I realise, there are many variations to how acrylic paint reacts and dries, such as temperature, humidity and climate. This acrylic paint trial on a gelli plate was purely how the applications worked for me, and mostly based on using a brayer to apply the paint.
Inexpensive craft paint is thin and spreads very well, only a small amount was needed eg. the smallest amount you could get out of the bottle as its tipped and smeared off directly onto the plate. Craft paint dries very quickly, and the print was sometimes quite pale.
‘Abstract Innovative acrylic paint by Sennelier’ is fairly thick and needed rolling out well, but produced excellent results.
‘Windsor and Newton Galleria’ has a good consistency and worked well.
‘Daylor Rowney System 3’ is too thick and would not roll out easily, it started to lift back off the plate as I was trying to roll it on.
‘Reeves artist quality acrylic’ worked really well. I also tried fabric paint, which was very effective.
Acrylic Inks – These can be used on the Gelli plate, for example, Liquitex or Fw inks. However, the Gelli plate needs a layer of acrylic paint, or I believe gesso can be used, before applying the ink, otherwise the plate acts as a resist as the surface of the plate has an oily feel to it, although this can create pleasing effects.
Spray inks also work using this method, however, some inks can stain the Gelli plate. This does not affect the plate, but obviously affects the transparency of the plate, making it difficult to see the true colour of the paint being applied.
Dylusions spray inks react when wet, spraying a mist of water over the ink before printing produced interesting results.
I tried mixing acrylic medium, such as pouring medium in the paint to create thin translucent layers. Surprisingly, gloss medium did not work as well as I expected.
Surface to print on – The obvious choice would be mixed media paper, card stock or watercolour paper, but you can have interesting, and very successfully results from many other papers. This includes baking paper, tissue paper, serviettes, or kitchen roll. Interesting and effective papers can be created for collage work.
I did try printing over photographs and photo printing paper, but it was hard to pull from the plate, as it stuck.
Gelli printing can also be applied to cotton fabric or canvas, infact, any surface that will take acrylic paint.
Pattern can be applied to various 3D objects, such as candle holders, jars and pebbles, as these flexible plates can be rolled and pressed around the object. These kind of applications will need to be protected with a coat of acrylic varnish.