Sunday, 10 August 2014

Gum Leaves - Gelli Prints and Mixed Media

Many artists have a particular style and create a variety of works in that style. But not me. Unfortuantely.  I've picked a subject and created artwork in different mediums - gelli plate, mixed media and acrylic using a layering/block out technique.

Gum Leaves 1 - Gelli Prints

I created some gelli prints as I wanted to print onto canvas using my scrunched up paper technique for texture, so these were experimental.  I placed the gum leaves onto the gelli plate then pulled the print and then took the leaves off to create the second/ghost print.

Here's the small canvas I experimented on - previously I had collaged sewing patterns onto it and done some washes and dry brushing over it. I didn't press down hard enough in certain places for the paint to lift off the plate and onto the canvas.

Gum Leaves 2 - Mixed Media

Gum Leaves 2, Mixed Media, 61cm x 92cm, 24" x 36"

This painting originally looked like this, it was part of a series that I did in 2012.

I used soft pastel to outline the leaves, then I cut out greaseproof paper to mask off the leaves before placing it onto the gelli plate to created the white background.  I had to do this 6 times and when the paint is on the plate you have to move that canvas quick to get it on there before the paint dries. I don't think I'll be doing that technique again as the scrunched up paper texture didn't really show through - this is probably due to the sewing pattern I collaged onto the canvas being very textural/bumpy.

I then painted some washes over the white section and then used a brayer/roller with a dark colour (phalo turquoise) to pick up the bumps in the paper for a more textured look.

The left hand leaf could probably use a little more contrast to highlight it more so I'll think about that...

Here's a couple of detailed photos to try and see the sewing patterns underneath:

Gum Leaves 3 - Acylics - layering and block out technique.

So I grabbed another painting I had started but not yet finished and covered it in warm colours then cool colours then pastels then stamped all over it and here's where it's at (I actually find this very freeing otherwise the painting sits there and shouts out FAILURE!!!! everytime I walk past it - instead it should shout out FINISH ME!! PLEASE!!):

What's next??  Well, tune in later in the week and find out!!!  (By then I shall know too!)  :D

PS  Do you love creating gelli prints?  Want a place to discuss gelli printing?  To show off your work?  Share your ideas? Discuss the pros and cons of different paints/paper/plates/tools etc?  Get some great ideas on what to do with the thousands of prints you have created?
Inspire and be inspired as a part of the Gelatin Printing Enthusiasts Facebook Group. I would love for you to join me there.


  1. Michelle you are so inspiring. Thank you for showing your process. I have a couple that are screaming at me at the moment. I do not have a gelli plate but do have some gelatine - I might try making my own. I used to use set gelatine in science classes as it is like glass and traps the light - a lesson on optical fibres. Another use of those light box kits most Australian schools have.

    1. Thanks Sandy! All the best for making your own plate, give me a shout out if you need any help.


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