Gelli® Plate Printing in Painterly Layers!

Swap out your brayer for some paintbrushes and create a painterly layered Gelli® print! To see how easy and fun it is … watch this video!! 

The painterly approach to monotypes can range from loose and spontaneous to structured and carefully planned … and everything in between. In other words — this technique is for everyone!! 

From abstract to representational, the painterly print provides unlimited possibilities for creating an image by building layers of brushstrokes and textures.

Here’s how!

  1. Start by applying paint to your Gelli Arts® gel printing plate with a brush. A thin layer is best — thick areas of paint will print as blobs! For this technique, you want the beauty of the brushstrokes to come through.
  2. Then, simply keep building on the image. Apply paint to select areas of the plate and pull your print. Keep doing this with additional layers on the same print until you’re satisfied with the image.
  3. The residual paint on the gel plate serves as a guide for the next paint application. It should be pretty easy to see where you may want to add color and texture in each subsequent layer.


  • For vibrant colors, allow the print to dry between layers. That will help keep the colors from mixing and getting muddy.
  • When using cotton swabs to wipe out lines, shapes or dots on the plate … it’s easier to remove paint if the swab is dampened first with water.
  • You can apply paint to select areas of the gel plate for each layer. There’s no need to cover the entire surface of the plate on each layer.
  • To register your print, it helps when the gel plate is sitting on a piece of paper the same size as your printing paper. That way, you can visually align the printing paper with the paper under the plate. It’s not precise, but it’s usually close enough.
  • It’s a good idea to mark the top of the back of your printing paper with a pencil mark. That way, you won’t have to figure out the correct orientation of the paper as you print each layer.
  • Consider the transparency and opacity of the paints you’re using, as that will greatly impact the appearance of colors as they print over one another.
  • This painterly technique gives you the opportunity to be very deliberate in applying each layer. When looking at your print and deciding what you want to add in the next layer, keep in mind that what you paint on the gel plate will print reversed (mirror image).
  • If you want to develop your image slowly — use a slow drying paint, like Golden Open Acrylics. Adding Golden Open Medium to acrylic paint will extend the working time of the paint.


FYI … Materials used in the video:

Painting directly on the gel plate with paintbrushes has a wonderful ‘feel’. Try layering painterly images and brushstrokes and see for yourself!

AND … we have a very “BIG” GIVEAWAY!! 

This Contest is officially CLOSED

How To Enter Our Random Drawing for this Giveaway!

  1. Leave a comment below on this blog post! Helpful hints:
    1. Click in the comment box to leave a comment (scroll to the bottom of the comments to find the box!)
    2. Or, click on the “# of comments” next to “published by Joan Bess” to make the comment box appear!
    3.  Leave your comment now 🙂
  2. Comments will be accepted until Monday, Jan 20th at 12:00 noon EST.
  3. One comment per person — please!
  4. Not required… but PLEASE share your passion for printing with Gelli Arts® by tweeting, posting and pinning this fabulous tutorial and giveaway! We appreciate it all!

One lucky winner will be chosen by random drawing on Monday, Jan 20th after 12pm EST and announced here on the blog AND on our facebook page no later than Monday, Jan 20th at 5pm, EST. 

This Contest is officially CLOSED

Thanks to Princeton Brush and Willow Wolfe for supplying the fabulous brushes for our giveaway! Good luck … and Happy Printing!!

500 thoughts on “Gelli® Plate Printing in Painterly Layers!”

  1. Very cool! If I were to win, I would like to donate these items to a Title I art teacher, Marianne Griffith. She does wonderful things with her students and is a tremendous asset to her school! Thank you for the opportunity!

  2. Martha Marshall

    I loved this video! I prefer the painterly approach and this gives me lots of inspiration. Never thought about the residual paint as a guide to registration. Genius!

  3. Thank you!!! I have been wondering what Gelli prints are and now I know where to start my research into learning more!!!!

  4. I would love to win it seems everytime i start a project the Gelli plate comes out so here goes going to try to win I hope !!!!!!!!!Go Gelliplate

  5. I not heard of these until I joined an art journaling group a few weeks ago. EVERYONE was talking about them…I Googled….NOW I understand what everyone was raving about!! These look so fun…I need to get some!

  6. This is a whole new, great big world for me! How cool is this layered printmaking technique? I would love to try it! Thanks for the chance at a giveaway!

  7. I am dying to introduce Gelli printing to my art students! This is of course after I "break it in"! 🙂

  8. This is awesome!! It's a must do in my artly bucket list…and leaving a comment to hopefully win this wonderful prize 🙂

  9. Serena Mira Asta

    I always learn so much from your blog, which just feeds my Geili addiction. ;-> Thank you for inspiration and your giveaways. This would be perfect – I've been coveting the larger format plate since I first laid eyes on it… LOVEly!

  10. Been watching several video's now and I really think this could be my new love! Can't wait to order one! Thank you for the chance to win these awesome products!

  11. Carol Dale Duby

    Great demonstration! This looks like a very fun technique with a lot of creative potential. Thanks for sharing your process.

  12. Artist In Bloom

    I love the freedom that the brush gives you to apply the paint. Great tutorial, as always. I would live to win this giveaway and try the technique up close and personal. Thanks again for such fabulous tutorials and give aways.

  13. Had to run out and get one of those Princeton brushes asap after viewing this video! Love the colors and all the techniques–continually inspired by Gelli 🙂

  14. Cheerful Greetings to you Joan,
    I love it!
    Thank you so much for the beautiful, original and inspiring tutorial.
    I cant wait to try it – I just wish I had a 11×14 Gelli Plate… LOL!
    Thanks as well for the opportunity to win the generous giveaway.
    With gratitude and admiration,

  15. I would seriously LOVE to win this! And what a fantastic tutorial! Great ideas for my next Gelli printing session!

  16. There once was a girl from Panelli,
    Who loved to paint with her Gelli.
    She played day and night,
    And made such a sight
    With lovely papers called Gellis!

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