Gelli printing and playing with color

Two lovely books entered my life at Christmas, both as presents from my husband — he sure knows what makes an artist happy: exploring a new technique!


I have always loved monoprinting and making marks in the background of cards and some of the prints I have made. Gelli plate printing lets me do this with a wider variety of mediums, like acrylic paints and gels, and all kinds of mark-makers. (If you don’t know what gelli plate printing is, this is a good introduction to it.)

This blog’s not like my usual posts where I start from the beginning and show a step-by-step process to the end of a handmade linocut print. This will show some of the playing around I have been doing the last several months, experimenting with different paints and tools to see where it leads. That’s the most fun, really … not knowing where it will go, but just getting messy!


The gelli plate is clear and takes acrylic paints best. You can use regular or heavy body acrylics, but I have found the Golden Open Acrylics to be fantastic — they have tons of pigment and also don’t dry as fast, so you can work marks into the gelli plate with a little more ease. But, really, all acrylic paints produce fabulous results. I’m using all kinds of cookie cutters and rollers and objects to make marks — just nothing sharp or you will cut your gelli plate!


Lots of found objects create all kinds of different patterns. Don’t be afraid to wing it!


Loving the blue and orange together!


Here, you can see I tend to keep one brayer/roller for each color, which saves time cleaning up in between layers. However, you can’t go too long, or the acrylic paints will dry right on your rollers, making them really hard to clean.


Some of the lighter prints are really lovely!


Different colors and different results.


My blue phase!


Then, I loaded up the color. You can see that most of the paint transfers off the gelli plate and on to the paper.


A color explosion! These prints were done in January, bringing lots of color to my grey winter days.


I’m enjoying just letting some of my prints (like the one above) be abstract pieces on their own. I am also experimenting with combining these color backgrounds with linocut over-printing.


Here, I have created a larger version of one of my most popular greeting cards, ‘MIDNIGHT MOUNTAINS‘. These prints are 7″ high x 10″ wide.


This is ‘WISE RAVEN 2’ (SOLD) and there are metallic paints incorporated for a bit of shimmer.


This is ‘GRACKLE STRUT 3‘ and the final paper print is mounted on a wood canvas.

Above are a few other examples of the ways I am combining gelli plate printmaking and linocut artwork to create unique pieces.

More monoprint/gelli plate art can be seen on my website.

linda-cote-gelli-printing-3So fun to experiment with this different technique that has less control than the very exacting linocut printmaking. That’s the coolest part … playing around for the fun of it.

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