Let’s Paint Together

We all need a little time to relax and create right now.

Here’s a step by step acrylic painting video. I’m offering it in the hopes that you’ll find a little joy in your day during these trying times.

Paint by yourself, paint with your children or hold a Skype or Zoom painting party.

Whatever you do, have fun and stay safe.

You’ll likely need head phones to hear this.

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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.

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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