Gelatine Printing – The Story So Far

I’m currently two weeks into a six week e-learning course called Make Monotypes with Linda Germain.  Linda loads up a video and sets a task each day, and there is a closed Facebook group where we can share our results.

The first thing we did was to make a gelatine plate using a recipe from Linda. The plate is effectively a thin layer of jelly on which ink can be rolled using a brayer. The paper is simply placed on the inked plate and rubbed with your hand. No press is needed so its easy to do in your own kitchen.

We tried different masks and stencils, both natural and cut from different materials. Here are some of my prints:


The plate was inked with blue, various square and rectangular masks applied together with some string and thread and the paper printed. This was then repeated with yellow. This is called a shape print.


This is the corresponding detail print. After the shape print is made, the stencils etc. are removed carefully and another print is taken without reinking, just using ink that was underneath the stencils. With some exercises it’s the shape print which looks better, while other times it’s the detail print. Some times they can be mixed with a detail print being layered on top of a shape print. The possibilities seem endless on occasion.

I really liked the detail prints with the natural materials. Between the shape print and the lifting of the stencils/masks, you can carry out a ‘newspaper pick up’ which removes extra ink. This gives cleaner, higher contrast detail prints. This is what I did here. I called these prints ‘poorman’s etchings’.

Gel025a Gel028a

This is a shape print using natural materials:

Gel011aGreat variation can be produced by layering different colours. With these bottle and bowl prints, the masks were cut from crumpled up aluminium foil which gave great detail prints.



Here are three prints I did using a stencil I cut based on a drawing of leaves of our cheese plant.

Gel037a Gel041a Gel042aFinally, yesterday I inked random patterns on the plate and took prints on drawing paper. I then used the prints at a life drawing session today.


And I’m only a third of the way through the course! More fun to come!




About notes to the milkman

I'm a printmaker based in the North West of England, living in Bolton and printing at Hot Bed Press in Salford. Please visit my website
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6 Responses to Gelatine Printing – The Story So Far

  1. Your blue and yellow detail print is just lovely – reminiscent of a map.

  2. Nancy Farmer says:

    Love the ‘poor man’s etchings’ 🙂

  3. paperstew says:

    I’m looking forward to seeing more!

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