Thursday, July 21, 2016

Printimaking with StencilGirl Products to Create a Decorative Collage

Hey everybody! My name is Andrea Warren, and I’m the Ottawa (Canada) Working Artist for Golden Artist Colors. I had the pleasure of hanging out with Mary Beth at a Golden conference in Miami last December, and am very happy to now be doing a guest blog on her awesome site!

So today I’m going to show you how to monotype with your stencils to create beautiful decorative paper that can be used in any kind of collage or mixed media work. Monotyping (or monoprinting) is a type of printmaking in which an image is created on a smooth, non-absorbent surface, and then transferred onto a sheet of paper by pressing the paper and plate together. I love monotyping because it’s very easy and accessible for beginners, but also has the potential to be very sophisticated in the hands of a professional artist. I also love it because it is a very explorative and spontaneous process, and the results can often be (usually happily) unexpected. There are tons of different techniques you can do with monotyping, but today we’re going to look at working in a series with a stencil.

So here we go!

What You’ll Need

1) A stencil. What I’m using: StencilGirl’s Damask Medium stencil.
2) Golden OPEN acrylics. Golden OPEN acrylics are a bit softer bodied than regular Heavy Body acrylics, and they stay open and workable for far longer - making them perfect for printmaking. What I’m using: Golden OPEN Teal, Iridescent Bronze, and Carbon Black.

3) Gelli Arts Gel Printing plate. Gelatin printmaking has been around for a long time, but Gelli Arts changed the game when they created durable, reusable plates. Gelli plates are great with stencils, because their pliable surfaces allow you to imprint textures and capture more detail then you could with something harder like plexi. What I’m using: 5" x 7" Gel Printing Plate.

4) Rice Paper. There are lots of great printmaking papers available, but I like to work on rice paper when I’m using my prints for collage and mixed media. Because of how thin it is, rice paper almost melts onto your canvas when you adhere it. What I’m using: Jack Richeson rice paper pad.

5) Brayers. You can use just one brayer and clean it between colors, or if you have several kicking around, you can use one for each color. What I’m using: 4 Speedball Hard Rubber 4” brayer.

6) Baby wipes and paper towels. Baby wipes are perfect for cleaning up both your Gelli plate and your brayers. If I’m cleaning a brayer in between colors, I just roll it onto a baby wipes several times and then on a paper towel.


1. Roll out one of your colors onto the Gelli Plate. You can roll the paint out on a separate inking plate (a disposable palette pad works nicely), or directly onto the Gelli plate. Experiment with how much paint to use- too much paint can smudge the image, too little can give an uneven print.
2. Place your stencil down on top of the paint.

3. Carefully lay a piece of rice paper on top of the stencil,
bending it in the middle then laying both sides down.

4. Transfer the paint onto the paper by smoothing the paper onto the plate.You can use a clean brayer, a wooden spoon, or even just your hand.

5. Pull up the stencil and place it on your working surface with the painted side flipped paint side up.
6. At this point you will still have paint on your plate – this is the positive image.

Place another piece of paper onto the Gelli plate and print.

7. Roll out a second color onto your plate.

8. Put your stencil down on the Gelli plate with the Teal side up.

9. Place your paper down and print.

10. Pull the stencil off and place it beside you with the Carbon Black side up.
Print the positive image.
11. Repeat Steps #7-10, this time using Iridescent Bronze. Roll out your Bronze, put your stencil down with the Carbon Black side up, print, pull your stencil off, print your positive.

12. Continue printing until you have at least 16 separate prints – more is even better. Try to get a nice variety of color combinations and values. You can also play around with rolling out multiple colors at the same time.

After everything has dried, you can cut or tear your prints up and collage them any way you’d like. Here I used a paper cutter to chop them into 3" x 3” squares, and glued them onto a 12" x 12” primed cradled panel.
You can use any kind of acrylic medium to adhere your paper – I usually use Golden Polymer Medium. Apply a thin layer of Polymer Medium underneath the rice paper, place your paper down, and add more medium on top to make sure the edges are properly glued down and there are no air bubbles under the paper. The medium will dry completely clear, so you don’t worry if it looks a little milky when you apply it.

Once all your prints are glued and dry, you can paint on top, add more collage materials, or apply gels and mediums to create different looks (my personal favourite is Golden Self-Leveling Gel, that looks almost like resin when poured)

And that’s it! The possibilities are really endless when it comes to monotyping. Once you get the hang of it, you can easily create a stack of papers in just an afternoon. Not only are you creating unique paper, but you’re doing it at a fraction of the cost of store-bought patterned paper.

Thanks for tuning in! If you’d like to learn more about these fabulous materials you can check out the websites below. If you have any questions about this project, you can find me on my website below – or you can follow me on Facebook and Instagram (andreawarrenart) for more tips and tricks.

Cheers, and happy printing!


  1. Stunning and beautiful! I love the color combinations as well as the finished collage!

  2. Oh my goodness this is beautiful! I haven't seen rice paper in years. I remember using it is elementary school years ago as a child for crafts and haven't seen it since. I never stopped looking for it.


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