Last week I treated myself to a Gelli Arts printing plate. As I'm inexperienced in monoprinting I thought you might like to know how I got on.
The plate is made of a clear gel which is about 1/4 inch thick which is impregnated with a mineral oil. It is recommended that you use acrylic paint as this cleans off the plate easily.
For my first session I used a mixture of cheap craft acrylics, and tubes of Daler & Rowney System 3 and W&N Galleria acrylics. All of them performed well. In fact the craft paint was runnier and was easier to apply.
Above you can see a plate I made using foam stuck onto a piece of mount board off cut. .Top left I just 'inked' up a square of the gel plate and used the stamp to remove the paint. I was then able to use the paint on the stamp to take a second print (top right) The bottom stamp was also made using paint I'd lifted from the plate.
These figs were cut from a print made by combing the paint with a card cut with pinking shears. I then washed watercolour over the top.
I must say the Gelli plate was very easy to use and clean - either with a baby wipe or by spraying it with water and wiping (You can put it under the tap) It does need treating with respect as I guess it would be easy to damage it with sharp tools. If you just wanted to pull a few prints, it is easy to do without having to set up a big printing session. I may sound like an advert, but I have read lots of rave reviews so I thought I would add mine. There is lots of experimenting to do with getting the right quantity of paint on the surface etc, and I was inclined to overprint too heavily, but that is down to my skill not the plate. Hope you find this useful.