‘Unsuccessful’ Teapots Monotypes

When I make prints on the gel plate, I don’t always know what I am going to do.  One day I may do circles and ribbon, another some birds, and one day I did teapots.  The teapot came from a photo I took of my Yellow Teapot painting.

IMG_7827I cut out the teapot and used contact paper to water/paint-proof the stencil.  Then I made many prints.  What I considered to be ‘unsuccessful’ went into a pile while I considered what to do with them.

On Boxing Day I ordered the Tonic Stamping platform so that I could easily register my prints.  One of the hardest things to do when printing off of a raised surface is to get it to register properly.  This stamping platform makes it a lot easier as you can line everything up before you add paint to the gel press.  I used a limited palette of acrylic paint with some gold metallic and embellished some with colored pencils.  When printing on the teapot, I had to make a mask for the background.  It was in some ways a complicated procedure as when I used a stencil on the teapot, I put the stencil on first and then the mask.  Sometimes it worked well.  Doing the background was a lot easier as I only had to place the teapot template onto the print to mask it off.


Although not perfect, they look much better and I am quite happy with them.  Now when I look at what I considered to be my ‘successful’ prints, I am no longer sure they are.  I am thinking that I may need to  re-visit them and do some more work.  At least I have something to keep me busy for a while!

Until next time, Happy Creating!


Some More Circles

GEL121Here I tried out the Ocaldo Ink in purple.  As you can see, there is quite a marked watery effect that I wasn’t expecting to get on the gel plate.  My husband seems to think it is because the gel is oil based and that since the ink is water based it shouldn’t work.  However, that is not the case when using acrylic paints.  I did try using more ink, but that just got too messy.  Regardless, I do like this watery effect.

I also tried out the ink in the viridian and crimson.  Here I used circles and some ribbon that came off of some card stock.

You can see the ribbon grain on the ghost prints.  The more I used the circles, the more color was left behind from previous pulls.  I think that these would make really nice sets.

GEL124I actually remember what I did here!  I put the masks on, then made circles with an empty tape roll which lifted some paint off of the gel plate, pulled the print, and then stamped the print with the paint that was left on the tape roll.  This meant that I didn’t end up with stark white circles.  Also some of the paint was pulled on the outside of the circles from when I stamped on the gel plate.  There are so many ways that you can make a pattern.

GEL120I know that this isn’t a print of circles, but I did find some plant matter on my morning walk with the dogs and I wanted to see if I could pull a nice print of some roots.  Initially, I used a light green with the viridian, but that wasn’t happening for me.  I must have tried a few different ways, but I couldn’t pull a good print.  So, I left a very faint ghost on the gel plate, added some more viridian on top and repositioned the roots to the other side of the plate and pulled an outline print that was not so great.  But then I did a pick up print with some newsprint from a supermarket brochure to get up as much of the paint around the plant as possible before lifting the plant from the plate to take a detailed impression of the roots and this is what I got.  I have a really good print of the plant, but if you look closely, you can see some of what was in the brochure!  This certainly wasn’t intentional, but I really like it.  Think I might keep it for myself.


Some More Birds and New Ink

After spending a week or so researching printing ink, I finally ordered some printing inks from the art supplier that I normally use, Jackson’s Art.

Firstly, there are three types of printing ink.

  1. There is ink that is oil based that requires you to use solvents to thin it out and for clean up.  There is a long open time when working with these types of inks and it can take quite some time to dry before you can add another color – days if not a week or more.  These are considered the best, but due to the toxicity of the solvents, not for me.
  2. There is ink that is vegetable oil based and has similar properties as above, however you are meant to be able to clean them up with soap and water.  My art tutor found that doesn’t always work and uses a household spray cleaner for clean-up.  This is what we use in class.
  3. Then there are the water based inks.  You are able to thin them with water or mediums and they have a longer open time than acrylic paint.  They clean up with soap and water.  As far as quality is concerned, these are meant not to be as good as the two above.  This is what I purchased – partly because I am on a strict budget and for ease of clean-up.

The inks from the USA are quite expensive.  Speedball do all three types of printing ink, but they are pricey.  I ordered ink that Jackson’s put their own name to as it was very inexpensive compared to the others on the market and you get a decent sized bottle.

However, when I peeled off the Jackson’s label, I found that they are selling a brand that I could buy from a number of different suppliers, and for a bit less.  Needless to say, I am not very happy about that.  I do consider that false advertising.  I didn’t know about Ocaldo inks as they did not come up when I was doing research on printing ink, but when I Googled Ocaldo Inks, quite a few suppliers popped up.  So my review will be on Ocaldo Ink and not Jackson’s.


Here I used the 8×10 inch gel plate.  I had some blue left over on the plate that got picked up and I used the new yellow.  The ink has a nice sticky consistency and went onto my roller quite nicely, however, it tended to bead up on the gel plate which doesn’t really happen when I use the acrylic paint.  The yellow is not a bright yellow and I am not really sure how well it would mix to make a secondary color as it is a bit earthy.  The black also reacted quite differently when applied to the contact paper stencil compared to the acrylic paint.  It creates quite a lot of resistance.  So although not a traditional ink print, I ended up with a watery effect that I quite like.

The one good thing I can say about using this ink at this time is that there is a much longer open time than using acrylic paint.  This means that I don’t have to rush when I want to take a ghost print as the ink won’t dry out too quickly.  Clean-up has been fairly easy too.  I have an old micro-fiber cloth that I dampen and it wipes up the paint off of my Perspex pallet quite easily.  The paint washes off my brayers with just a bit of soap and water too.  As the paint takes a bit longer to dry, you need to wait before working with another color unless you are using very thin applications.  The sea birds at the top required a full day to dry as the black paint was quite tacky.

I think I am going to just have to work with this new ink for awhile to get used to it and find the best way forward.  It may be the case that it is not so great for the gel plate, but good for linocuts.  We will see.