Variations using a Mask in Gel Prints

the stencil


Using my Brother Scan-N-Cut to cut a vinyl sheet, I created a “mask” of leaves to use in printmaking. The leaves were drawn from the Chinese Fire Dance Bush in my back yard, so it’s a unique hand-crafted design.

It’s amazing what different looks you can create with just one mask. (A mask is the positive of a stencil — since this is created on a cutter, I also have the “stencil” or negative mask to use as well.)

The secret, of course, is in the layers — the colors and background stencils chosen. For the the first layer I used various colors and some stencils or marking with a comb to create a print on my gelli plate. The stencils used were purchases from various sources, including (Sometimes there is an additional layer added to refine the design.)

This first layer is what creates the design and colors seen in the leaves in the final print.

For the second or final layer, I again rolled colors onto the gelli plate. I tried to choose colors that would work as a contrast or enhancement to the first layer. Note that I didn’t use any additional stencils in this final layer (except for string as an additional mask).

I placed the mask of leaves on top of the colors and pulled a print. That layer became the background framing around the leaves — the first layer was preserved because the mask blocked the final paint layer.

Below are the variations I obtained.