Printing with Boundaries: 3 Simple Layering Techniques by Martice Smith

Hi everyone! It’s Martice here today, sharing three simple layering techniques, packed with vibrant colors, textures, and mark-making. If you feel like your prints are too chaotic with no clear focal point, try these techniques!

There are many times where I just couldn’t decide which color scheme, stamps, stencils, paper, etc. to play with on my Gelli Arts® Gel Printing Plate.

One day, while organizing my messy studio desk, I had an idea. What if I changed my approach to monoprinting? Why not set a couple of boundaries for myself?

By boundaries, I mean:

  • ●  Choosing a handful of paints
  • ●  Find 2-3 mark-making tools
  • ●  Print three layers or less
  • ●  Only use what’s within my reach, and just see where it takes me.

Setting boundaries help me figure out how to create layered prints. If you ever feel overwhelmed with the wonderful possibilities of monoprinting, give yourself a limited amount of choices.

For example, instead of using every color from the color wheel, select a pair of complementary colors. Want to experiment with mark-making? Look around your space for tools. Notice what you love, things you “want to use someday”, or tools you haven’t used yet.

Here are three methods to get you started

Be sure to watch the step by step video below!

Method #1: Two of Everything: 2 cool colors, 2 warm colors, and 2 textures

I tend to work with analogous and complementary colors. Respectively, these colors create a sense of harmony and contrast.

My cool colors are blue and green. My warm colors are red and yellow.
I chose to work with a foam texture plate and a plastic doily for my textures.

Method #2: Two Colors, Two Textures

My colors are yellow and green.

To create my texture, I chose my foam texture plate and punchinella.

Method #3: Two-layered Collage

Remember, to keep things simple! In this method, I only used two colors; blue and orange. I incorporated the white of the paper as the third color.

Basic shapes, like this circle, are my favorite because they produce bold, graphic designs in a composition.

Matte medium is used to secure the shape in place.

After my printing session, I learned that it was actually fun to compose prints with a limited amount of supplies and simple techniques! And the bonus? My prints didn’t look like a colossal failure.

Happy printing! Thanks so much for stopping by today!


Gelli Arts® Mini Printing Plates (4” Round, 5”x5” Square)

Stamps / Texture Plates (foam cut into shapes and glued to a heavy backing)

4” Rubber Brayer


Plastic doily

Color Wheel, optional

Acrylic Paints

Paper (cardstock or regular copy paper) Scissors


Matte Medium


Michael’s Stores

Blick Art Materials


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

1 thought on “Printing with Boundaries: 3 Simple Layering Techniques by Martice Smith”

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: