Monotyping With The Gelli Arts® Printing Plate by Marsha Valk

Hi there! It’s Marsha here today!

The terms monotype and monoprint are often used interchangeably. However, there is a difference between the two.

When it comes to gel printing, I always like to think of it like this: 

Monotypes are a type of monoprints made by painting or drawing directly onto the printing plate in an additive manner with for instance brushes or shapers. Or by inking the entire surface of the printing plate and then, using brushes or rags, removing paint to create a subtractive image. 

It’s hard to repeat the same strokes or gestures, so each monotype is unique.

Monoprinting, on the other hand, is the kind of printing that uses permanent features that you can repeat over and over again on additional prints. 

Think about it; if you use the same stencil, mask or stamp over and over again, you could print a whole series of similar-looking gel prints with slight variations. 

Today I’m going to share how you can create painterly monotypes with the gel printing plate. 

There’s one caveat though. I am going to use a permanent feature: a reference image of a 16th-century painting, just to show you how easy and fun it can be to use one of your favourite images, drawings or photos as a guide.

Remember that whatever you paint on the gel printing plate will be printed in reverse, so make sure you paint the mirrored image onto your gel printing plate.

Slow-drying paint is key for creating painterly monotypes. I like using Golden OPEN Acrylics, however you can also use slow-drying printmaking inks or you can increase the open time of your regular paints by adding Golden Open Medium, Open Gel, or Glazing Medium to them.

Make sure the paint on your print is completely dry before you start enhancing it with pencils or markers.

Don’t forget to share your gel printed monotypes with us on Instagram using #gelliarts and #gelliartsmade. We love to see your work!

Have lots of fun Gelli Arts® gel printing!




5″ x 7″ Gelli Arts® Printing Plate




Slow-drying acrylic paint (Golden OPEN Acrylics Carbon Black, Cobalt Blue, C.P. Cadmium Red Medium, Hansa Yellow Opaque, Titanium White)



Black pen

Coloured pencil

Paint marker


Michael’s Stores

Blick Art Materials

Marsha’s Instagram
Marsha’s Facebook
Gelli Arts® Instagram
Gelli Arts® Facebook
Sign up to receive emails + special offers from Gelli Arts®

2 thoughts on “Monotyping With The Gelli Arts® Printing Plate by Marsha Valk”

Leave a Reply