1. Squirt 2-3 colors of paint or ink onto your palette and blend them slightly with your brayer. Analogous colors work well, to start with, but you can also go with complementary colors or add a color that has some metallic in it. Experiment!
2. Roll the paint or ink onto the plate.
3. Using your found objects or tools, lightly press into the paint. In my samples I used half a nutshell and the end of a wooden spool to make impressions and the tines of a plastic fork to make lines. You want to move the object slightly on the surface to displace the paint, but don't cut into the plate.
4. If you want to use a paper shape as a mask, now's the time to place it. If not, go ahead and lay your paper or fabric down on top of the plate and lightly rub over the back with your hands. Lift up the paper or fabric and see what you've got.
5. Before the paint dries, take another piece of paper or fabric and make a ghost print. I find sometimes I like the ghost print better than the original.
6. Repeat the process as often as you like, trying different combinations of found objects, masks, and paint colors.
- Choose quality. Regular craft paints can be used, but they dry out fairly quickly and can flake off onto the gelatin plate. It's better to use fluid acrylics, printing inks, Lumiere® paints, and similar.
- Print onto tissue paper (be sure to use a fairly light amount of ink). Later, you can use the papers for collage with gel medium which makes the paper translucent.
- Double your pleasure. Keep dry prints and other papers or fabrics nearby while you work. After you use a found object to make an impression on the gelatin plate, stamp the excess paint or ink onto the paper or fabric.
- Waste nothing! Even if you don't like the results of a monoprint or the colors, you can always collage or write over it, cut it up for artist trading card backgrounds, stamp onto it, or use it as journal backgrounds.