Turning Ugly into Pretty

Sometimes it just happens. Actually, often it happens, that I pull the first layer of a print and either need to discard it or rethink it.

I’m currently working on a series of 6×6” monoprints, creating a monochromatic textured background with a dark colour then adding layers of transparent color to the print, by hand, after the first layer dries.

I work with landscapes so that first print pull needs to have some semblance of a landscape before I start adding transparent colours.

In this blog post, I’ll show you how I salvaged a print that couldn’t be considered anywhere close to a landscape.

Building the Print

Here’s an explanation of what you’ll see in the video below.

I start by covering the entire gel plate with a thin layer of Burnt Umber plus Transparent Red Iron Oxide.

Then I take a dry shop towel and start removing paint in areas to create an imaginary landscape. I’ve also used an old bristle brush and a Catalyst scrapper to create texture.

I pulled the print and ended up with what I thought was a pretty ugly image with no appeal as a complete landscape. However, I could see potential for a group of trees in the middle of the print.

So, since I hadn’t moved my gel plate and it was still in alignment to allow for more layers of colour, I decided to continue adding to the image, just to see what would happen.

I brushed Ultramarine Light Blue into the sky creating the tree foliage with some negative painting then added Sap Green plus Ultramarine Light Blue plus Titanium White to the grass area. I textured the foliage with a shop towel then pulled the print.

To brighten the foliage I added more Green Gold then, in the next pull darkened the bottom of the tree with some Burnt Umber.

I highlighted the foliage with some Green Gold and Titanium White then taped off the image itself and slightly darkened the area under the trees once more.

Then, as I almost always do on one of my prints, I filled in the corners to create a square print and called it finished.

Paints used – Golden Open Acrylics

Substrate – GelliArts® gel plate

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Multi-Layered Monoprint

Behind my studio there’s a forest. And I use that forest as inspiration for so many of my prints and paintings.

This five colour, multi-layer print started as a photograph I took one morning as the sun raked across the trees. I wanted to show the complexity of the vertical lines each tree created but I also wanted to add a path, inviting you to walk through the forest to experience nature at its calmest.

For this print, I used five colours from the DecoArt Americana Premium Acrylics line along with a 6×6” GelliArts® gel plate. I always start with the largest shapes and work towards the smallest. So, in this print, the sky was pulled first followed by increasingly smaller shapes until I was left with only graphite and a gel pen to complete the image.

Come follow along as I show you all the steps and techniques I used to create this image.

Here’s the final image. Now, lets go step by step.

This was my inspiration. It’s a photo from behind my studio taken in early spring. I wanted to create a design that had some visual warmth and one that invited the viewer to take a relaxing stroll in any season.

This is my homemade registration board and my 6×6” GelliArts® gel plate. The board keeps the gel plate in registration throughout the many layers of added colour. Here’s a link to my youtube video on how I made the board: https://youtu.be/lymrqAGpJXQ 3

Cut your paper large enough to extend from the metal brackets on the left side of the registration board to a couple of inches beyond the gel plate on the right side. Do the same for the length of the paper.

Mix a light blue from Translucent White and Cobalt Teal Hue. Using a dry bristle brush, apply a thin layer of colour to the entire gel plate. The more “bristle-y” the brush is, the more texture you’ll get in your sky. Pull the print.

Use the same dirty brush and mix a little Dioxazine Purple with the Cobalt teal and randomly brush the colour across the gel plate.  Pull the print. Add a little more purple to the mix and brush the colour onto the bottom area of  the first purple/teal application. Pull the print. This picture shows both colour applications.

To help you with your paint positioning on the gel plate, there should be a subtle ghost image left behind on the plate after each print pull. Don’t clean the plate between colour applications.

Mix a little Primary Yellow with Translucent White to create a soft yellow. Apply this colour to the path and add a little in the sky. Pull the print.

Use straight Dioxazine Purple brushed onto the bottom of the blue land shapes to help define both the path and the land. Pull the print.

Brush a little of the sky colour onto the path. Pull the print.

Using the edge of a palette knife, pull the tree trunks. See the video for process.  Pull the print.

Repeat, adding trees to fill the landscape. Make sure your trees have a variation in thickness. Pull the print after every few trees.

After the print dries, use an HB graphite pencil to randomly fill the spaces between the trees with vertical and diagonal lines representing tiny trunks and branches.

Use a white ink gel pen to add squiggle white lines to the right edges of each of the trees. And you’re done!

Supplies:

Here’s what you need: DecoArt Americana Acrylics in Dioxazine Purple; Cobalt Teal Hue; Translucent White; Primary Yellow and Burnt Umber…you’ll also need a GelliArts® 6×6″ gel plate, a variety of bristle brushes, a palette knife, graphite pencil, white gel pen, painter’s tape, a registration system (see my video mentioned above) and printmaking paper – I use Stonehenge white paper for my prints or BFK Rives.

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New Online Monoprint Class

I’ve been quiet for a while but I just wanted to let you know I’ve set up a new online class. It’s all about using a limited palette for your gel print monoprints. I”ve used three colors plus black and white in the Golden Open Acrylics line along with a 10×8″ GelliArts plate. I’ve included info on creating a mixed color chart you can use forever as a resource. For the print in this class, we select some colors from the chart to work together. For more information on the class here’s the link – https://bobpennycook.teachable.com

 

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Online Class Starts Oct. 1 and the Studio Tour is Sept 22-23

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Create this step-by-step torn paper monoprint during the Monoprint Makeover class at Lucy’s Art Lab . I’ll show you how to print many layers of colour on an 8×10 gel plate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And drop by my studio on Sept 22 or 23 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. I’m part of the Tweed and Area Studio Tour. If your up for a great drive in the country, there’s lots of interesting art to see this weekend. Check out the tour here.Share this post:FacebooktwitterpinterestmailFacebooktwitterpinterestmail

Art Walk

Join me during Downtown Belleville’s Art Walk on June 7 from 4 to 7 p.m. Artists everywhere!! Great restaurants and gallery openings. I’ll be at Reiki on Wheels demonstrating monoprinting.
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This Year I’m Creating Prints, and I’m Part of a Team

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In my  last blog post I mentioned I wanted to spend most of this year exploring printmaking. I haven’t worked with prints on an ongoing basis for a number of years.

I used to create monoprints on an etching press, but once I left school and a former art studio, I had no access to a press to create the prints. About four years ago I discovered the Gelli Arts® Plates, a gelatin-like substrate used for monoprinting. Add paint to the plate, create a little mark-making, and the image transfers to paper beautifully. I’d been playing with this printmaking technique for a few years, in between creating paintings. But for this year, I’ve decided to work mostly using the monoprinting technique.

To strengthen my commitment, a few weeks ago I was asked to be part of the Gelli Arts® design team, a chance to work, creative and publish my monoprinting ideas. The photo above shows all the design team members for 2018.  We’ll all be publishing concepts, projects over on the Gelli Arts® blog this year and will pop up in the company’s facebook and Instagram feeds as well. And over on the right side of this blog, there’s a “buy” button for the gel plate. If you find you have an urge to create monoprints inspired by your own ideas or any future posts on this blog, you can use this “buy” button and save 10 per cent on your purchase. Just to be clear, this is an affiliate link and I will receive some payment for any purchases made using this “buy” button. But it’s an easy way to get started monoprinting.

I’ve been working a bit on Yupo paper recently and the print below is one of those I just finished. The first image shows a lot of random layers of colour printed using the plate and the second image shows how I added and removed colour to create  a poppy garden.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Monotype How To

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Late last year I felt I needed a change to my daily routine. I spend as many days in the studio each week as I can, painting. But I wanted to create a different approach to my art his year.

I’ve been creating monotypes/monoprints for several years now as a hobby, I guess. Whenever I’m not painting and I feel I need a break, I’ll produce a print or two.

But for this year, at least for the first half of the year, the emphasis will be on printmaking, particularly monoprinting. I want to see how far I can take it. I want to create mixed media art with prints, paint and pencils….just to see what happens.

The image above is a recent small print. It’s 6×6″. I did this print specifically for the video below simply to show process. It’s a quick, three-minute video Have a look. Hope you enjoy.

New Classes:

There are a couple of new spring studio classed listed under “Workshop/classes” page above.

New Prints:

I’ve also added some new prints to the “portfolio: prints” page above.Share this post:FacebooktwitterpinterestmailFacebooktwitterpinterestmail