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Botanical gel printing captures all the delicate details of flowers. Even on bouquets that are on their last leg wilting and with petals falling off, like this one of crazy daisies.

The prints created are gorgeously black and white but I couldn’t leave them without color. Keep reading and you’ll see how adding color created an old world fesco look.

You start by putting Golden Open paint on the gel plate and then the flowers. Open paint works a little differently than regular acrylics because it stays wet, or open longer. Hence the name.

Then place the flowers on top of the paint and press them down.

In the video, you’ll see 2 ways to press them down. One using only fingers and one using deli paper. Both work, it’s just a matter of which one you prefer.

The first print pulls most of the paint off the gel plate. But not all of it- there’s an amazing ghost print to be had.

It looks like there isn’t much here but there is more than you might realize. One of the ways gel plates are magical.

All that detail came up on this print. Even with so little paint on there, the gel plate can capture the fine details.

There was a whole bouquet of flowers and I made prints with them all for 2 reasons. First, it was fun! Second, there were things I wanted to have a deeper understanding of so I tested out several ideas.

What I figured out about which factors created the look that made me happiest, I’ve put into a bonus video inside my workshop, Gel Printing FUNDamentals. Below are some of the prints from that video.

Gel Printing FUNdamentals is all about understanding the principles of what’s happening on a gel plate so you can guide and steer your prints in the direction that you love.

If you’re already a member, just log in and it’s waiting for you because once you’re a member, you’re always a member and get access to all new content I add.

If you’re new to Gel Printing FUNdamentals and you’d like to have gel printing techniques and concepts explained to you step-by-step, then you can find out more about the workshop here.

As much as I loved these in black and white, I also wanted to add some color to them.

Art Crayons are water reactive and blend beautifully. Just a touch of water on the paper towel makes it easy to blend the colors.

The background was done by adding paint and water then wiping it off. By using blue and green it ended up with a bit of an aged copper patina vibe.

Next time you’ve got flowers around, or even blooming weeds from your yard, give botanical gel printing a try! And if you’d like to go deeper with gel printing techniques, check out Gel Printing FUNdamentals.

Here are the supplies used. Some of these links are affiliate links which means I get a small percentage. For example, I’m an Amazon Associate & I earn from qualifying purchases. It doesn’t cost you anything extra and you get a really good feeling knowing that you are helping keep the free tutorials coming!


I could really use your help deciding what I should include in upcoming YouTube and workshop videos about art journaling.  Along with my gratitude for taking just a few moments to help, you’ll also get this exclusive downloadable video!

By answering just 3 quick questions you will help guide and steer what I’m creating so it’s most helpful to you.

The thank you video that I’ve got for you is one where those critical voices in my head were making some noise. You’ll see how I had fun dealing with them and at the end see where the play took a sudden deep turn all because of one word. 

If you’re willing to help, just go here and at the end of the questions, you’ll let me know where to send you the thank you video! I so appreciate your help!

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A silly conversation happened while playing in my art journal. It wasn’t about how I decide when to stop adding layers or the fancy close the page technique- although both of these are in the video.

It had to do with how I started painting the buildings on the page and why that triggered that good old perfectionistic voice in my head.

The bubble wrap isn’t just for packing, it’s for playing too.

You can use stencils in more than one way. In the video, you see how I used my Linked stencil like a stamp by getting it all inky with Art Spray and then plopping it on the page.

Below are the backgrounds for future play that were created getting the stencil loaded up with the black. Not a drop ever has to be wasted!

Here you can see the black lines from the Linked stencil as I’m adding some writing using a fine tipped bottle. These bottles come empty and you can fill them with any color you like. If it can squeeze out the tip, then you can put it in there! At the end of this post, I’ve got a full supply list for you too.

Why were so many layers added to this page? Because it was fun! That’s the number one way I decide if I should add more.

The paint was sprinkled directly onto the page and then spread around using the brayer.

This is the point in the play when the silliness began in my head. I didn’t draw this out ahead of time and I was using black paint. That meant, if it didn’t go “right” there was no going back.

My response was a bit ornery to that voice because it seemed to want this to be architecturally accurate. I never signed a contract saying I would make my art journal page true to the zoning regulations of building codes.

So I intentionally created a weird elevator shaft and apartment balancing on top of it. That would never be approved by the building commission.

An O.O.P.S. happened here. I just didn’t like the white pen there. It was an Outstanding Opportunity Presenting Suddenly.

I just painted over it with black but I had to wait for it to dry. That gave me the time to do some scribble journaling about my impatience.

That impatience helped me decide on the 3 little words for the title from my Are We There Yet stencil.

Art Crayons added some color to those words with a bit of smudging because the paint wasn’t fully dry yet. But why wait patiently when you’re an impatient person!

The glow of the words are almost like a neon sign in the big city. A city made of architecturally imperfect buildings!

If you’re still reading here, you’ve probably enjoy playing with your art supplies so you might want to check out my free workshop, Permission to Play where we let go and make a cardboard art journal.