Creating Imagery with a Gel Plate

Landscape Monoprint 4

Mixed media artists LOVE making gel plate prints and I’m no exception. I usually set up my studio and spend a whole weekend printing papers. Creating a full spectrum of printed papers means I can use all my own source material in my collage work. I combine stamping, stencils, and texture tools to bring complexity to the prints. This series is a little different for me. These landscape monoprints were created with intention instead of my usual free-wheeling experimentation. I was pleased with the results and happy to have a new, more thoughtful printing practice.

The Method

These prints are all multilayered. Using acrylic gouache and acrylic ink, background layers were created by layering colors in successive print runs. Each gel plate print is a monoprint- most of the paint or ink transfers to the paper. Sometimes a “ghost” print is possible where remnants of the first print will still transfer on a second run. These second prints are where magic often happens. For these simple tree shapes, I made stencils out of heavy cardstock. I used both the negative and positive parts for variety. Each has a very different look. Once the prints were finished, some details were added with Posca Paint Pens.

Why Monoprints?

These gel plate prints often have a complexity that is hard to achieve with any other method. Even a planned print will have surprises. I love happy accidents and unexpected outcomes so this method is great fun for me. True, some prints are not “successful”, but the beauty of gel printing is the ease of printing multiple layers. Layers one and two might not be great, but the third layer could be magic. These landscape monoprints were a much more controlled experiment for me but the results are dreamy and atmospheric- much better than I expected. I used these prints in art journals and collages to great effect.

Landscape Monoprint
Landscape Monoprint 2
Landscape Monoprint 5
Landscape Monoprint 6
Landscape Monoprint 7
Landscape Monoprint 8
Landscape Monoprint 9
Landscape Monoprint 10
Landscape Monoprint 12
Landscape Monoprint 13