Printmaking Monotype Day

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Monotype Day

This latest Blog is about a fantastic and inspiring Monotype printmaking day. We learnt to use texture and mark making using everyday objects together with multi layered and multi coloured prints.

It has been a very busy start to 2016, website launch, working on a new collection and learning new techniques. One of my targets this year is to experiment with landscape; drawing, painting, mix media and printmaking and this picks up some work that I did as part of my textiles degree at Winchester school of Art I had the opportunity to use the facilities of the printmaking department. I created Monoprints, but used the technique more as a drawing and painting tool, I loved the results and actually sold some of the prints.

Monotype example from my Degree Show
Monotype example from my Degree Show
Monotype example from my Degree Show
Monotype example from my Degree Show

 

These monotypes were painted directly onto a metal plate using oil based inks and printmaking rollers, they are based on sketch book work of landscapes and gardens.

I am on a creative journey and this has taken me back to printmaking and in the last 18 months I have learnt new printmaking skills and brushed up on existing printmaking techniques, more examples to follow on my Blog. The Printmaking Monotype day was held in mid January. The course was run by Badger Press in Bishops Waltham and the talented Wood cut and monotype artist Kate Dicker our teacher.

Monotype – A single print taken from a design created in oil paint or printing ink on glass or metal.

Monotype Printmaking: Task 1

After a quick introduction and explanation Kate introduced our first printing task. We were allowed one primary colour, my choice was blue, a printing plate, A4 Rhenalon, 0.5mm thick plastic and glass clear.

Kate demonstrated how to ink up the colour onto our mixing plate, (this was a sheet of thick glass approximately 800/100 cms long and about 40/50 cms wide).

Work area for preparing ink for monotype printing
Work area for preparing ink for monotype printing

 

A roller loaded evenly with colour was then rolled onto the Rhenalon plate in a random manner, (this was just an example), Kate then used a metal scourer, bit of plastic, paintbrush etc to make interesting marks and textures. These were printed onto cartridge paper and put through the printing press.

Monotype printing is very liberating as the initial results are so quick to produce.

First attempt using one colour and various texture making implements
First attempt using one colour and various texture making implements

 

The next step was to add another colour and ink up the Rhenalon without cleaning the plate! Again using various texture making implements, I liked using the metal scourer and edge of an old RHS membership card.

Two colour monotype
Two colour monotype

Task 2: Monotype printmaking with 3 colours

Kate then let us loose with 3 primary colours and of course I made a complete mess!!! I over gilded the lily by plastering colours on top of each other and ended up with the amalgamation shown below!

A glorious mix of colour!
A glorious mix of colour!

These were our quick tasks and next would be our first monotype using more than one colour and using a registration plate so that each colour could be placed correctly, sadly I forgot to photograph this as a step by step process, (I was so busy creating I forgot to take the photos!!!).

I have included a photo, sadly it is not very good, but gives the idea of registration!

Registration paper with Rhenalon plate
Registration paper with Rhenalon plate

 

I used two primary colours and based the image on a small section from a sketchbook study of a blue/yellow iris. Firstly I made a registration paper so that I could place the paper in the same place for each subsequent colour. For the following prints I used a thin beautiful Japanese paper called Shoji and DID NOT use a press! I used the registration paper and transferred the image using a roller on the back of the Shoji paper.

TIP: Remember the image from the plate will be reversed when printed!

 

The yellow was printed first and as the ink on the plate after printing is spent the yellow can be left on the plate and the next colour can be applied. The process can be repeated to add more colours, remembering to always register the paper accurately.

First trial using the registration plate and two colours with mark making
First trial using the registration plate and two colours with mark making

 

Monotype is a great way to produce prints and ideas quickly and its a technique that can easily be done at home without a press!

I developed the above idea, but this time taking time to mix my colours and created a monotype that had only 4 colours, but which was printed several times, gradually adding detail and thinking carefully about placement of colour.

Monotype using four colours, textures and marks
Monotype using four colours, textures and marks

I was delighted with this result as the colour works well and I really like the colour balance, mark making and texture.

I love photography and take photos all the time using my phone, small compact and a bridge camera. I printed a few landscape photos and proceeded to spend the rest of the day using the as my inspiration for content, colour and texture. I will place them in order of creating so hopefully you will see the progress.

Monotype Landscape, the Quantocks
Monotype Landscape, the Quantocks

 

Monotype Landscape 2, the Quantocks
Monotype Landscape 2, the Quantocks

 

Monotype Landscape 3, the Quantocks
Monotype Landscape 3, the Quantocks

 

I hope that you have enjoyed reading this blog on about Monotype printing, hopefully you might like to try it yourself?

I will be running a workshop called, ‘Printing without a Press’ look out for the dates on the website.

Materials and Equipment Resources:

The materials and equipment can be purchased from a variety of good art shops both on the high street and online:

 

Equipment

  • Rhenalon, (clear plastic for creating your Monoprint)
  • Registration paper – placed under your transparent Rhenalon for easy accurate registration
  • Paper – Cartridge, but not too thick as the image might not transfer very well, but this paper is great for doing testers first
  • Paper – Shoji, (Japanese paper, great for Monoprinting without a press), the image is easy to transfer using a roller or a barren
  • Rollers – various widths
  • Printing inks – Caligo Safe Wash relief printing inks, (these inks can be cleaned with soap and water)
  • Colours – Primary colours – red, yellow, blue plus white, black
  • Extender – to thin the printing inks
  • Cleaners – soap and water or you can purchase a cleaning product
  • Palette knives
  • Mark making and textures – toothbrush, wire scourer, sticks, paint brushes, paper, card, edge of an old plastic credit card, (great)
  • Newspaper
  • Rags for cleaning – old sheets are perfect
  • Baby wipes – excellent for cleaning hands

Tip

When you are printmaking be careful not to transfer ink where you don’t want it!

Take care to keep your hands and work space clean!

Monotype printing is easy, I do hope you will have a go.

 

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