, because using a GELLI PLATE can be addictive!
FIRST OFF – WHAT IS A GELLI PLATE?
A Gelli Plate is a gel printing plate that is used to ‘pull’ mono prints without a press. If this sounds daunting, difficult, or involved, IT’S NOT. So hang in there, find out a bit about this thing and I’m pretty sure you’ll be hooked.
Just like any of the tools in your studio, you should know the basics of how to use it in order to keep your Gelli Plate in good working condition.
DO’S AND DON’TS
The plate is made of a cool plastic that contains mineral oil. The plate will leach a bit of the mineral oil when you leave it sitting on an absorbent surface. It’s harmless, but you don’t want to ruin your work surface so always protect it with a flat, smooth, NON-POROUS barrier sheet, such as glass, or baking sheet, acrylic. You get the idea.
Do NOT use glossy paper, especially gloss photo paper to pull prints because it can stick to (and damage) the surface of the Gelli Plate.
Acrylic paint is recommended. It will most likely stain the plate, but it won’t affect your prints.
If the stain bothers you and you’d like to clean the plate, use baby oil. Wipe the plate with baby oil, then wash it with dish soap and pat it dry with a paper towel.
It’s really not necessary to clean the plates between prints. As a matter of fact, when paint remains on the plate it usually gets pulled up onto the next print – and well, wow, that’s cool.
So, keep printing over and over and over.
I also like to keep the outer edges of the plate clean, because the paint seems to collect there.
Just be sure you clean the plate before storing it. Just store it in the plastic container that it arrived in.
PULLING YOUR FIRST PRINT
Now that you know the basics, I’d say you’re ready to experience some old-fashioned, kindergarten gettin’-messy fun.
1. Here’s my basic set up of supplies: Gelli Plate set onto some non-absorbent surface. In this case I’ve used my plexiglass acrylic palette, but any non-absorbent surface will do. Soft rubber brayer, spray bottle, texture making thingies, wet paper towel in container, sketchbook to work too much paint off of brayer, hand sanitizer for cleaning edges of Gelli Plate (and you), and paper on which to print your masterpieces.
2. Put a small amount of acrylic paint right onto the Gelli Plate. It will take a bit of practice to get the feel of how much paint to use, but soon you’ll get the hang of it and be a master!
3. Use a soft rubber brayer to roll the paint into a THIN layer over the plate.
4. Now create pattern in the paint – for this first time, keep it simple – use a texture tool or your brush handle, whatever, to scratch some sort of design into the wet paint.
5. Lay a piece of paper right over that wet paint.
6. Now gently smooth the back of the paper with your hands, which transfers the paint.
7. Then pull back the paper to reveal your print!
TIP OF THE ICEBERG
This is only the beginning of what you can do with this handy tool. Here’s a rather short list of ideas/techniques for you (below). What I really recommend is that you go to the Gelli Plate website and explore!
- Multi-Color print
- ADD paint onto already dried layers and print
- Put paint onto the plate then SUBTRACT by wiping away with swabs, erasers, sponges, finger, etc.
- Use a ‘mask’ or stencil to block some areas – or put paint on it to print onto the plate.
- Use different papers as a base – newspaper, magazines and the like.
- Write on it.
- Use Masking fluid. Use Golden texture gels.
- If you don’t like a print, just pull another one right over it!
Oh my gosh…I could go on and on, but why not get yourself a great book on the process?
Here is one I recommend from Amazon. Click on the image to see the book on Amazon.:
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WHAT’S COMING UP?
I think you will enjoy them very much. They are people whose work I personally admire.
YOUR 30-DAY CHALLENGE ORDERS
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I’m hanging in there with my chemo treatments. Second one coming up this week and I’m losing hair. Thinking about going to have it cut short or shaved. The last time I had short hair was…hmmm, when I was a baby! If I feel really brave, I’ll post a photo on an upcoming post. gulp.
Thanks so very much to all of you who have written encouraging words, sent cards and gifts. It DOES make a difference. So many of you have been where I am now. If you did it, so can I.
Thank you so much for reading!