Printmaking Project :: Monoprint

Welcome back! I hope you enjoyed the introduction to monoprint/monotype yesterday. Today, I came up with two very simple monoprint projects for you to try. For these projects I used:

  • a piece of plexiglass (see note at the bottom of *this post*)
  • water-based inks (block print ink and screenprint ink); tempera would also work fine
  • a paintbrush 
  • Q-tips
  • printmaking paper (my favorite is RivesBKF); you could use any paper lying about your house to play with these ideas!
  • a rag for wiping my hands as I work, mostly so I could take photos, but it's a good idea to have one around while you're printmaking...

OK, let's get started!

For the first project, I painted black screenprinting ink across the entire surface of my plexiglass plate. Then, I used Q-tips to draw (erase) some of the ink from the plate. When I was happy with the drawing, I placed the paper over the plate and used my hands to rub the paper, which transfers the ink to the paper. You could also use a spoon to rub the paper. Then, I simply lifted the paper from the plate and you can see the results above. Don't forget that images will be printed in reverse!

I rather like the results of this and would love to explore this technique a bit more, working with different inks and more complex images. Typically, monoprint artists use oil-based inks because they dry much more slowly, allowing more time for manipulation of images before printing. Keep this in mind if you decide to work on a monoprint project. It would terribly sad to create a masterpiece only to have it dry on the plate and be unprintable.

For the second project, I simply painted three colors of block printing ink on the plate.

I printed this piece the same way, placing the paper over the top of the ink and rubbing with my hands to transfer the ink to the paper. I think a large piece like this would look fantastic on my fireplace, so I may have to play around with that idea. Are you ready to try? Fantastic; please share any work that you do on the Printmaking 101 flickr group. I would love to see your work!