The Painterly Monotype

One of the many exciting advantages of the Gelli® gel printing plate is how simple it is to create a painterly monotype without a press! 

This video shows how to create a painterly monotype using a reference photo under your plate! 


Here’s the info … and some tips:

1. Place your reference drawing or photo on your work surface and tape in place.

2. Place your Gelli® gel printing plate onto a plastic sheet — position this over your reference picture, and tape the plastic sheet in place. Mylar, plexiglass or acetate are great for this. (I use an inexpensive piece of styrene from the craft store — intended for faux stained glass.) 

Note: Do NOT place your Gelli® plate directly onto your reference picture.

3. Use a soft paintbrush and paint your plate with slow-drying paint, such as Golden Open Acrylics

4. When your painting is complete, cover with your printing paper, gently rub to transfer the paint — and pull your print. 



  • To retain the beauty of your brushstrokes — apply the paint in a thin layer. Thick applications of paint will print as blobs.
  • Slow-drying paints, like Golden’s Open Acrylics, will give you time to develop your painting.
  • Adding an extender, like Golden Open Medium, Open Gel, or Glazing Medium to your regular acrylic paints will slow their drying time. They will also add transparency to the paints.
  • Remember: Your print will be the reverse of your painted image.
  • Using a guide under your plate is an excellent way to work in a series. You can create different and unique prints based on the same image.
  • Painterly monotypes are often great beginnings! Consider working back into your prints with watercolor, pencils, ink, pastel, and collage!
  • The clear nature of the Gelli® gel printing plate is perfect for using a reference picture under it. If you prefer creating spontaneous images — place your Gelli® plate on a piece of regular white paper. That way, your plate is a blank surface for painting.

Either way, have fun creating painterly prints! We hope you’ll 

share your prints with us on the Gelli Arts® Facebook Page! Thanks!

9 thoughts on “The Painterly Monotype”

  1. Thank you for another fabulous tutorial! Always love your techniques and I learn a lot from all your informative video's and blogs. Love, love, love Gelli Arts!

  2. Marja's Stamp Addiction en Marja's Creativity

    Thanks for this fabulous tutorial. Beautiful technique.
    Beautiful work.
    lovely greet

  3. Mary Helen-Art Saves Lives

    Thank you for sharing this video…I do not have anyone here who is working with the gelli technique. I am very drawn to this process. can I purchase one of these at Michael's or Hobby Lobby???? Sincere gratitude, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart
    Whispers and Echoes Studio

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