First, acrylics are the best. Beyond that, there’s really no “bad” paint to use on gelli plates when making prints. In general, when gelli printing, you want the paints to stay wet longer so you have time to add stencils, make designs, add other colors of paint or answer the phone, pick up the stencil you dropped on the floor, break up the kids fighting, you know how it goes.
Here are different types of paints with their pros and cons:
-Golden Heavy Body acrylics – These are thick (or “heavy”) paints. Because of that, you get more prints (or “pulls”) from each application and will also use less of this than you would of thinner paints. While more expensive, since you use less, they have good value. Find lots of Golden Heavy Body acrylics here.
-Golden Open acrylics – These are thinner than the heavy body paints and stay wet longer. Here are some examples.
-fluid acrylics – Brands like Golden Fluid Acrylics and Dylusions are fluid acrylics. These silky paints are wet, thinner than the heavy acrylics, and like liquid. They are easy to move around, which is great when you’re making designs on the plate with your finger, a comb, or other object. (A shout-out to Dylusions paints, which have strong pigmentation and come in incredibly bright, intense colors.) Find a variety of fluid or high flow acrylic paints here.
– craft paints – These include brands like Americana and Folk Art acrylics (don’t buy their paints for use on enamels or wood). These will need an “extender” to make them wetter so you can work with them longer. A disadvantage of these paints is they get thick and sticky as they age, but a big advantage is their price – they tend to be a lot cheaper than the above paints. They are great paints to use when you’re just starting with gellis. A bonus is that they come in metallic colors, too. Amazon has lots of craft paints, click here to see some.
-Lumiere Metallic Acrylics – These gorgeous paints are reflective, so they shine beautifully when viewed from an angle. They are also silky and look terrific on black papers and fabric, such as muslin. Here are samples of these paints on Amazon.