I spent a few hours over the past few days playing with the Gelli Arts Printing Plate and now I know why it is indeed one of the most valuable art tools on the market today. I was completely and totally absorbed by the possibilities.
Some of the things that I learned during this experiment:
- The color combinations are endless!
- The stencil combinations are endless! It’s hard to imagine putting two or more distinct looking stencils layered until you try it and say WOW!
- Different types of paper absorb the paint better than others. I removed the pages from a 9″x12″ mixed media paper wire bound journal and used all of those and then looked for more paper and found a ream of Wausau Exact Bristol paper, a much better choice for this technique. It picked up the paint better, didn’t require as much rubbing and the paint colors seemed brighter, denser and picked up any imperfections from my brayering the paint.
- Don’t use a scrapbooking paper stencil – ARG! It completely stuck to the plate and I had to peel it off in pieces.
- Liquitex soft body acrylics worked perfectly. I wanted bold, clear colors and the craft acrylics did not deliver that for me.
- Keep your brayer clean!
- I used a large (18″x24″) pad of newsprint to roll the brayer on as soon as I was done laying the paint on the Gelli plate (see pics below). I also wiped down the brayer with a soft cloth to make sure there were no paper tidbits or fuzz (unless that is the look you want).
- Use a hard, nonporous, non-slip surface to place the Gelli plate on. I taped a sheet of freezer paper on my table which worked fine except while I was cleaning the plate and the whole thing moved tearing the paper. I have a 2″ coated shelf from my kitchen cabinet remodel that I tried and it worked perfectly, no slipping at all.
- I was concerned about leaving paint on my stencils, so after I printed with it I pressed it on a piece of newsprint to remove any excess. Yes, there is still some on the stencil, but this won’t ruin it.
- Anything can be a stencil or mask. The best print that I made was using a piece of corrugated cardboard. I loved the lines it created on the paper, perfect for journaling. I also tried a plastic square holed sink protector that I picked up at the dollar store. The square holes reminded me of a high-rise apartment building with the lights on in all the windows. I used Orange Azo and it printed exactly as I imagined it.
Here are some of the prints that I created.
And here are the “scrap” papers that were serendipitously created after cleaning the brayer and the stencils. These will be torn up and used as add on collage elements.
Lots of colors to keep my imagination and muse going!
I hope you will try out the Gelli Arts Printing Plate. You can learn more about this plate and watch their videos on their website. (I am not affiliated with the company).
Keep it simple!