Monoprinting: Painting with Shop Towels Bob Pennycook

Hi there! Bob here. If you’re looking for some soft texture in your monoprint layers, try this technique. Apply the paint to the GelliArts® gel plate then wipe the paint with a shop towel. You’re just trying to spread the paint around the plate. You don’t want to wipe off all the color.

On a palette, mix Cobalt Teal Hue and Titan Buff. Apply the color to the gel plate with a palette knife then wipe with a shop towel. Print this layer and you should have something that looks like this.

Mix Teal and Dark Grey Value 3 and apply to the bottom half of the plate. Wipe with shop towel to soften the color then print.

Mix Primary Yellow and the Grey. Apply a little to the area between the sky and the land and wipe horizontally first then add a few vertical wipes to create the illusion of tree tops. Print.

Mix a little yellow and Titan Buff and apply to the plate with a palette knife. You won’t be wiping this color so apply the paint where you want it to appear on your print. Apply thinly or the paint might “blob” on the print. Print.

Use a small paint brush to apply some of the sky color to the land to create a highlight. Print.

Use the same brush and thinly apply a mixture of greens that will become the tree foliage. Print.

When dry, use the Pitt Pen to create a rough outline of a tree shape.


  • 8” diameter GelliArts® gel plate
  • DecoArt Americana Premium Acrylic paint in Titan Buff, Primary Yellow, Cobalt Teal Hue and Dark Grey Value 3
  • Printmaking paper (Stonehenge Polar White used for this project)
  • Painters’ tape
  • Small brush
  • Shop towels
  • Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pen Black (0.5mm used for this project)
  • Registration system
  • Palette paper
  • Palette knife (painting knife)


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6 thoughts on “Monoprinting: Painting with Shop Towels Bob Pennycook”

  1. Hi, great tutorial, thank you, just one question, can you translate 'shop towels' from American English to English English, please and thanks 😘

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