Gelli Arts® Combed Prints & Watercolor!

Playing with the NEW Gelli® Printing Tools is like taking a shortcut to finding your printmaking mojo! This video shows a painterly approach to a combed print — then takes it to the next level by adding watercolors! Take a look!

The mark-making potential of these great BIG Gelli® combs casts an addictive spell! Count on losing yourself in hours of play as you discover how compelling it is to create different and dynamic combed patterns. You know the feeling…”just one more” — right?!!”

You’ll find ideas, tips and techniques for using these new combs on the blog post, “Awesome NEW Gelli® Printing Tools!!!” from August 20, 2015.

If you’ve ever dragged or swiped a comb across a painted gel plate, you know it’s a wonderful subtractive process that removes paint to create your image.

This video demonstration is on an 8″x10″ plate. But the Gelli® combs are great for designing patterns on ALL of the Gelli® plate sizeslarge, small and round. It’s amazing how many effects you can create!

Here’s something to try! Instead of applying paint directly to the plate and rolling with a brayer, use a paintbrush to cover the plate with quick, loose brushstrokes — blending colors as you go! It’s so easy to create an artful painted layer — and perfect for swiping your combs through!


  •  When brushing paint onto the gel plate, a thin layer will show the beauty of your brushstrokes.
  • Avoid laying down thick areas of paint, as they’ll squish and print as blobs.
  • Use analogous colors (next to each other on the color wheel) to avoid making mud. A color wheel is great to have on hand — and helpful for making color selections.
  • Work quickly so you can comb smoothly through the wet paint.

The paint used in the video is DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylics. This line of fluid acrylic paint is wonderful for creating combed patternsand like any acrylic paint, will act as a resist to watercolor, producing impressive results. That’s the technique we’re exploring here!

Creating beautiful delicate colors is easily achieved by adding Media Tinting Base to any of the Media paints. And it adds body to the fluid paints. Have fun mixing your own colors and printing with soft hues.

But we’re not stopping there! After the Gelli® prints are drymake your prints sing by adding watercolors!

With this in mind, it’s best to print on a paper that can handle that extra process. These prints are pulled on Fabriano Artistico Hot Press 140lb. watercolor paper. In case you’re not familiar with the termhot press paper has a very smooth surface (cold press has texture).

Rather than using traditional watercolors (although they work beautifully)—I’m experimenting with some incredible pigment powders from Lindy’s Stamp Gang, called ‘Magicals‘. They’re named so perfectly—these pigments contain mica, so they sparkle and shine! For watercolor effects, simply add water and mix the desired intensity of each color. The pale powders morph into rich, metallic colors when water is added. Magic! And perfect for adding pizzazz to a print!

Work wet-in-wet—letting the pigments run together into spontaneous color reactions. As the colors mingle, it’s like watching a mystical transformation fill the blank spaces on your print!

Acrylic paint will resist the watercolors. If neededto clean up watercolor from any printed areasit’s easy to wipe it off the acrylic paint with a damp cotton swab. So your original printed image stands out.

Something to keep in mind:  For this technique, the comb should remove most of the paint off the plate where you swipe it. That’s what creates the unpainted areas on your print for adding watercolors. So it helps to start with a clean Gelli® plate. If there is dried paint on your plate, you may want to clean it first.

You’ll quickly discover when you start creating combed prints with the 7″ Gelli® combs — it’s hard to stop!! The process is fast and fun!

So make a bunch of combed prints and add watercolor! It’s a quick and simple way to make each print extra-special!

Combed prints are so easy to embellish — the lines to guide you are already there!!!


And now for our FANTASTIC GIVEAWAY!!! 

A fabulous kit for creating your own combed and watercolor prints!

One lucky winner will receive our prize kit including:

      • 1 – 8″x10″ Gelli Arts® Gel Printing Plate
      • 1 – Set of Gelli® Printing Tools – 3 Round Edge Combs
      • 1 – Set of Gelli® Printing Tools – 3 Square Edge Combs
      • 1 – Lindy’s Stamp Gang ‘Magicals’ Set- 5 colors (Tres Chic)
      • 6 – DecoArt Media Fluid Acrylic Paint – 1 oz. bottles
      • 1 – DecoArt Media Tinting Base (White) – 4 oz. jar
      • 1 – Catalyst™ by Princeton – Polytip™ Bristle – Bright – Size 10
      • 1 – Princeton Brush Co. – Round Watercolor Brush 4050R Size 8
      • 1 – Pocket Color Wheel (The Color Wheel Company)

To enter the giveaway, click on the red “ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE” button below! (This will ensure that we can contact the winner and that entries are limited to one per person. One winner will be selected from all the entries via a random number generator to receive this very special giveaway!) Entries will be accepted until 12pm noon on Tuesday, September 29th EDT. Our lucky winner will be contacted by email and announced here on the blog and on our Facebook page no later than 5pm on Tuesday September 29th! 


Winner is Margaux W.


Remember, we now have Gelli® partners all over the world, so it’s easier than ever to find a Gelli® retailer near you!

Special thanks to Lindy’s Stamp Gang for generously donating their amazing ‘Magicals’ paint pigment set.

Have Fun and Happy Printing!

Materials Used in Today’s Blog:

Gelli® 8×10 Plate
Color Wheel
Gelli® Square Edge Tool Set
Gelli® Round Edge Tool Set
Catalyst Polytip Bristle Brush
-Bright Size 10
Fabriano Artistic Hot Press
 Watercolor Paper
Fluid Acrylics
DecoArt Media
Tinting Base
Lindy’s Stamp
Round Watercolor
Brush 4050R Size 8

67 thoughts on “Gelli Arts® Combed Prints & Watercolor!”

  1. Great video! Beautiful piece!
    I have been wanting to try using a Gelli plate.
    I have my fingers crossed to win
    this awesome giveaway!

  2. Now you are getting me VERY VERY exicted!!! Combining acrylics and watercolor!!! WOW!! Love the glitter and shine. This would be so awesome to win. Thanks Gelliarts for putting out such great prize packages.

  3. barbara macaskill

    I am absolutely amazed!! I think this is going to be so much fun to try! Will have to wait to order what I need but I definitely want to do this!! LOVE how the magicals create so much shimmer and , well, magic to the prints!! Would be so pleased to see my name as the winner of this fabulous prize package so I can get started sooner than later!!! Thanks for the chance to dream a little dream!

  4. By accident I have made two papers like this and think they are so wonderfull and versitile to use! These tools look great! Enjoy the weekend!

  5. I got my first Gelli plate about 3 weeks ago, a 6 inch round plate. I am excited to do this new craft. I have watched all the videos from the blog and I have been experimenting. One of my goals is to decorate canvas bags. So far I have played with printing on canvas, muslin, thick and thin paper and tissue paper. The finer the grain the more detail I can get and I like the ghost prints the best. Sometimes my favorite prints are the papers I use to clean my brayer and stencils with. Printing on the canvas is not getting the results I want because it is a rougher texture so I don't get great detail and the colors are less vibrant on fabric. When I am printing on paper it doesn't really matter if I don't like all the prints.The canvas bags are not too expensive but of course cost a lot more than paper. I am trying to improve my technique so I can print on a bag and hopefully like the result and not waste a canvas bag because it doesn't turn out well. Each session I experiment and improve and find colors I like together. I made the kind of stamps with heavy fusible web (per the blog directions) and really like that effect. I would appreciate any advice on printing on canvas. Thanks

  6. Wow, wow, wow! Totally amazing Gelli prints Joan and so stunningly colourful too.
    Thanks for all the tips you've shared and for the fantastic giveaway chance too.
    Fliss x

  7. Would love to win this giveaway! Huge lover o the Geli plates ad also anything that creates texture and amazing colors, so would be beyond thrilled to win this prize! Thanks for the chance, Susan(aka:Sanna).

  8. These tools look fabulous. What surprising results. Loads of fun. I thought I had already left a comment, but perhaps not. So not to take any chances – here I am again. This is an awesome giveaway. Thanks for the opportunity.

  9. These techniques bring gelli innovation to an entirely new level–bravo, for your innovation and your talent! Who wanted want to dive right in and let their creative juices flow? I know I would: that's a hint!

  10. I don't use my Gelli plate nearly enough, but this great demo has inspired me. I'd love to win the give-away too as I don't have any 'combs'.

  11. Bev Hilton /

    Oh, wow. Leave it to you guys to take it up a notch. Now I can stop hunting for make-do tools and use these!

  12. What a fun giveaway. I have been wanting to try Gelli plates so bad. They look like a ton of fun & Lord knows I need my crafting mojo back asap. I love all the different options that the Gelli plates offer. I can imagine some exquisite pieces from this package. Definitely have my fingers & toes crossed! Thanks for the giveaway. ☺

  13. hi everyone, Yay for another great video and bonus another awesome giveaway. Thank you Gelli, good luck Gelli fans 🙂

  14. Outstanding post. I love the colours and variety, and all the bling from the Magicals. I have entered and hope against hope to win – but I don't usually win anything lol!

    Thanks for sharing, and thanks for the opportunity to win such a generous giveaway.


  15. Love this! I have a Gelli printmaking workshop last night to youth at risk and would be so grateful to add these things to my toolbox for future efforts. Thanks so much.

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