Gel-Printing with Schmincke aqua LINOPRINT colours - By the French artist Denise Crolle-Terzaghi

Gel-printing is really new and a versatile manner of printing with linoprint or acrylic colours. Besides a gelly plate (ready to buy or selfmade) and the mentioned colours you will need different materials for printing: patterns and stencils, textiles, cardboard and so on. Printing with several colour layers leads to a unique agility and depth and every print, of course, is one of a kind. This printing technique requires some "trial and error" – please don’t get discouraged when the first prints haven’t proved to be satisfactory…

The French artist Denise Crolle-Terzaghi shows us how she works and how her colourful prints are made. As colours she solely uses Schmincke aqua LINOPRINT.

You will need:

  • Schmincke aqua LINOPRINT colours in different shades, here : Permanent yellow (19 210), Magenta (19 330), Cyan (19 440), Ivory black (19 735)
  • Soft brayers
  • Glas- or plasticplate (to roll the colours)
  • Gelly plate, selfmade or ready to use, for example "Gelli Plate"
  • Spray bottle with water
  • Mark making tools (dry herbs, threads, embossed cardboard,...)
  • Positive and negative stencils (cut out from thick paper or plastic film)
  • Absorbent paper like newspaper sheets (to remove as much colour as you can before cleaning the plate with wet cloth) and a cotton cloth
  • Smooth and absorbent paper : drawing paper, drawing cardboard, mixed media paper (min. 180g/m2)

Useful hints :

Cut a framing mat for registration (same size as the paper you will use for printing). That will help you to have all the layers line up every time you're changing colours. Blockprinting colours can be diluted with a little water.

Step 1 :

Position the framing mat. Roll a little Schmincke aqua LINOPRINT in permanent yellow colour with your brayer ona plastic or glas plate, then roll it down onto the gel plate. Lay down some stencils onto the colour (here some paperflowers, a dry herb, some thread). Cover it with your printing paper and carefully press down with your hands.

Step 2:

Clean the plate and change the colour. Roll your brayer onto Schmincke aqua LINOPRINT Magenta. Make marks with corugated cardboard to remove some Magenta colour.

Step 3:

Add negative stencils (here a cutted out cat, dry herbs and thread) onto the Magenta textured colour.

Step 4:

Put on the printing paper carefully and print the second layer.

Step 5 and 6:

Clean the plate with absorbent paper, then finish cleaning the plate with a wet cloth. You can also clean up the plate under flowing water. No mediums are necessary.

Now you get the intermediary result. All prints up to now are well-defined. Here you can see the colour blending by two coats of paint printed about one another.

Step 7:

Roll your brayer onto Schmincke aqua LINOPRINT Cyan colour, then roll it down onto the plate.

Step 8:

Make marks with elastics (put around a cardboard sheet). Press the cardboard onto the colour to remove again a little bit of Cyan colour.

Step 9:

Add some more stencils (paper flowers again and a circle) on top of the cyan textured colour. Position the printing paper exactly and print the 3rd layer.

Step 10:

Work directly on your print. Add some detail on the 3rdfinished layer. Cover the cat stencil with Schmincke aqua LINOPRINT in Ivory black and use it as a stamp (mirror inverted!). Press down the stamp with absorbent paper to prevent the colour from drooling.

Step 11:

Remove the stamp gently. The cat on your print is now black.

Step 12:

Cover the herbs with Schmincke aqua LINOPRINT in Magenta and use them as stamps to enhance the picture (use againabsorbent paper). Your print is now finished.

Recipe how to make a gelatin plate

You will need: 

  • 100 g of powdered gelatin (usually 5 boxes)
  • 350 ml of glycerin
  • 125 ml water (boiled before)
  • 1 rectangular baking pan, size around 26 cm x 32 cm
  • 1 silicon spatula
  • 1 big bowl

Step 1:
Pour 125 ml of cold water into the bowl. Add half of the glycerin. Stir slowly until the mixture is fluid.

Step 2:
Add the powdered gelatin. Mix well using the spatula. Mind no lumps are left.

Step 3:
Add the rest of glycerin. Keep stirring gently then pour into the pan.

Step 4:
Let the plate harden before moving the pan. Let it set up a few hours (overnight is perfect).

Step 5:
Slide a knife blade around the edges of the plate.

Step 6:
Take it out of the baking pan and lay it down on a sheet of glass or plastic. No refrigeration is needed after the gelli plate is set. You can keep it for months on your working table. Just cover it witha plastic sheet to protect it from dust when you do not use it. When you notice it is hardening or some little appear on the surface of the plate, clean it and cut it into small bits. Put them into a big glass bowl, add a little water and put it in the microwave to melt it . Then mould it as previously.