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Messing Around with Monotypes


As mentioned earlier, I spent a wonderful afternoon in the Printing Museum taking a class on watercolor monotypes.

I’d done monotypes before, using block printing ink. That process involved laying a plexiglass plate over a simple image; inking the entire plate with first yellow, wiping away any parts we did not want yellow and printing. We repeated the process with red, then blue, and finally black. We ended up with just one print.

I repeated this experiment on fabric—of course—to the surprise and consternation of fellow students. I used acrylic paint, diluted to something between light and heavy cream. Using different weaves of fabric gave different effects—-and I did some hand embroidery on some of them—-Those pieces have all been sold and I did not think to take photos.

However, this process was different.

We started with a simple drawing on Newsprint—interesting, the instructor positioned the plate on one corner of the paper—not in the middle.

Next we used water color crayons to color in our image. I had never used these before and used them ‘dry’ which scratched the surface of the plexi. The crayon had to dry thoroughly.

Then with slightly dampened paper, it was run through the press. Not all the watercolor came off the plate onto the paper; some residua remained. the plexi was then re-colored, dried, and printed.

first print
second print

While my pieces are not finished—further work can be done using colored pencils or just pen and ink, it was a fun process—simple—fast…..except for waiting for the paper to dry.

I had forgotten how much fun it was to do prints.

I’ve experimented a bit with gesso on canvas and charcoal; I”m wondering about pastels on a textile medium damp fabric substrate—-

the instructor also showed us ‘white-line monoprints’, another intriguing idea using a woodblock carving. I”ve got one of those and one or two carved wooden stamps from India—worth a try—but I”m a fair weather outside artist and these projects are a bit too messy for my indoor space.

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