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….


8 thoughts on “Gelli lines and blocks of colour tool

  1. Yowza! Your technique just popped up on my pinterest feed. Very cool! Thanks! Gaileee

  2. this is a brilliant idea. love the results you get with it. I have my gelli plate on my table right now and am going to try this. thanks for the inspiration. can’t wait to look through your blog for more ideas. tfs

  3. That is such a fun idea!!! I absolutely love the page you made! Both the colors and the layers make me happy! I will definitely have to give this a try 🙂

  4. Oh my goodness. Some day I must try this. Some day . lol

  5. Just love your recent run of gelli print posts. Always make me think. thanks as always for sharing.

  6. Ohhh what fun you have been having and what gorgeous prints as a result. They are all amazing – my personal favorite is the first one with those beautiful leaves, I love the turquoise and black together. THanks for sharing yet another wonderful technique.

  7. You are always coming up with the alternative and items to use that are low cost, good for you, I so enjoy reading your Gelli stuff that you do, you are such a wonderful artist. Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment, was great.

    Happy WOYWW & Happy Crafting
    Eliza & Yoda 2

  8. that is defiantly a tool, and its brilliant. I agree with you about style, but I love to find new techniques, and sometimes learning from others sparks your muse to greater inspiration 🙂 its like travelling and finding a second home, a new way to look at old things maybe? 🙂

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