Creating inked details on prints with Bob Pennycook Lesson Plan


  • Students Will Be Able To (SWBAT) demonstrate the ability to mark make.


  • In what ways can you add details to prints?
  • What type of layering techniques can be used on prints?


  • Gelli Arts® gel plates, 8×10 and 4″ round
  • Acrylic Paints (Golden Open acrylics in Titan Green Pale, Nickel Azo Yellow, Titanium White and Light Ultramarine Blue)
  • Pigma Micron Pens (Sakura Micron Pigma Graphic 1 and Graphic 2 in black and Sakura Souffle in purple)
  • Small and large rough bristle brushes (these help create texture in your prints)
  • Printmaking paper (Stonehenge from Legion Paper used for this project)
  • Card stock
  • Xacto knife or scissors
  • Pencil
  • Painter’s tape 


Step 1: To make sure the print is centered in the middle of the paper, place the 8×10″ plate on a flat clean table then add painter’s tape to the table at the top and left side of the gel plate. Add strips of painter’s tape until the tape on each edge is about two inches wide.I used Stonehenge printmaking paper for this. I cut a large sheet of paper into four, 10×15” pieces and set three of the pieces aside to use with future projects.

Step 2: Next, center the paper over the gel plate so you have almost equal amounts of paper extending beyond each edge of the plate.

Step 3: At the top and left side mark a pencil line to create a positioning guide to keep the paper centered when pulling the print.

Step 4: Create a rough stencil on card stock, then cut out the interior of the stencil. Be sure to remove all pencil lines as they could transfer to the gel plate and the print.

Step 5: Position the stencil upside down, and somewhat randomly on the 8×10″ plate, use a bristle brush to thinly apply a mix of Titan Green Pale and Light Ultramarine Blue to the stencil cutout. Gently remove the stencil and pull the print making sure the top and left edges of the paper are lined up with the pencil lines on the tape.

Step 6: Since I’d be applying the gel plate to the print paper this time, I placed the round gel plate on the lid of a hard plastic container and brushed on a thin layer of Titan Green Pale plus Nickel Azo Yellow.

Step 7: The gel plate is easier to handle when its firm. However, this is optional. You could just apply paint to the gel plate, carefully grab the side edges of the gel plate and apply the plate to the surface.

Step 8: When the paint is dry, lightly sketch in the tree using a graphite pencil. Then switch to the Micron Pigma Graphic 1 to define the tree. Make the left side of the tree darker by adding rough lines using the Micron Pigma Graphic 2 pen.

Step 9: Add a little color to your tree by adding rough lines of Souffle to the branches, trunk and ground.

Step 10: Add some dots of Souffle to the bottom edge of the blue stenciled area. When using the Souffle ink, work slowly. The ink will release better and will dry a little puffy.

Step 11: Mix some Nickel Azo Yellow plus Titanium White plus a little Titan Green Pale and brush onto the right side of the sun to create a highlight.

1 thought on “Creating inked details on prints with Bob Pennycook Lesson Plan”

  1. this was inspiring to watch…am new to the Gelli press and love to draw…looks like a win-win to me…where can I find more ideas doing this?
    Thank you

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