MONOPRINTING WITH A GELATIN PLATE

I've always loved collaging with various found patterned paper. I quite often just cut bits of pattern from the pages of magazines and use those, but this week I thought I'd print up some of my own papers to use. As a lover of layers and intricate pattern, I find that collaged paper gives an extra special dimension to my sketchbook pages. I was inspired by a walk in the park, where I picked up all sorts of random autumn leaves and interesting twigs that were lying around. I used these with my Gelli Arts® gelatine printing plate to create some colourful, textured pages which I will use within my sketchbook. I might tear them up, cut them up or work over the top of them to create interesting layers and patterns.

Helen Wells Printing Experiment

Here's how I made them. I rolled some acrylic paint onto the gelatin plate with a brayer and plonked some leaves on the wet paint.

Helen Wells Printing Experiment

As I was just wanting some pages to use in my sketchbook, I used cheap copier paper. I have used beautiful watercolour paper with the gelatin plate before and it gives a lovely texture, but this time I wanted some papers to cut up and use, so used cheap and cheerful paper. I pressed the paper onto the leaves and wet paint with my hands to achieve a silhouette print effect.

Helen Wells Printing Experiment

I then removed the leaves and it left behind a lovely relief image which I used to make a print.

Helen Wells Printing Experiment
Helen Wells Printing Experiment
Helen Wells Printing Experiment

I printed each page several times to get the kind of effect I was after. Above I added white paint onto the plate and printed over a print I had already taken.

Helen Wells Printing Experiment

Turning the leaves around so the inky side was facing the paper gave another interesting effect.

Helen Wells Printing Experiment

I used the same leaves over and over again. 

Helen Wells Printing Experiment
Helen Wells Printing Experiment
Helen Wells Printing Experiment
Helen Wells Printing Experiment

I love this kind of printing. It is super quick and you can get some beautiful and unexpected results very easily.

Helen Wells Printing Experiment
Helen Wells Printing Experiment

As soon as I have used these hand printed leaf pages in my sketchbook, I will let you see them. In the meantime here are two examples of pages from my sketchbook which incorporate hand printed pattern collaged elements. Talking of sketchbooks I am still working away behind the scenes, writing and filming my Expressive Sketchbook course, it is taking a little longer than I had planned so it is now going to go live in May 2018.

Helen Wells Printing Experiment
Helen Wells Printing Experiment