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Printing from magazine images/text

Until yesterday I had no idea you could use monoprint to lift magazine images, and reprint them into your sketchbook etc.

There's probably lots of ways to do this but here's how I did it. Early days, and if I find any wrinkles or better ways, I'll blog and let you know.

Needless to say I used a gelli plate. I think it should be doable with other forms of monoprint too.

Here's a step by step of how it was done.

Choose your magazine. Not all will print apparently so you may need to try a couple of times. This is a BBC history magazine and was perfect. Cut out the image exactly.

Ink up your gelli pad. This is a 3"x5" and I'm using ordinary acrylic paint not Open acrylics which take longer to dry. Any brand will work and a dark colour is better. Roll the paint with a brayer until you get an even and thinnish coating (you don't want thick bits)

 Put your magazine image face down on the plate, and cover with a sheet of clean paper. Burnish (rub) the paper quite firmly. You can peak underneath a bit to see if it's working - if it isn't you may need to rub a little harder or try a different magazine.

 Lift of the paper and image, and you should have something like this. Of course the text will be reversed but it will print the right way round.

 Leave to dry completely.

When you're sure the paint is dry, put a contrasting colour of acrylic paint onto the plate. You will need a thin layer, so don't use too much. Keep cleaning the brayer on a spare piece of paper if you have too much - don't try and scrape it off.

It should look something like this - a nice thin paint layer.

You're now ready to print. Lay a piece of paper over the top of the paint and press firmly all over (burnish). In the photo below I wanted the print in a book so it was easier to lift the gelli plate onto the book page. You need to press quite firmly doing it this way, but it helps if you keep the plastic sheet that comes with the gelli plate on the bottom - makes it easier to rub.

 Here's the finished thing again. I printed on top of a coloured base but it would be even clearer on white paper.


  1. Thank you very much Annabelle, I hope to give this a go very soon as it looks very effective.

  2. Replies
    1. It is, and a very useful tool. I haven't used it in a piece yet, but think I probably will!