GelliArts® and Hahnemühle Week featuring Mansi Bhatia

Hello everyone,

First off, let me thank you for the love you showered on my previous blog post detailing a complex botanical print technique inside your journals. Since you loved it so much, I thought I’d share another journal-print technique I use often to get more detailed, albeit single-layer, prints.

Gelli Arts® has partnered with Hahnemühle and I think it’s a match made in heaven. I used their ZigZag book with 18 pages of the finest watercolour paper folded in accordion style. We are all used to working with acrylics on the gel plate but I am a watercolor artist, so I wanted to make this accordion-fold book really shine as a watercolor journal.

As you’ll see in the video, I used distress and dye inks (both water-reactive) to get some simple botanical prints. When you use the technique I share, you’ll get some really striking details in your monoprints and you can either leave them as is or you can use them as creative jumpstarts when you’re traveling (like I did).

By using water-reactive inks in my journal, I was able to carry it with me on the road and use a water brush to “paint” them in later. You’ll see in the side-by-side comparisons, how I was able to retain a lot of the original print while still giving it a painterly effect. I did forget to photograph the “before” photos for a couple of the journal pages but if you watch the video you’ll see all the “untouched” pages right after I was done with the gel plate printing.

It was a blessing to have this journal with me while traveling…it gave me the opportunity to slow down and just enjoy the process.

This was a multi-week project and one that I really, truly enjoyed. Journaling is such a therapeutic creative outlet and as I enter a change of seasons, both metaphorically and figuratively, this journal with its Nature images led me down a path of grateful murmurings.

I used some color pencils and a travel watercolor paint set to turn this into a gratitude journal, with positive affirmations and quotes from some of my favorite poets, authors and philosophers. There’s an entire spread dedicated to Rumi, a Persian poet whose words are inspirational and so very meaningful to me.

I also cut three circles from the copy paper I had used to wipe off the excess inks and used two of those to adorn my journal cover and one inside where I accidentally messed up the painting.

This accordion journal will always be special to me as it holds memories from the backyard of our rental house, the place we’ve called home most of this Covid-19 year. It’s such a simple way of preserving memories, be it from a trip or a special time in your life. I hope you enjoyed watching the process and the final journal.

Best wishes for a safe and happy holiday season!




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