Colored Pencil over Ballpoint Gel Plate Monoprint

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Colored Pencil over Ballpoint Gel Plate Monoprint

Coating a gel plate with a thin layer of black acrylic paint (Basic, not Open or Slow drying acrylics) using a brayer.

Colored Pencil over Acrylic Gel Monprint

Using Colored Pencil on top of a monoprint from a gel plate printed with acrylic paint has been full of experimentation and discovery over the past few weeks. I hope you’ve decided to test the waters and try making a few gel plate monoprints of your own, followed by some colored pencil enhancements. If you’ve shared the results on a blog or social media, could you leave a link to your work in the comments so we can see what you’ve done?

The ballpoint pen drawing on Strathmore Drawing paper, after it was pressed against an acrylic-coated (ivory black) gel plate. All the details about this process can be seen in the previous series of posts, starting with this one.
Adding Colored Pencil to an Acrylic Gel Plate Monoprint made from a two-step ballpoint pen drawing transfer on Strathmore printmaking paper.
Pirouette 10×8 Acrylic Monoprint with Colored Pencil (Available in my Etsy Shop)
Sprouting nasturtium seeds for color-specific hillside gardening and watercolor sketching plans
Waiting for the flowers to produce little round seed clusters to plant more nasturtiums.
Experimenting: sitting outdoors with a watercolor block, a small stainless ruler, and watercolor pencils.
Trying out a set of Arteza Watercolor Pencils, and my favorite little viewfinder to crop the scenery in front of me so it will match the aspect ratio of the paper I’m using. This tool *also* helps keep my eyes focused on the relationship between the shapes of the scene in front of me, and where they sit related to the edges, corners, and mid-line of the paper and the viewfinder frame.
I finished the watercolor sketch with a lap pillow on the couch in the evening using a photo on my cell phone as a reference. A fun afternoon and evening dive into the “zone”. 🙂

Helpful and Inspiring Links for You

  • Mastrius is an amazing art-mentoring company I work with up in Canada. They have a free trial to give you a sense of what they curate for you, including a library of recorded demos with incredible artists, online events and critiques, weekend classes, art groups that meet monthly online with artist mentors to help you develop painting and drawing skills, learn about selling your work, understanding color, composition, and design, etc. The offerings are deep and wide. Have a look here.
  • Sktchy is hosting an online class to learn realistic pencil portraits with the incredible Justin Maas. There’s a discount code if you sign up for two classes near the bottom of the page. Check out the class details here.
  • Legion Paper manufactures watercolor, drawing and printmaking paper for many brands, and you can buy small sample pads to test different papers here.
  • If you’ve never played with a gel plate to make prints at your kitchen table, this demo video by Susan McCreevy is a good overview of the basics.

I hope I’m not boring you with these gel plate experiments. They print so fast, you can make a pile of them in one afternoon. I think I have a few left to share, but you can give me feedback if you’d rather see some other form of artmaking too.

Feel free to make requests in the comments. I’ve got so many blog posts in draft form, done with other media, I should perhaps sway my Tarzan rope swing out of bounds a little and show you something else, eh? 🙂

Thanks for stopping by today, and I’ll see you in the next post –


P.S. The ricotta and grilled veggie recipe I shared from Smitten Kitchen in the last post was such a hit, here is another super easy and very delicious roasted cherry tomato, basil, and cannellini bean treat from the same author. Enjoy!

Art Quote

I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. He will put some things behind, will pass an invisible boundary; new, universal, and more liberal laws will begin to establish themselves around and within him; or the old laws be expanded, and interpreted in his favor in a more liberal sense, and he will live with the license of a higher order of beings. In proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness. If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.

Henry David Thoreau, Walden

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3 thoughts on “Colored Pencil over Ballpoint Gel Plate Monoprint”

  1. Caron Tindale

    Belinda: How could you ever bore? Your insightful advice, generous sharing
    and your wonderful artworks filled with rich colours, superb texture and emotion
    continue to inspire me! Leave the rope to Tarzan and continue to give us whatever
    vibe you are feeling.
    My heart always does a little flip when I open a new post from Belinda Del Pesco.

    Thank you, Caron Tindale

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