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Gelli Plate Printmaking: Monochromatic Monotypes

00:04   Intro to monotype
00:51    Printmaking without a press
01:13    Gel printing plate
01:31    Visual qualities of a monotype
02:23   Creating a series

05:19    Akua intaglio inks
07:11    Inking the gel printing plate
09:29   Tools: brushes & rags
10:31    Wiping the plate
12:09   Registration sheet

12:36    Printing
13:43    Clean up
14:40    2nd monotype
15:14    Pthalo green
16:32    A different type of making
17:02    Bloopers

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Owen Rival

Owen Rival
Guest Teaching Assistant


Create a monochromatic monotype.

Core Ideas

Monochrome, Contrast, Light & Shadows.

GelliArts logo
Speedball Logo

Materials provided by
Gelli Arts & Speedball

Related Tutorials


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Rives BFK Paper
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Art Supplies: Acetate
Art Supplies: Gel Printing Plate
Art Supplies: Sharpie Marker
Art Supplies: T-square
Art Supplies: Light Board
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Stephanie Gibadlo

Stephanie Gibadlo
Project Assistant

“This was a really fun project to work on! I have used gel printing plates once before, but I still wanted to use this as an opportunity to experiment and see what kinds of images I could make.

I wanted to start simple at first and use a limited blue palette. I really love how you can paint with the ink while using gel printing plates, so I tried to emphasize the brush texture with the prints I made. For my final print I tried making a more literal image with a cardinal print. I don’t think that print was as successful as the others, but I’m still glad I tried.

Lastly, I decided to use markers to add some accents to the prints and make them stronger as individual pieces. Overall I’m really happy with the way they came out! I’m glad I got a chance to do prints with the gel printing plate again, and I think I will do more gel printing plate pieces in the future. “

“This project was very eye opening for me as an artist! I’ve always been fascinated with painterly styles and effects, especially in monochromatic art pieces. By watching the monotype tutorial here on Art Prof, I saw how through a subtractive method, so much of the style I loved was created.

Something I have to work on in general as an artist is being patient during the process, and not getting too frustrated when pieces take a long time to complete. However, this method was so refreshing to me because it took such little time while still producing a complete work of art! I love working in series, too, and through printmaking of this kind (and with only ONE gel printing plate) I am able to do so scarily easily.

One thing I have to practice is getting more details in the final piece, because I found that it is hard to gauge the value of the ink when it’s on the plate itself. However, I feel like a light box would have helped immensely (as shown in the tutorial) and I’m going to look into getting one for future projects.

This was probably my favorite of all of the tutorials I’ve been a part of, and I will definitely work more in this medium.”

Ruth Lee

Ruth Lee
Project Assistant

“While working with the gel printing plate, I realized the most important thing about the project is what ink you use. Since I didn’t have proper ink at home, I used acrylic paint instead–but this ended up being much more problematic than I had anticipated.

Even when I tried to work quickly, the paint simply dried too fast and didn’t give me enough time to really develop any good illustration on its surface. Trying to achieve the ‘painterly’ textured look, I found out the hard way that the thinner I spread my paint to see the strokes in it, the more immediately it would dry and fail to print.

Instead, I decided to use Q-tips to draw in the paint, as it would create bolder lines and thus less surface area with very thin, dryable layers of paint. Although I ended up redoing it many times and running all kinds of test trials, there was a silver lining; painting over the gel printing plate each time I started fresh was SO satisfying. Not to mention happily squishing the gel with my fingers when washing it.

For future monotype projects, I would be sure to find a very viscous, slow-drying ink, so I can really spend time making a quality print without having to worry as much about time.”

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