Monoprint with Gel Plate and Ballpoint Drawing Transfer
My ballpoint gel plate monoprint drawing transfer experimentation continues. (That’s a mouthful of words, eh?) For inspiration, I borrowed a cute image of bestie dog buddies from one of our family members (Thank you, Avah!).
Using family photos as drawing references and inspiration is my habitual Reach-For when starting a new project. Do you do that too?
I photographed some of my steps on this project, and posted them below, with links to help get you started, in case you’d like to give this printmaking process a go.
If at First You Don’t Succeed, Try and Try Again
I’ve had a handful of Do-Overs in every post I’ve written about this fun monoprint process from gel plates. If your first attempts don’t go swimmingly, make more of them. That’s how we learned as kids, and that’s how we (still) learn new things as adults.
Grownups get the willies over the notion of failure. We’re supposed to be awesome-sauce at All Things while adulting, but that’s never going to be true with arts and crafts. There are tips, hints, and lessons in every little blip, so take note of what failed, and start again.
Slow and Steady Wins the Race
Two excellent aspects of this process are speed and re-use of the drawing. The acrylic dries fast, so your printing moves quickly. And if your first pull of the drawing doesn’t transfer, re-draw the same lines again on your original drawing, with a different colored ballpoint so you can emboss over the first drawing and “recycle” it for a second or third try.
Another great option for you is breaking the process into bite-sized snippets. No time? Okay then – make your ballpoint pen drawings in fits and starts till you have a pile of them. Work in the evenings after dinner. When you’re ready to print, you’ll go quick as a bunny through the transfers using your fresh pile o’ drawings, and basic acrylic paint, which dries fast.
Gel Plate Links for You
- If you’re looking for ideas, here is a Pinterest board with a few thousand gel plate printmaking ideas.
- If you’re new around here, there are three previous posts on this process with plenty of details to get you started, Here’s the first gel monoprint post, and the second gel plate and ballpoint post, and the third gelli plate monoprint post.
- If you’re looking for books on making gel plate botanical prints, this one gets good reviews on Amazon. And this one is more general and beginner-friendly. A good art-library is a vitamin to your creative soul.
Amidst the gel plate monoprinting experiments with ballpoint pens, I’m making new things in the kitchen (homemade ricotta, anyone?), exploring new places in travel, listening to Penny Reid audiobooks narrated by Joy Nash, swimming in both brisk lake and ocean water, walking, practicing yoga, and germinating a plethora of seeds for Fall planting in my garden.
Basically, I’m trying to live fully. Attempting to wake my senses, and fluff my curiosity and wonder. After the past few years of Pandemic and loss, living in a state of mind that is intentionally robust, awake, active and alert seems the thing to do. Charging all my batteries to full capacity.
What about you?
Thanks for stopping by and I’ll see you in the next post –
P.S. This homemade ricotta and grilled veggie recipe is the bee’s knees! Not art, I know – but full of awesome – and very sharable.