Friday, April 6, 2018

How to Print in Your Art Journal with Gelli Arts® Gel Printing Plates

Hi there! It’s Marsha here today! I’m going to show you how you can print directly into your art journal with Gelli Arts® gel printing plates.

Gel printing directly into a bound journal is easy! All you need is an acrylic block slightly larger than your Gelli Arts® gel printing plate.

Gel printing in your journal is all about taking your plate to the page instead of your page to the plate!


Take your first Gelli Arts® gel printing plate and place it on an acrylic block.

For my art journal I started out with the 5”x5" Student Plate before I proceeded to the 3” x 5” and the round and hexagon mini plates.

Make sure the pages of your journal lay flat before you begin. Use clips to hold the pages down if needed.

Sometimes the gutter of a journal is too deep to access with a gel printing plate. You can avoid a white stripe in the middle of your spread by painting the gutter before you start printing.

Limit your color palette to two or three colors plus black and white. If the chosen colors mix well, there is no need to clean your plate in between prints.


Roll a drop of paint out on the Gelli Arts® gel printing plate. Use your favorite texture plates, foam stamps, combs, and other tools to make marks.

Lift the acrylic block up and place it down on the page just like stamping!

Stamp off any excess paint on the page. This creates texture and interest, and it’s a good way to repeat elements and colors across the spread.

A fully covered Gelli Arts® gel printing plate will create distinct borders on the page. For a softer result, wipe paint off the edges of the plate before placing it down on the paper.


If you want to use a mask or a stencil it’s best to position the stencil on the page first.

Roll paint out on your gel printing plate, lift the plate up, and place it paint side down over the stencil.

If the paint didn’t transfer to all of the stencil openings, just stamp your plate again until you are satisfied with the result.

Crayon Resist

Use an oil pastel or a crayon to draw a design on a scrap of paper.

Roll a drop of paint out on the Gelli Arts® mini gel printing plate.

Lift the acrylic block up and place it plate and paint side down over the oil pastel drawing.

Lift it up again and stamp the design left on the plate in your art journal.

Finish the spread

Keep going until you are satisfied with your spread. I always like to end with some scribbles and paint splatter!

Happy art journaling!

Gelli Arts®:
3” x 5” Gelli® Printing Plate
5” x 5" Gelli Arts® Student Plate
Gelli Arts® Round Mini Kit
Gelli Arts® Hexagon Mini Kit
Gelli Arts® 4” roller
Gelli Arts® Premium Acrylic Paint (Freshwater, Jet Black, Lemon Zest, Mixed Berries, Snowbound)

Acrylic blocks
Traveler’s Notebook insert
Handmade stencils and foam stamps
Adhesive numbers
Letter stencils
Oil pastel
China marker
Paint marker


© 2018 by Gelli Arts®, LLC Philadelphia, PA
All rights reserved.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Resist Printing with Gelli Arts® Plates, Books, and Magazines

Hi it’s Birgit here! Today I will show you how you can use old book pages and all kinds of (old and new) magazines for resist printing. It is a very unpredictable technique and it does not always work. But isn’t unpredictable kind of the charm of gel printing!?

I will try to explain with as much detail as possible how to get this to be a success!

What happens when you do resist printing is that some of the ink on the paper you are using to create the image will resist the acrylic paint on the gel plate. This means that the paper is not picking the paint up from the plate but leaving paint behind in certain areas.

The leftover paint on your plate is the resisted image that you can now pull.

You could pull it straight away, but I prefer to pull the print with a second layer of paint, like a ghost print. This allows you to add more colors to the print.

Most of the outcome depends on the paper you use to create the resist.

There is no way I can tell you which paper works and which does not. You can’t see or feel it, at least not in a way I have figured out yet.

I have used paper from old books like an encyclopedia from 1978 to brochures that I got in the mail and magazines that I bought recently. Some were glossy, some were matte, or something in between. I had all 3 of them work fine, but also all 3 of them from other magazines with no result at all.  The only way to find out is try and experiment, fail and succeed. It will be fun and it will be worth it!

The second thing that is important is the amount of paint you use to create the resist!

You need a thin layer, because a thick layer will leave too much paint behind on the plate in the areas that would not resist the paint, and it will not give you a nice print.
On the other hand, the layer should also not be too thin because the paper will always pick up some paint, even in the resist areas, and there has to be some paint to leave behind.

Again, this is a matter of trying and experimenting. Every paint brand is different; circumstances in the room are not the same in the Netherlands as they are in other parts of the world.

The third important thing is the amount of paint you use to pick up the resisted image from the gel plate.
Again, this has to be a very thin layer. If you use too much paint, your paper will only pick up the top layer and not lift the image from the plate.

In general I would say that it has to be so thin that you can just see the image shining through.

A good reference to see if you use the right amount of paint is that when you pull the final print, your gel plate should be totally clean, which means your paper picked up all of the paint! If there is still paint on the plate, then chances are that you used too much paint.

And finally, about the paint. I had really good results with fluid paints and soft body to medium body paints. Not so much with heavy body. I used Gelli Arts® premium acrylics, DecoArt Media, DecoArt Premium, and Amsterdam Standard. They all worked fine.

Use paints that dry relatively fast. You need the resist image to dry completely before pulling it so open paints will make you wait for ages.

When you start experimenting, my advice is to use darker colors for the resist image and lighter/brighter colors to pull the print.

One more thing, for this technique it is best to work with a clean plate. Although I usually like to leave leftovers on the plate to be pulled in a next print, with this technique you don’t get good resist if there is leftover paint.

Now let’s do some printing:
Roll out a thin layer of one or more colors on the plate, make sure you have a nice and even layer.

Place the image you want to “transfer’’ right side down on the plate and rub firmly. This page comes from an old encyclopedia.

Carefully lift up the paper. Then let the transferred image dry well.

When the image is dry, add new paint to the plate. Take as many colors as you like, but make sure that you spread out only a thin layer. You can see here how the image shines through.

Now place a sheet of paper on top right away (don’t let the paint dry), rub firmly, and pull the print.
If you have used the right amount of paint your plate will be clean and you will have a beautiful print.

For the next one I used an image from a fashion magazine.
I followed the same steps, but this time before the paint of the transferred image dried on the gel plate I took an Art Printing plate and added texture to some solid paint areas. Pushing a stamp or texture plate into the paint will remove some paint when lifting it up, which creates beautiful texture.

Another way to add texture to your print is using patterned paper or book paper to print on. Here I used music paper to pull the final print and I love the effect!

Here are some more prints:

In these last prints I not only used a stamp to remove paint and create texture but I also stamped with new colors straight on the plate with the resist image, let everything dry and then pulled the print with a second layer of paint.

Have fun exploring this technique! We would love to see what you create so please share!

© 2018 by Gelli Arts®, LLC Philadelphia, PA
All rights reserved.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Gelli Arts® Design Team Call!

Do you love everything about printmaking?

Are you addicted to Gelli Arts®?
Are you passionate about being creative?
Do you want to be part of a creative team to share your mixed media tips and techniques?

We invite you to join our new team!
We are looking for eight (8) artists to become Gelli Arts® Brand Ambassadors and share your printmaking tips and techniques with the world! 

Designer Responsibilities:

  • Provide one (1) new project tutorial (including video and step-by-step instructions) every two (2) months for the Gelli Arts® blog. We love to see innovative printing techniques that we can showcase!
  • Participate in monthly themed challenges.
  • Place the Gelli Arts® Buy Button on your website/blog where you will receive 10% for all sales generated with a special promotional code.
  • Promote Gelli Arts® work on your social media - #gelliarts
  • Review new products and provide feedback as needed.
Designer Benefits:
  • A Gelli Arts® Brand Ambassador Starter Pack which includes:
    • (1) Classic Paint Set and (1) Bright Paint Set
    • (1) Mini Printing Tools
    • (1) Kit of your selection
    • (1) Brayer
    • (1) Mini Printing Plates
    • (1) 9"x12"
    • (1) 4" or 8" Round
    • Parchment Paper
    • Assortment of objects for printing (stencils, bubble wrap, punchinella, eyelash yarn, etc.)
    • Gelli Arts® Apron
  • Cross promotion of you, your art, and your ideas on our Social Media platforms regularly.
  • Work with partnering companies in the industry to cross promote our products through blog hops and challenges!
  • 10% for all sales generated with your special promotional code.
  • Participate in live social media programs teaching specific techniques.
  • We will sponsor giveaways and challenges that you come up with to share your Gelli Arts® love! 
  • Are you a teacher? We love to support your teaching opportunities.
How Do You Submit?
  • Provide the following information:
    • Name:
    • Mini Bio - What makes you uniquely YOU!:
    • Website/Blog:
    • Facebook (# of friends/likes - personal & business if applicable):
    • Instagram (# of followers):
    • Twitter (# of followers):
    • YouTube (# of subscribers):
    • Provide minimum of three (3) projects you have created featuring printmaking - If you have instructions and/or video please share that too!
    • Tag us on Facebook and Instagram (@gelliarts) on any projects you want us to see! Use the hashtag: #GelliArtsDTCall too! This is your time to print and shine your creative light!
  • Entries due by March 30, 2018
  • Email projects to: Tracy Weinzapfel

© 2018 by Gelli Arts®, LLC Philadelphia, PA
All rights reserved.

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