Gelli Plate and Ball Point Monoprints

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Gelli Plate and Ball Point Monoprints

After the excitement I had in the last post while making my first Gelli Plate and Ball Point Monoprints, I’m at it again.

Making a pile of ballpoint pen drawings to use as printmaking transfers from gelli plate monoprints fills after-dinner time, so I have a nice stack of drawings ready for printing.

As I mentioned in the first post, if you’re looking to try monoprints from ballpoint pen drawing transfers, be sure to watch the demo video of this process created by Mark Yeates on his channel.

Rolling a dark acrylic paint color on a gelli plate with a brayer. My ballpoint drawing is ready on the left
Flipping the ballpoint drawing face down on the still-wet acrylic paint and patting it down gently.
Carefully peeling the drawing from the gelli plate after petting it into the acrylic.
After waiting a few minutes to let the drawing transfer dry, I’m coating the line work with a lighter color of acrylic paint on the gelli plate. While it’s still wet, I’ll press a clean, dry sheet of printmaking paper to the plate, and weight it with books.
After 10 minutes, I removed my weighted books and carefully peeled the printmaking paper from the gelli plate, which lifted both the yellow acrylic layer and the drawing transfer layer underneath the yellow.
Examining the details in the ball point drawing transfer, and planning for fun with colored pencils.

Printmaking Inspiration

  • If you’re looking for a whole forum of printmaking inspiration, peruse the print artists represented by Davidson Galleries in Seattle, Washington. There is a single image representing each artist’s work, and if you like it, click on their name to see more. Brew a cuppa somethin’, because you could be busy fawning for a while. 🙂
  • Alex Carmona is a woodcut artist who carves *amazing* detail and tonal value in his prints. His video on the importance of using a knife to prep your block for clean carving is a perfect description of why and how.
a young girl practicing piano
Mezzo Practice – Ball Point Gelli Plate Monoprint with colored Pencil – Available in my Etsy Shop

Gelli Plate and Ballpoint Monoprints

I’m almost finished with four more gelli plate and ballpoint monoprints in this series. It’s a fast form of printmaking, and the colored pencil application on top of the dried acrylic paint is a festival of layering color.

If you’ve given this process a go, please leave a link in the comments where we can see your results. Visit again to see the next set of gelli plate monoprints.

Thanks for stopping by –


P.S. Here is a Pinterest Board with over 200 gelli plate printmaking ideas to try.

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6 thoughts on “Gelli Plate and Ball Point Monoprints”

  1. Vivienne Netherwood

    Hi Belinda
    I was wondering if you had ever tried Akua ink on a gelli plate. I was thinking that it might offer the advantage of a slower drying rate.

  2. Read your post this morning and couldn’t wait to get through the chores of the morning before trying this technique. Had modest results, but certainly will draw back in. I’ll continue to experiment and see what else I can turn out. Thank you for introducing me to an entirely new way of using my geli plates!

  3. I tried it and had dismal failures :(. I had all of the same materials as you. As near as I could determine maybe I didn’t have a thick enough layer of ink. It seemed to have dried on the Gelli plate and didn’t pull up. I could see lines from the drawing – paint retained on the plate in those “channels,” so I’m getting a little bit right ;). I will try again!!’

    1. Hi Nancy,
      I’m glad you’re going to try again. That first layer of acrylic meant to lay under your face-down pen drawing should be thinly applied – not thick at all, and you will have the best results if you lay the drawing down *immediately* after you finish rolling the pigment out so it doesn’t have time to dry. Give it another go, and report back on the adjustments you made and the results. 👍🏽

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