Took some time this weekend to play with gelatin monoprints. Cheap and fun, you use grocery store clear gelatin and whatever paper, paint or dye you have on hand. I did a thin layer of gelatin in a cookie sheet so I had plenty of room to play with. I used Dr. Martin's colored India inks and Golden fluid acrylics with gloss medium for an extender. I applied the color directly to the gelatin and brayered or fingerpainted it across the surface. To clean up after the colors started getting muddy, I just laid newspaper in the pan and pressed gently.
So far, I've tried 3 paper types for the prints. First, I gathered my ugly paper- you know, the ones in a variety pack that you never use but can't throw away. The colors were transparent enough to allow some of the pattern to show but the the new colorways were much better than the originals. Secondly, I have a whole set of old encyclopedias that I'm using for altered books and other projects. These pages look great when they are overprinted. The text and pictures peek through the color and will make great backgrounds. Finally, I tried paper leaf stencils. I covered the gelatin with paint, then laid the stencils and pulled the print. Then, I overprinted the page with a different colorway. Had some technical problems with the stencils getting stuck so next time I'll use plastic or chipboard stencils and explore this option further.
I want to use as much original paper in my projects as possible and these monoprints are quick, easy and crazy fun! I had paint all over me and half the studio by the time I was done! A couple of hours yielded 30+ sheets of great paper. Now, I will go back through the stack and stamp, stitch and further embellish them to create really special collage components.