Thursday, March 26, 2020

Cut Paper Overlays by Bob Pennycook

Hi all. It’s Bob again.
Today, we’re going to talk about using cut paper overlays to build the sections of a landscape.

PLUS- read to the end to learn how to enter in our giveaway!

We’ll use a piece of card stock as template pieces and we’ll add some spritzing and soft-edge techniques to create some increased visual interest.

Let’s get started:

First, you’ll need a registration system. An easy system to make is a taped hinge. Cut your paper a few inches larger than your gel plate, center the paper over the plate and tape one edge of the paper to your table surface. Fold the paper back over the tape and you’ve created a hinge. Use wide painter’s tape for this.

As long as neither the plate nor the paper move during printing, you’ve got an effective registration system.

The first print pull is an overall color using a cheap bristle brush. The bristles will create visual texture in the print. My choice was a soft blue to use as both sky and the water color.

Next, you’ll need to create your design template. Use card stock for this as a thinner paper is more difficult to remove from the plate. This is a 6” gel plate so I marked a six inch square on the card stock and drew the pattern lines. Write in what each section will be. This helps later once all the pieces have been cut.

Since I wanted to keep the sky and water blue, I cut out and placed the sky template and water/land template in place.

The open space becomes the mountains. Paint that color roughly using a bristle brush. Paint this section a muted, warm color which will help push the sky into the background. Remove the templates and pull the print.

Cut out the small water template. Place it into position then paint the land. Remove the template and pull the print.

Your print should look like this so far.

Wrap a shop towel around your index finger; mist it with some water then gently wipe the bottom edge the mountains downwards into the water.

Paint a thin warm band of color onto the mountains, up a little from the water. Pull the print.

Protect the upper part of your print so that just the foreground is visible. Spritz the print with water from a mister bottle then gently place a shop towel over the spritzed area. Tap the towel a little then remove. As long as your paint is still fresh when you do this, you should have some texture dots in the land.

Use a 2B pencil and create some calligraphic lines at the bottom of the thin warm band (see video). Then take a stomp, paper stump, blender (shown in pic) or whatever you call them in your area, and soften the graphite lines, smudging the graphite a little.

Next, use a kneaded eraser to remove some of the black from the smudged areas to create some variation of value.

And that’s it! You’re finished. Hope you had fun.

Materials List:

  • Gelli Arts® 6” square gel plate
  • Golden Open Acrylics: Titan Green Pale, Teal, Titanium White, Quinacridone Magenta
  • Some sort of registration system
  • Bristle brushes – one for each color is best
  • Shop towels
  • Painter’s tape
  • Scissors
  • Cardstock
  • Pencil (2B)
  • Water mister bottle

Giveaway time! 

We are giving away a set of Liquitex® acrylic paint to one lucky winner!

To enter: leave a comment on this blog post and we will randomly draw a winner. Deadline is Monday, March 30, 2020 11:59PM ET. Good luck!



  1. The gel plate is so versatile and it is great to have all these demos for inspiration. Thank you.
    Best wishes

  2. I love landscapes, so thst means that I love this photo and technique!

  3. That is so beautiful. I am getting the "itch" to pull out my plate again and this inspiration might just do it. :)

  4. I really like Bob's setup for his registration system. I also like the textures achieved by applying paint to the plate with a brush!

  5. Wow! Bob, you always make such gorgeous art. Thanks for the inspiration and the step-by-step demonstration. It'll take my Gelli prints up a notch or ten.

  6. These are beautiful and inspiring! Hope to do this some day.

  7. One of the best tutorials on gel printing. So many just schmuss ink on a plate and say it's beautiful. Your landscape has a plan and the result is beautiful.

  8. Thank you for posting this tutorial. I can't wait to try it out myself. ☺

  9. Bob makes it look so easy! Thank you for this video.
    Stay safe and be well. Becky

  10. I love how easy it is to start a new art project with Gelli Arts. Never thought to do a painting this way though. Thank you for the tutorial.

  11. Thank you for the beautiful tutorial!

  12. So much good information in this post - not just with planning and structure, but technique with the paint. It's a keeper. Thanks.

  13. Thank you for this beautiful tutorial!

  14. Colors are great... and so is Gelli plate. Thanks

  15. I thoroughly enjoy watching your videos, Bob. Your style is one I really appreciate...thank you for sharing your skills with us!

  16. Im very pleased to see the techniques you used with the gelli plate to produce landscapes. Thank you Bob.

  17. I love this technique. It gives such a unique look. Thanks for sharing.

  18. Beautiful! Now I know what I'm doing tomorrow

  19. I love what Bob can do with the Gelli plate! Great tutorial

  20. This gives me a lot of ideas for combining my Gelli plate with drawing and painting techniques. Thank you!

  21. I won a Gelli Plate and have never it. I think you have just convinced me to try it!

  22. Amazing! I watch a lot of videos but I have never seen someone create a more "organized" piece of art like that with their gelli plate. Very cool. Everything about this and the mixed media world in general is so fun and forgiving which is great for a perfectionist like me. Thank you for sharing your techniques!


Thanks so much for taking the time to comment on our blog! We hope you find it fun and helpful in your artistic endeavors!

We will try our best to answer your questions and provide good, helpful information in a timely manner.

We look forward to hearing from you and thank you for stopping by!

Happy Printing!
Gelli Arts®

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