Tag Archives | printing

Gelatine plate printing

I know I’m a bit late to the party, but I treated myself to one of those permanent gelatine plates at Christmas.   I have done gelatine plate printing before, but my sessions were few and far between because of the need to plan it carefully: to buy the gelatine, wait for it to set and then make sure I did lots of printing before it went mouldy.  Now I have finally bought one, I love it!  I have it out all the time so I can take a few prints whenever I feel the need to get messy, make backgrounds on the train tickets etc and I love the fact that there are so many tutorials and blog posts about it online.

You’ve probably seen evidence of its use cropping up on various photos of train ticket art, but here are a few of the prints I’ve made from it.  They’re not very polished yet but I’m still playing!    Since buying the plate, it has been interesting to see how it has affected my work and especially the train ticket art because I have been making that regularly.  I have noticed that I am most inspired by light and shade and the results of light such as reflections and shadows.  Also  that most of my best art is almost accidental: I make the background on the plate and then observe what emerges once the print has dried and draw it out by highlighting it or adding outlines or details.  Monoprinting, especially printing small things as part of a larger print surface is quite unpredictable and this lends itself well to this style.  I pick a colour scheme or colours which I feel most drawn to at the time I’m playing with it (it feels like playing when I don’t plan anything!) and then just go with the flow.  And using acrylics means that I have to work quickly, there’s no time to stop and ponder or the paint is dry before I know it!  It’s unpredictability that excites me about art, the excitement of not knowing what will emerge or what that paper will look like when I peel it off the plate.

red printed paper with circles

I used a cardboard tube to make shapes in this one

I scanned this into Photoshop and changed the colour (quite drastically!) and uploaded the design to my Redbubble shop – you can see on products here.

another gelli print, orange this time

Can’t remember exactly what I did for this orange one!

gelli print with stamped bunting and beach hut shapes

Bunting and beach huts

blue gelli plate print

I used a home made comb (cut from a credit card) to make these markings

yellow and red gelli plate print

another monoprint

The yellow and red print above came about in an unusual way.  I hit on the idea of rolling gesso on to the plate and then printing it on to the train tickets instead of painting it on.  It works well, allows more of the original ticket to show through and is a lot quicker.  But what I also discovered is that some of the words printed on the ticket were being transferred to the plate – this print is actually on paper and it has picked up the shape of the train tickets and some of what is printed on them!  I think it makes a very interesting print.

black and red printed train ticket

One of the train tickets which have been gesso printed – the red is acrylic paint and the black is Indian ink.

blue and orange printed train ticket with distressed effect

Another train ticket – I do like this colour combination!

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Arty Snippets


Here is some more of my #trainticketart… I’ve kept it up pretty conscientiously so far, though there was a bit of an Instagram hiatus last week when my phone broke.

I’m having a go at blogging on my mobile so let’s see if WordPress cooperates.


I’ve got even more incentive to keep going now because the arts group I belong to locally, Diverse Manners, has an exhibition in the Riverfront arts centre next Easter so I’m planning to show them in some fashion there.  More details to follow!


Apart from that, there’s not much to report. I’ve been busy clearing out our boxroom of over 20 years of accumulated clutter : it’s looking much tidier now though I did wonder sometimes whether a search party would be required to dig me out!  I’ve also been working on my website behind the scenes… Eventually that will be ready for the big reveal.


That’s all for now, let’s hope this post doesn’t freak out when I hit publish…

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Still on track (get it? – sorry!)

I’ve been keeping up with my #trainticketart challenge so far, although Virginmedia did its best to disrupt progress last night and this morning by making so-called ‘improvements’ to the local cable network which resulted in no internet connection for a while…
Early in the week I did a bit of preparation by stamping randomly on some of the cards.  Sometimes it takes a while for the paint to dry and then I forget to finish it or upload it to Instagram and it was also nice to have a few half made ones when I was lacking inspiration. (The allan key is unconnected – I’ve been decluttering the boxroom and had been tightening up some joints in a chair which I was putting on Freecycle.  Though I daresay I could use it for stamping too!).
I’ve been doing a mixture of paintings based on sketches, doodles, patterns and some printing, like the one above which I did using a quick stamp that I made from sticky-backed fun foam (great for making stamps as you can see).
This one was based on a stylized sketch of my peace lily plant.  Do you like the negative shapes coloured blue? I think they are my favourite aspect of this design.
This one is a bit more delicate …
And I got out the pens and the bling for this one!!
I went to Cardiff in the middle of the week and was glad to see that they are starting to adorn some of the buildings with street art.  Here is one in the process of being actually painted:
And another one nearby:
Finally, I’ve started a Pinterest board so if you want to join me, let me know!
If you noticed anything strange happening with this blog last week, I have been doing various WordPress manipulations on it.  I’m working on a new website (all linked together with the blog) with a new opening page but I’ll try to keep any disruption to a minimum until it’s ready for all to be revealed.
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Decluttering the printing surface

messy studio with pens and inks all over the table

A bit messy, hmmm…

I thought I’d share a few pics of my workroom.  This is what my printing table normally looks like.   As though an art supply shop had vomited all over it.  With some haberdashery chucked in for good measure.

mess, lots of it

Too much, too much!

Every so often I have to have a good clear out or it gets too much to create anything there, it seems to mess up my head as well.

studio with clear printing table

Nice and clear on top, just don’t look underneath!!

One afternoon I decided to clear everything off and put the dropcloth in the washing machine.  This is what the print table looks like underneath all that clutter.  Wow, wish it looked like this all the time!


A diagonal view

I have a large piece of MDF laid on top of the table, and a piece of carpet underlay over that, which creates the soft surface for printing.

table with dropcloth for ink stains

The dropcloth is a heavy twill fabric

Here is the table with a clean dropcloth on top, bearing the dyeing marks from a previous printing session or ten!

Wish I could say it still looks like that now, but unfortunately it is more like the top photo again… that clean table top lasted less than a day.  But it definitely unleashed some creativity…

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