Gelli Plate: Building Layers on the Plate.

Today is pretty much the opposite of yesterday. For this method, the final pull will show the first layer as the top (unlike yesterday where the final layer was the top).  First step, place any stencil (if desired) and add a *very* thin layer of paint; remove stencils.

In picture two – Sorry for the blur, you can see layer one. Let that dry on the plate. If you notice, there’s a hard line where the purple layer is darker than the rest. This is where I neglected to roll over it and pull paint off. I should have made sure the paint was even. This mistake (or bonus if you wanted that line) is very obvious in the final.

After the first layer is completely dry (use time not your fingers to know if it is dry or not), you can add the next layer. I build these layers from darkest to lightest and I almost always end in white. So second layer is my middle color. I typically build in threes.

I put a very thin layer of paint down and subtracted some of the paint by placing the same circle stencil from yesterday over the plate and lightly pressing it down using bubble wrap. (I did this in just a few places.) Remove the stencil and let the paint dry on the plate. The first layer will not move because it is dry. As long as you don’t leave the paper, stencil on too long all the paint should stay where you want it.

Once layer two is totally dry, add the final color, I used white. Use a thin layer and place the paper on the plate while it is wet. (This is key.)

Do not pull the paper up right away. Instead add pressure and wait. You want to wait long enough for the wet paint to dry a bit. This will attach the dried paint layers and paper together.  Then pull!  I usually check a little corner to make sure it’s pulling up everything.

As you can see this gives the whole thing a much different look. The thin layers of paint sort of mesh everything together blending it all nicely.

So here’s a photo and scan of the final image. You can see the same sharp line where I didn’t even out the paint. Not my best print but it shows the technique.


Seattle, WA, USA

Leave a Reply