How to make a Pet Portrait using Gel Press Plates

To start, you need a simplified picture of your pet.

You can use an online editor like Pic Monkey and print out a copy. I made my image a line drawing using Photoshop. It doesn't really matter how good it prints as long as you have a high contrast image with simple lines.

This is my image now... you can see it is reversed from the final project.

If you need to you can go over the main lines of your pet photo with a sharpie, this will really simplify it. It is very important that you have a simple line drawing.

Now just play with the gel plates (I used Gel Press plates) making patterned paper with acrylic paints. Make as many sheets as you want. You will perfect the next step as you go, so you may not want to start out with your favorite prints.

Once you get a few sheets you like, you can start on the pet portrait.

Since the gel plates are clear you can place your pet photo ( with the sharpie lines) under the gel plate facing up. You can now see your simplified pet photo through the gel plate. I think you can now see where I am going with this....

Now very QUICKLY, trace on the gel plate, in black acrylic paint, over the sharpie lines. Before it dries place your patterned sheet face down and press. This will transfer your pet portrait on your printed paper.
It is imperative that you do this step as quickly as possible. That is why the simpler the drawing the better.


I just love this. It was pretty easy to do and a great way to honor the loves of your life!!


Nadine Carlier said…
Wow, wow, wow! Such a great idea, I love it!
Anonymous said…
Really cute project.
Unknown said…
Super cool idea ... have never seen it before!!! :)
Sue D said…
This is so cool. LOve this idea.
Steph Ackerman said…
Wow, what a fun idea. Love it.
Tanya - you are a genius!! Your technique brings a whole new world of possibility to this fun tool. :)
Lynda said…
Tanya, I love your technique. I will have to try this! Awesome portrait of your dog!
Annmakes said…
I have got to do this myself. Your project is like Wow! Great out of the box thinking.
maria soto said…
Oh I want to do this, we just rescued a little yorky and I would love to give this idea a try. great project.
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

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