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Gelli plate printing - 3 fishes

A while back I watched a youtube video on monoprinting with a fish. I wanted to try a similar idea, and here's the processes I went through.


I have a gelli plate, and a simple cut out shape of a fish. This is easy to draw and you need one that will fit your gelli plate.

I have a roller and some Open acrylic paint - I'm using titanium white, raw umber, prussian blue, and gold green.

I also have some soft gel medium but that's for gluing the finished prints together at the end.

The first layers are about getting texture onto your plate and then taking a print. These prints are the backgrounds so you can go as mad as you like!

As you can see, I'm using stencils to press colour onto the plate. Use edges of the stencils, and press on 2 or 3 times to get a textural feel. You don't really need a good print of the stencil, just bits and bobs.

Take a print. It's a good idea to put a small pencil mark on the back of the paper just so you know where the corners are, in case you want to overprint. You can then align with ease!

Peel the paper off and don't add anything to the plate but take another with a lighter weight paper. This is known as a ghost print.

Ink up the plate again using your roller. I've chosen white paint this time. Put your fish cut out over the paint.

Use one of your background prints, and lay it over the fish and press.

Here's what happens! Very exciting.

This time I've inked up the plate with prussian blue and a touch of black. I've dropped some embroidery thread on to the paint.

Then I've added the fish again, and taken a print using one of my background prints again.

Here's the result. See how the background colours come through where you've masked with string and paper cut out.

Continue printing and over printing till you have something that pleases you.

Below: my prints when finished. I'll add an eye to each.

Here's three of the prints put together to make a picture.


  1. Fabulous!
    Thank you for showing us how you did this.

  2. I want to get my Gelliplate out right now! Hope your poor ribs and toe are feeling a bit less painful and I am amazed you can make such lovely stuff when you are hurting.

    1. Yep, I'll be honest, it does hurt a fair bit. Standing is almost better than sitting though, and at least it doesn't involve heaving great mounds of fabric around under a sewing machine! Thanks for your good wishes Janet.