The easiest way to make monotypes without a press – gel plate printing! Make unique prints with Speedball Art Gel Plates. You can use leaves, flower petals, feathers and more to add artistry to hand-made cards, journals, scrapbooks, and mixed media art with this easy activity!
Registration is helpful if you want to print multiple image layers and have them line up with one another. To register your plate, trace around the outline of one of your sheets of paper. Center the gel plate within the outline of the paper and trace around it.
Adding Ink to your Gel Plate:
Before you add ink, remove the protective coating from both sides of the gel plate and store them inside the case. Save these! They protect the surface of your gel plate, and after the plate is cleaned, the gel plate should be stored inside its case. Add ink directly to the gel plate by placing small blobs of ink on the gel plate – less mess!
3- Stage Print Activity
Print 1: Printing the negative space
Place leaves, a paper cut-out shape, or a stencil onto the inked gel plate. Place your paper down over the leaves and line up the edges with your registration marks. Use the baren to apply pressure to the paper in small circles. When you’ve covered the whole image, gently lift the paper.
Print 2: Printing the positive image or leaf textures
Next, carefully peel off the leaves or the stencil and do another print of the ink impression that remains.
Print 3: Turning the leaves over and creating a ghost print
Take the leaves that you had on the gel plate initially and place them on the gel plate, ink-side UP for a third ghost print of whatever ink remains on the plate and the leaves or objects you’ve been using.
Roll out excess ink from your brayers onto newsprint or scrap paper. Use dish detergent with damp paper towels to remove the ink off of the brayers and gel plates. Once the gel plates are clean, put the protective coverings against the sides and insert them back into their packaging.
For more information about gel printing plates, check out these helpful videos by Speedball Art!
Video Lesson Plan - Nature Printing with Speedball Gel Printing Plates & Akua™ Inks
Monoprinting with Akua™ Inks and Speedball Gel Printing Plates