One way to create successful gelatin prints

First, give yourself a break and embrace a definition of success that serves you. Being harsh and judgmental does not help.

gel print with stencil and ferns

One example of a definition of success that serves the players is the Baseball players batting average. Can you believe that these guys get paid big bucks and to be considered good they only need a .250 batting average? That means they only need a hit 25% of the time. Let’s embrace 25% = success.

Try this:

  • Make 10 prints with just a couple stencils and stamping tools
  • Use paper that you feel comfortable “wasting”
  • See if you get 2 or 3 out of ten that you really like

I am betting that this environment and expectation will create success for you.

silhouette fishing print by linda germain

Another Idea:

One approach that I have with those 8 less than successful prints is that

  • I come back to them on another day
  • I work into them with just a few marks or
  • I completely work over them

This really gives the prints new life and raises my “batting average” to .500. 🙂

stamping tools for gelatin printmaking

By limiting your tools you:

  • help create a cohesive composition
  • creating boundaries for discovery and success
  • eliminating chaos and confusion

ferns for gelatin printmaking

So in the prints above I used a fern, the fishing stencil and 4 or so stamping tools.

If you would like more support in creating success with gelatin printmaking, then join us in this year’s session of Make Monotypes. This printmaking workshop starts May 15th and registration is open now. Check out the details on the printmaking workshop page.

One student’s experience in Make Monotypes – I wanted to take this class for quite a while, but as I had already experimented a fair bit with a gel plate, I wasn’t sure how much I’d learn.

My friend, a bookbinding instructor took the class a while back, and spoke very highly of it. She really enjoyed it and learned a lot. And I had seen some of her prints that she incorporated into her bookmaking projects.

I’m very glad I took the course – it was exactly what I wanted- it encouraged me to use my own images and experiment with found objects and stencils/masks I created myself.

So many other books, videos and blog posts focused on use of commercial stencils and other products.  I really appreciate that this course focuses on finding or making one’s own tools!

Gerry McG.


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