Thursday, April 25, 2019

Textured Landscape by Gelli Arts® Artist Bob Pennycook

Hi there! Bob here. Thanks for joining me as I create a textured landscape using bristle brushes, handmade stencils, sponges and some ink.


  • Golden Heavy Body acrylic paints in Green Gold, Titan Green Pale, Transparent Red Iron Oxide, Teal, Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide
  • GelliArts® 6x6” gel plate
  • Registration system*
  • 2” wide painters tape
  • Scissors
  • Card stock
  • Cutting mat
  • Tracing paper
  • Shop towels
  • Bristle brushes
  • Graphite paper
  • Soft sponge – a grouting or makeup sponge will do
  • Scalpel knife
  • Pencil
  • Uni-ball pigment ink pen
*To do this, you’ll need a registration system. The two following images show a simple registration system. In the remaining photos, I use my homemade registration board.

If you don’t have a registration board, here’s how you can set up your work area to ensure each print pull is registered to the previous print pull:

First, place your gel plate on a non-slip surface. Tape off an outside corner. If the plate should move during printing you can line up the plate edges against this taped corner.
Next, create a hinge for your paper. Place your print paper over the gel plate centering it as best you can. Apply a strip of tape to the outside edge of the paper, overlapping the table. Press the tape down firmly on both the paper and the table. Lay the paper back onto the table, away from the gel plate, and reinforce the taped joint again. 

Here’s my registration board set to print. The gel plate snuggles up to the wood strips and I tape the wood strips to keep the wood clean during paint application.
Cut your paper to size. I use 22x30” printmaking paper cut into four pieces. That gives me the choice of creating either 6x6 prints or 8x10 prints. On the back of the paper, mark an arrow. You’ll slide that arrow into the metal corner bracket for each print pull.

Now you’re ready to print! 

With tape in place, brush a thin layer of Transparent Yellow Iron Oxide over the entire plate. I chose an old house-painting brush about two inches wide with flexible yet firm bristles. This type of brush will create texture in the final print.
Here’s the first pull showing the texture. If you don’t like the white paper showing through the print, use a small flat brush to directly paint on the print to fill in any of the white areas.
For your second pull, repeat the process with Titan Green Pale.
This time you’ll brush Transparent Red Iron Oxide onto the plate starting at the top and ending about half way down the plate. Take a shop towel and gently wipe the bottom edge of the paint to soften it to reduce the chance of a hard edge being printed. Pull your print.
As soon as you pull the print and before the paint dries, mist the print lightly with water and immediately cover the entire print with a shop towel. Gently press on the towel. Remove towel and very gently rub over the red iron oxide.
This is how it should look – a bunch of visual dots over the red iron oxide creating some interesting texture. Let your print dry (or use a hair dryer).
Next, we’re going to make three circle stencils- big, medium and small- using some card stock and whatever you have at hand to create a circle. I used the inside of a tape roll and a multi-sized plastic circle stencil. Draw three circles onto the card stock spaced well apart.
Use a scalpel knife to cut out the circles. Cut apart the holes on the card stock leaving a healthy paper edge around each hole.

I like to keep the positive circles for future use to create negative circles on some of my designs.
Tape the largest hole stencil over the bottom edge of the gel plate so that only three-quarters of the opening is over the plate. Use a dry, soft sponge to tap a thin, equal mix of Green Gold and Titan Green Pale into the opening. Remove the stencil and pull the print. 
Repeat the process with the middle sized circle stencil. Use equal parts Teal and Titan Green Pale.
Repeat with the smallest stencil. Use equal parts Titan Green Pale, Green Gold and Teal.
Tape off a thin line directly on the print and about half way down the largest circle. Use a sponge to gently tap in an equal mix of Teal and Titan Green Pale. 

For all my prints, I only use painters tape. It’s removable and has less adhesive than any masking tape. But, even though it has less adhesive, I still press the piece of tape against a piece of cloth (my shirt!) before placing it on the print to reduce paint lifting off the surface. Make sure that the tape is only gently pressed onto the print. There’s not much chance of paint leaking under the tape, but if paint does lift when you remove the tape, use a small, dry brush and very little paint to touch up the area – one thin layer at a time.
Next, I drew the tree onto a piece of tracing paper. I attached the paper to the print using a couple of pieces of painters tape. I slid graphite paper under the tracing paper, then transferred the lines using a pencil on top of the tracing paper.
I used a uni-ball white pigment ink pen to then trace over the outside lines of the trees and then fill in the tree with squiggly lines.

All that’s left to do is sign your work!

© 2019 by Gelli Arts®, LLC
Philadelphia, PA All rights reserved.



  2. So many new ideas for the Gelli plate. I have recently introduced friends to the Gelli plate and can't wait to show them how to use it!


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