Gelli® Plate Printing Without a Brayer!

Change can be a good thing when it comes to the creative
process. So instead of using a brayer to apply paint to the Gelli® plate, let’s
change it up and use a palette knife and various scrapers! Watch this video demonstrating
monoprinting with this fun and expressive method for painting the plate.

Applying paint to your Gelli® plate using alternative tools—such
as a palette knife, old credit card or a smooth silicone scraper—gives you the
opportunity to make unique marks.

Using a palette knife or other scraping tools for paint
application opens up your printmaking experience to a different and expressive
way of creating images. You can apply paint—and scrape some away. The edge of
the tool is great for making thin lines and interesting marks.

When doing this process—keep in mind that any blobs of paint on
the plate will squish out when printed and can form a thick splat on your
print. If that’s not your intention (and it may be!)—check the painted surface
for blobs and deal with them before placing your printing paper on the plate to
pull your print.

It’s fun to take your time developing an image on the gel
plate—but you’ll want to use paint that has a longer open time. I love using
Golden Open Acrylics for this process so I can work slowly and be more
intentional in creating an image. Adding Golden Open Mediumto any acrylic
paint will extend its working time. And remember—prints with thick areas of
Open paint take much longer to dry.

Along with using slow-drying paint comes another advantage.
There’s usually enough wet paint left on the plate after the first pull to
create a vibrant ghost print!

If working fast is more your style—using a palette knife to
apply paint can be a fast and easy way to do it. Swiping paint onto the plate
and quickly working in some spontaneous marks can result in free and wonderful

In addition to palette knives, silicone tools—such as ColourShapers and Catalyst Blades—are wonderful tools for adding to and removing
paint from the plate and making marks.

While applying paint on the plate with a palette knife—experiment
with mixing your own colors! Blending colors or swiping two or more colors
together can create lush and painterly results! Keep the color wheel in mind to
avoid making mud when mixing colors on the plate. Analogous colors (next to
each other on the color wheel) mix together harmoniously.

Combs offer another type of mark-making that compliments the
process of adding and subtracting paint from the plate. The Gelli Arts® Printing Tools are especially wonderful because of their size and the nice
bold marks you can make!

Double the fun by including more than one plate size in this
process! Here I’ve stamped a 3″x5″ plate onto an 8″x10″
print—adding new layers. So easy! Place 3″x5″ index cards on the wet
painted plate before printing— for convenient masks. The masked areas are
perfect spots for stamping with a 3″x5″ plate!

The prints created in the video are printed on Strathmore Bristol Smooth Surface paper. The paper has a nice heavy weight and the smooth
surface shows every detail beautifully.

You can see demonstrations in a few earlier blogs that show how
using a paintbrush instead of a brayer is another great way to create prints
without a brayer— (here—Painterly Layers), (here—The Painterly Monotype) and (here—Combed Prints & Watercolor). When brushstrokes
are evident in prints, they show your hand in the process. Same goes for the
swipes of a palette knife and other marks you leave on the plate. Distinctly

As you can see—putting your brayer aside and experimenting with
palette knives and scrapers can broaden your monoprinting experience and bring
new excitement to the process! It’s always exciting to try new techniques.
Change is good!


AND OUR WINNER IS…. Kathryn C (email sent!) !!

Happy news!! 

We have a
fabulous giveaway with 
great supplies for making prints without a brayer!

     One lucky winner’s prize kit will include:

     • 1 – 8″x10″ Gelli Arts® Gel Printing Plate

     • 1 – 3″x5″ Gelli Arts® Gel Printing Plate

     • 4 – Golden Open Acrylics – 2 fl. oz. tubes

     • 1 – Golden Matte Medium Open Acrylics – 4 fl. oz. bottle

     • 1 – Blick Blue Comfort Grip Painting Knife

     • 1 – Princeton Catalyst Contour

     • 2 – Princeton Catalyst Wedges

     • 1 – Plastic Palette Knife

     • 1 – 9″x12″ Strathmore Bristol smooth surface 100

             lb.paper – 20 sheet pad

     • 1 – Pocket Color Wheel by 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 untilTuesday January 26th at noon EST. Our lucky winner will be contacted by email and announced
here on the blog and on our Facebook page no later than Tuesday January 26th at 5pm EST

Enter Giveaway Here


Please—share your prints with us on our
Facebook page, or on Instagram using the hashtag 
#gelliplate #gelliarts or #gelliprint. Tag us with
@gelliarts on Instagram and Twitter too! We love to see what you’re creating!!

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

Luck and Happy Printing!

Products Used in this Blog!

Gelli® 8×10 Plate
3×5 Gelli® Plate
Golden Open Acrylics
Golden OPEN Acrylic Medium (Matte)
Catalyst Wedges

Strathmore 9”x12” Bristol smooth surface 100 lb. paper
Blick Blue Comfort Grip Painting Knife
Gelli® Round Printing Tools
Gelli®  Square Printing Tools

40 thoughts on “Gelli® Plate Printing Without a Brayer!”

  1. Kim Collister Studio

    Thank you for the opportunity to win! Great video and ideas! I have never used a Gelli Plate, but it has been on my wish list for quite some time!

  2. Janny's Cards Creations

    Wow thank you for the change to win so a great. Thanks for more great ideas on the video. Janny

  3. Really beautiful grungy prints Joan and just the sort of thing I love so thanks so much for sharing those fab tips.
    Awesome giveaway too of course so thanks for the chance.
    Fliss xx

  4. Wow!! This is one of the most dynamic, vibrant and innovative way I've seen the plates used. Such juiciness, such verve. I want to play

  5. susan berkowitz, slp

    These look so cool! I can't wait to try – I love that you're always showing new techniques and processes. Thanks so much – and the giveaways are absolutely FABULOUS. Thank you for the chance to win.

  6. Great tips and tricks………..guess I had better get my Gelli plates out and give them a go. Thanks for the opportunity to win such a fantastic prize!

  7. Awesome video as usual. Question, what was the music playing in the background. The music you play with these videos is always wonderful!

  8. A brill video, yes many thanks — Ive an urge to use the ends of celery and half peppers to mark make too – now where did that come from!

  9. Thank you so much for the video! I love this kind of stuff, it helps me when I get that "fear of the blank surface". They truly are a great stimulus to initiate art play!

  10. I love this! Thanks for always coming up with the best ideas ever for gelli printing. Today, for me, is Gelli Printing day….woohoo! AND, thanks for a chance to win:-)

  11. Thank You ***
    for this oppertunity. Although my sign in first name entering the contest is cheryl , chawa is my Google name, just to clarify

  12. Thank You ***
    for this oppertunity. Although my sign in first name entering the contest is cheryl , chawa is my Google name, just to clarify

  13. I love this technique and I love the final result. I would have hours of fun with this. Thanks for the chance, Johanne Lacombe

  14. Just saw a post on Art Bead Scene blog about using a Gelli, which I'd never heard of. Watched the videos y'all have and it looks like a lot of fun! Thanks for sharing the creative ideas.

  15. The results are really impressive. This is an excellent giveaway but I think I missed it by just a few minutes.

  16. This is awesome. I already use a palette knife and brushes to apply to the plate – instead of the roller, but this expands my ideas. Can't wait to play.

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