Image Transfer Gel Print Ideas by Marsha Valk

Hi there! It’s Marsha here, and today I will give you seven ideas for using image transfer gel prints in your art.
So let’s dive into it!

I only briefly explain how to pull resist image transfers in this video. If you’d like to know more about the technique, we also have a FAQ video that goes into more detail.

You can find it here:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Image Resist Transfer Gel Printing (

Idea 1: Collage material
Any image transfer gel print you print onto a thinner paper like regular copy paper, tissue paper, rice paper or other light materials makes excellent collage material.

Idea 2: Focal point
Image transfer gel prints are a great way of introducing imagery into your prints: people, animals, items, architecture, you name it! 
Be mindful of where you source your images and who owns the copyright. When in doubt, stick to your own photographs and pictures you have (asked for) permission to use.
Many sources on the internet provide copyright-free images on endless topics for you to use without constraints. 
Sources that I used for this video:Unsplash.comRijksmuseum.nlThe Flickr account of the British Library
Each image must be edited and sometimes altered to make it a high-contrast pure black-and-white image suitable for resist image gel printing. Learn more about how I prepare and laser print my images in this blog post:
Laser Image Transfer Prints with Gelli Arts® (

Idea 3: Transparent layers
It is possible to pull an image transfer print immediately. Meaning: if you are quick and confident and know your paint doesn’t dry fast, you do not have to wait for the image to dry on the plate.The upside to this is that you can add a focal point or a transparent layer to an already existing print without obscuring whatever is already on the paper.
The downside, of course, is that if the paint does dry too fast, you run the risk of a misprint.
There is an easy solution, though: Use a tiny bit of matte medium or a pea amount of soft gel medium instead of acrylic paint as the pickup layer!

Idea 4: Backgrounds
Image transfer prints can make beautiful and unique backgrounds for all your art endeavours. 
I tend to print backgrounds on heavier paper, like Bristol. However, if you print on thinner paper, you can always mount it on something sturdier later!

Idea 5: Underpainting
I’m not a painter, but I like to work on top of an image transfer with acrylic paints, markers, crayons and gouache. 
Not just to enhance the image transfer, as I share in the video, but you can also use an image transfer as a guide for painting or a base for further exploration. 
This works, even if the image transfer did not turn out how you imagined!

Idea 6: Texture or pattern
Use laser prints (or other printed matter) like your stencils, masks or any other texture makers. 
You can infuse your gel prints with extra personal meaning if you, for instance, use photographs you took yourself around your house, garden, neighborhood, or on holiday!

Idea 7: Text
Laser prints and magazine or book pages are perfect for adding text and letters to your prints. 
In the video, I ended up using the text more as a texture; however, if you want it to be legible and have it really say something, then type and laser print your names, words, sentences, dates, and places and use your gel plate to add them to your art!

I admit I went a little nuts trying to fit all these ideas into one project; however, remember that you can choose just one or two at a time!
Which of these ideas are you excited to try out? Or has this sparked any other new ideas for you? Let us know in the comments. We’d love to hear from you! 


5″x7″ Gelli Arts® Printing Plate

Gelli Arts® Mini Placement Tool


High-contrast black-and-white laser-printed images

Magazine pages with black-and-white text

Paper (Bristol, trimmed to 8″x10″)

Repositionable adhesive (Scrapbook Adhesives E-Z Dots® Repositionable Dots Runner)

Acrylic paint

Matte medium or soft gel medium

Brayer (



Paint Marker

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2 thoughts on “Image Transfer Gel Print Ideas by Marsha Valk”

  1. Great video, Marsha! Using masks to help build up imagery on a single page is something I am going to try out!!

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