Use those prints? Or print on purpose? Gelli ball!

Sorry, now I am being a big tease, but I’m going to share my first iteration of this – the second one will have to wait, as will the instructions.  It’s nearly impossible to explain in words how to do it, I was fighting with another (non-Gelli version) all day yesterday and did THIS more as a way to solve THAT problem.  But it needs daylight for photos, and a couple of re-do sections (cause I’m a numpty) but when I get it all sorted (tomorrow is the plan!) I’ll share.

In the meantime…


And as it slowly rotates…



Gelli lines and blocks of colour tool

Like I said, I the tool is too grand a word for this but it’ll have to do.

I mentioned the class I took from Carla Sondheim.  Her style is wonderful.  I took the class to see how she achieved it, not really to make HER style MY style, if you know what I mean.  Attempts to copy someone’s style, no matter how much you admire it, is just pointless.  Yours will only ever be a pale imitation.  BUT if I break down what I like about her work, it’s al about the lines and blocks.  I already know I like layers, but I also know sometimes (often) I really like just the pattern to be seen.

Carla has this trick for getting a line in the middle of a print without masking off  to accomplish it.  I can’t do it well enough that I am happy.  Thinking about that lead me to this.


I hear you go Huh? so I’ll explain.  Basically all it is a 12×12 page protector, edges and binder holes trimmed off and discarded, each  piece edged on three sides with duct tape. The open edge is cut into strips.

How do I use them?  Well, I tape them to my desk, around the gelli plate. Maybe you can just see that the plate is hiding under the strips.


Just flop the strips out of the way, a bit like they are flopped to the left here


Load up the plate.  You can maybe be a little more generous with the paint than you usually are – unless you are naturally heavy-handed, then just do like you normally do. Flip any number of the strips over on to the plate.  Because they are plastic, the paint will just lay there trapped.

4gelli_linesYou can now add some texture just to the strips of paint

5gelli_linesand then pull your print


Now, of you flip the strips back to expose the paint you can texture that and pull a print – of course I was a bit too frugal and the paint got to dry.  So I just added different colours, flipped over the alternate strips (to block off the part I already printed)  then textured that and pulled a print.  You can match them up if you are careful, but slightly off registration leaves some empty areas.  And using another one of Carla’s tricks for a watercolour effect, you can then fill in the gaps for a softer look in those areas. AND by then using the side-to-side strips you can get bands of colour in the other Direction.


If you use both the up & down and side-by-side strips at the same time you can get blocks rather than strips.

8gelli_linesand you can fill in with a different colour, add texture and fill in bits but but not totally, if you can see what I mean

9gelli_linesand then watercolour over it all (or just in certain areas) to unify it!


I’ve only just started playing with this, but already I am loving the effects I can get.  I think I need to practice and pull a lot more prints! And I need a few for a Christmas gift that will be heading across the pond….maybe two….