Underwater Dreams

I finally got around to embellishing the monotypes that I made on the gelatine plate.  These were printed with Artist’s acrylic paint and then painted with Artist’s watercolors.  I used the 8×10 gel plate on Saunders Waterford Hot Pressed 140lb paper, 11×14 inches.  I was looking through my paper stash and wanted to see how this would turn out.  I completely forgot I bought Hot Pressed paper as most of the watercolor paper I have is cold pressed.  This is what they looked like before painting.

I really liked painting these with the watercolors, especially as the paper is so nice.  I cut the rest my Saunders Waterford in half so I can try it out on the Xcut Xpress and also use it on the smaller gel plate.



Xmas Cards on the Gel Plate

I am not going to use the ‘C’ word until December, but I noticed that a lot of people are making cards now.  I can understand if you want to sell them that one has to be prepared months in advance, but I really can’t be thinking about all of that until after Thanksgiving.

When I first moved down to Eastbourne, I used to take a lot of photographs with a nice camera.  I thought I would buy some card stock and print some of my photos and make cards.  That never happened and I still had about 150 blank cards in my cupboard.  I had used some for birthdays by cutting up some of my watercolors.  I am trying really hard (really) not to buy new things if I can make do with what I have.

A couple of months ago I went through all of the prints I made on the gel plate.  I had loads. Some came out really well and they have been put aside for matting.  I had a lot more unsatisfactory prints than I have space for so I decided to use them to make cards with my supply of card stock.  I spent a whole day just cutting up prints and making cards.  Some of my gelli prints got a makeover as I learned a trick about putting a stencil on top of very dark paint and picking up a print with an old gel print.  Only a little of the original remains.  You can see an example on the card on the right.


I managed to use up most of my card stock and had about 30 left.  Then a couple of weeks ago I wanted to do some printing but didn’t know what to print, so I decided to make some Xmas cards with the leftover card stock.  I wasn’t going to make a template, but in the end I made a tree out of cardboard, rolled some ink on the 6×6 gel plate and got cracking.  I started with greens and yellows but I preferred the reds, magenta and yellow.

I decided not to be too precious about the card making and some of them look rather primitive.  Each card is different and I also used a stencil to fill in some areas.  For some of the longer cards, I found a small stamp that says Happy C… that I could use on the white space below.  By the time I finished making the cards, the template was completely covered in paint, so when it was dry I used it to make my last card so nothing got wasted.

It looks unlikely that I will be purchasing anymore cards for a while as I now have a stash of 100+ to get through!

Landscape Monotype on the Gel Plate

There are a lot of new words I am learning in the world of printmaking.  Here is something for you:  What is the difference between a monoprint and a monotype?  A monoprint is a series of prints pulled from a collagraph, etched plate, linocut, lithograph, etc.  In fact, a print from anything that can be used over.  They are not unique, unless they are from a varied edition!  I will save that for another time.  A monotype is a one-off print and therefore unique, like a painting.  Prints pulled off of the gel plate are considered monotypes as it is not possible to replicate each print.  Lesson Over!

IMG_3857Here is one of many first layers I pulled off of the gel plate.  It took me a few pulls to work out my sky and then I printed off about 10 prints.  I was trying for something specific that didn’t quite work out and only had 5 prints left.  I left it for a day before I decided to try something else.  I used Artist’s acrylic paints with Golden open medium in Ultramarine Blue, Sap Green, Burnt Sienna and Raw Umber for the first layers.

I managed to pull off 4 decent prints from the 5 I had left, not bad going.  I used Burnt Umber and Mars Black with Golden open medium for the rest of the layers.  In the bottom print, I used some textured paper to make some marks on the plate.  The problem with printing in layers with the gel plate is making sure the registration is correct so I had a few issues with that.  I managed to correct it with the black layer, but it is not ideal.  There is a Facebook page called Top Printmaking Tips where people are really helpful and I learned about using registration tabs.  I have seen people use them for linocuts, but not the gel plate, so I will give them a go when I get some.

So, not a bad day for printing!