I was really impressed with a print that Brenda Marks, an Oregon artist, created recently with a style of monoprinting on gelatin. Heather Taylor directed me to a website where I could learn more about this non-toxic way of making prints. We didn’t have any gelatin on hand, but we did have a jello-ish dessert pack, so we used that as our smooth surface.


* Gelatin (if you are cooking it yourself, make it very thick) or a jelly dessert (make sure the container edge isn’t raised higher than the jello surface).
* Water-soluble paints such as gouache, tempera, or watercolor.
* Optional: items to press into the print, like leaves, lace, string.


Step 1:
Paint directly on the gelatin. Play around with brush strokes and color blending. We found that using thick paint worked better with details than watery paint. Both looks are cool.

Bright Colors

Step 2:
Place your paper on the surface, lightly press down and remove. Oooh and ahhh at what appears.

If your gelatin surface can fit in your hand, you can try to press it directly on the paper instead.


Here’s Jaylene preparing some jack’o’lanterns. She found it difficult to keep the facial features from blurring, so she adapted her original idea of having five pumpkins sitting on a gate to only two. This style of printmaking is probably better with abstract designs.

Finished Painting

Here’s her finished print with some handpainted touches.

Now I’m on the hunt for some unflavored gelatin so that we can have a larger area to work on and be able to expand our technique. What’s on your “gotta find it” list?