Experiments in Simple Printmaking


Overprint of black on canvas paper with deli paper.

A couple months ago I found a tutorial on a blog by Jane Davies. She is a mixed media artist and teacher and is gracious about sharing quite a bit of her work and techniques online. When I saw this one that was similar to a technique I’d used, I had to try it and compare with my own. These are the type of imprecise, organic results I love.

Jane Davies calls this deli paper print. I had taught something similar in my own classes on “Building a Painting,” but I used the technique on clear plastic such as a paint drop cloth. We were also able to transfer the leftover paint to another piece of paper or a canvas using soft gel medium. I wanted to see the differences.

The Technique

Using any color paint (I used black.) make lines, circles, squares, whatever on the deli paper or plastic. Do not put this on too lightly or too thick. Jane Davies’ blog suggests that you use an extender if you were planning to do several. Once complete, turn the deli paper or plastic over and lightly press it to your surface. You can use an object like plastic knitting needle or the edge of an old credit card, etc. and make markings that will also transfer. Keep the pressure light so you don’t get a heavy glob of paint.

Deli Paper

Deli paper is thinner, and it appears that it would be more absorbent, only allowing for a few prints. This was certainly my experience (although I admit I added paint on a third pull). My photos show the results in black on paper canvas.


I tried this on 80# drawing paper as well as watercolor paper. The visual results seemed much the same (see photos) though the plastic gave a little heavier print with texture. One advantage of the plastic may be it doesn’t tear as easily  as deli paper and the leftover paint can be transferred via another technique to canvas or paper.

I have yet to try this on my boards covered with limestone paste, but I will.

Black paint and markings on deli paper
Black paint and markings on plastic
Overprint of black on watercolor paper using plastic for printmaking.
Overprint of black on drawing paper using plastic.

Links: http://janedavies-collagejourneys.blogspot.com/2014/01/deli-paper-prints.html


Author: patricia906

I am a mixed media artist using surface design and texture to explore the patterns and associations in our world.

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