Sometimes when you’re printing with a Gelli® plate, you’ll pull a print and observe a very cool design left on the plate.
Sometimes this residual layer of paint will allow for the opportunity to pull an interesting second (ghost) print.
And sometimes the paint remaining on the plate is too dry or too thin to pull a good ghost print. So you wipe the plate, or apply fresh paint and keep printing. C’est la vie!
But wait — there’s a technique for releasing that thin layer of paint to produce wonderful, ethereal prints. And it’s so easy!
I tend not to clean the plate between prints because I like the surprise of residual color from previous prints showing up here and there as I continue printing.
But when I see something on the plate that I really like, and know it won’t print as is, it’s time for … “Plan B”.
Here’s how it works…
To start, I’ve created a Gelli® print. I’m using Liquitex Basic acrylic tube paints —but any acrylic paint should work.
As you can see, there’s a strong image left on the plate — and, in this case, no chance for a successful ghost print. The paint is simply too dry.
The good news … this is the perfect set up for the next steps.
1. Using a brayer, roll a layer of heavy-body acrylic paint onto the plate — right over the leftover paint. I usually use Liquitex Titanium White Heavy Body tube color for this technique. Viscosity counts here, so any heavy body paint should work.
2. Now pull a print on a piece of regular computer paper. The print will usually be solid white. Toss that print aside.
On this print,
up some of
the paint left
on the plate.
— most likely,
your first print
will be solid
3. Quickly cover your plate with a new piece of printing paper. Rub as usual to transfer the paint. In fact, you can give it a little extra rubbing time. Then pull the print off the plate.
This time, the ghost print will pull up most, if not all, of the paint remaining on the plate! How cool is that!
Note: You may find that the paper sticks to the plate on the second print. Just pull the print slowly and firmly and watch it transfer the paint off the plate.
Also, if there was any paint left on your plate from previous prints, this print may pull it up!
See the small turquoise blob near the center of this print? That was leftover paint from a previous print! I love these little surprises! Who knew?!
Images left behind on the plate after a mask is removed can yield particularly beautiful prints. These make the most wonderful ghost prints.
Sometimes, after the ghost print, there’s still an image left on the plate — but the paint at this point is too thin and/or dry to pull a third print. It’s often just an outline of the original mask shape. Usually, a lost printing opportunity.
Here’s what happens when you go to Plan B!
Nice print! A little magical, right? I think so!
One of the things we all love about printmaking is its inherent unpredictability. There’s a thrill in pulling a print — and you don’t always get what you expect. Will “Plan B” work every time? Probably not. But you’ll usually get some very cool surprises and some truly wonderful results. It’s fun! Try it!
Creating a print this way is also a great way to get a head start on cleaning your plate 🙂
And now … for the NEW Gelli® giveaway!!!
I have one kit that includes: a 6”x6” Gelli plate — AND a 4.65 oz. (big!) tube of Liquitex Professional Acrylic Artist Color Heavy Body Titanium White paint — AND a 4” Soft Rubber Speedball Pop-In Brayer to give away to one lucky blog reader!
There will be a random drawing on Monday, March 19th — and all you have to do to be included in the drawing is leave a comment on this blog! Nancy will announce the winner here on this blog AND on our Facebook page!
Here’s one more tip I’d like to add: My new favorite paper for printing with Gelli® is Staples #110 Card Stock! It has a super smooth surface that grabs the paint off the plate. Paint colors look true and clean on this bright white heavy card stock. I love monoprinting on it!
All of the prints in the following slideshow were made on this paper.
I hope you’ll find some inspiration in this slideshow of the “Plan B” process. The music selection,”Ghost Dance” by Kevin MacLeod, suits the work so perfectly — as “Plan B” prints are, technically, ghost prints! How fun!
Thank you for watching — all comments are welcome!