Monoprinting with What You’ve Got

So I mention this in the video featured in this post.  I own a few Gelli plates.  They are still in the box.  I know in my heart I will swoon over them for years to come.  But I made a commitment to myself not to open the box until my studio is clean, or at the very least, orderly, and there is a dedicated work station to house and utilize these beloved acquisitions.  Immediately next on my to do list when we get back to San Jose.

I was playing around with the tools in Scraps of Darkness’ September “The Black Album” kit (there is a stencil in the base kit, and another in the Color Add-on!) when I discovered what I believe is a very Gelli-esque process!  Throwing down pigment, laying paper on top, and oohing and ahhing over the resulting surprises.  The more time I work with stencils, the more I realize how much you can do with one.  I discovered by accident what great textures, patterns, and DETAIL you can achieve when using a stencil in conjunction with a non-absorbent craft mat that’s got a bit of a textured surface.  My mat, picked up in a set from Costco, has a sort of faux weave that added a great gritty texture to my pages.

In the event that you do not yet own any monoprinting supplies, I hope you will play with your stencils as I have in my video – it was so much fun and provided a sort of crafty gratification that I think is in line with that you might experience when monoprinting!

Look at the delicate details that I was able to capture using the mists and stencil included in the kit this month!

VivianKehMonoprint_EThose stems are maybe only 2 millimeters wide, but the mists pooled in such a way that I got a very fine line with literally no effort.  I just slapped my paper on top!


This is another sample that had been treated a bit differently.  Rather than mist through the stencil onto your paper in the fashion we are most accustomed to, the process of laying paper into pigment gives a much more detailed result.  I love it!

VivianKehMonoprint_AI hope you enjoy the video!


9 thoughts on “Monoprinting with What You’ve Got

  1. I love that stencil – unfortunately it isn’t available here [yet]. Nor do we have Costco here, [I’ve always thought it would be a fabulous place to visit 🙂 ] I wonder if a drawer liner would work in a similar fashion to your mat…. the texture looks similar, though the drawer liner may be chunkier – hard to tell. I think I shall have to try with drawer liner and what I have stencil wise as the effect is quite exciting! Which kitty was chatting in the background? Once again, thank you for the inspiration 🙂

  2. Hi Vivian

    Superb video. Love the colors and effects that you achieved. I had an experiment with alternatives to gelli plate recently too. I was trying to use a silicone mat over a thick piece of funky foam (do you have that in the USA?) Partially successful but I’m saving for a 8 x 11″ gelli plate so I can make book covers.

    Have you tried smooshing your ink from your dye pads onto the sheet, then spraying with water to get it to bead up then picking up the results with your card. That works well. If you have a medium stiffness of plastic bag, press ink onto it, then scrunch it up, open out and pick up that ink. Gives a marbled look.

    I had a wonderful play with Ranger’s spray inks ages ago now, have put a link in for the video tutorial I made for that. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oUvDA64zyr4 Not quite the gelli plate look but they would make a nice starting point for what you have just done on top.

    Best wishes

    Billie 🙂

  3. Such a great video Vivian. Seeing this in combination with Tim Holtz’s Creative Chemistry 102 course has really expanded my ideas for using stencils. You are, as ever, creatively inspiring. Jenny x

  4. Wow, what fun texture. You have the best ideas for creating backgrounds. What a cool twist on using your stencils. I’m liking those mats you use too – makes a cool texture on the papers. Keep those great ideas coming!

  5. I like how your monoprints turned out. Have you ever watched any of Jann Gray’s videos? She’s another artist/crafter I like to watch. Like you, she loves mixed media, and is an excellent teacher. She’s done a couple tutorials with her Gelli Plates.

  6. Thank you for the video, now I can try monoprinting with stencils. I also have a gelli plate, I bought at the end of Sept., I haven’t used it yet, the same reason as yourself. I need to make space to use it. I agree with you about the spiders, I think they are amazing. When my husband was in hospital in 2010, I would go to a lounge and watch the dock spiders on the window, we were on the 7th floor. It soothed me and helped me to believe in survival, at a time when our situation was very scary. Sometimes I really miss those spiders with their webs on the window, 7 floors up!
    Your papers turned out beautifully. The leaves and the spiders and the webs makes me think of early morning in the garden when the webs between the leaves are bejeweled with dew. Thank you for sharing and for the inspiring video.
    Jacquelene L

  7. I am new to your blog but have been watching you on Youtube . You are such an inspiritation to me ! I love your art work . My cousin is new to mixed media and I have referred her to your site and she loves it also. so Thank you for being the wonderful artist you are.Oh and for sharing it with us.

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