View Full Version : Monotype

08-18-2003, 09:28 PM
I'm totally jazzed to discover this forum on wc.
I work in oils, wc, acrylics, mixed media, etc. and am now hooked on monotypes.

I would love to hear your techniques, experience, etc.

08-19-2003, 01:06 AM
As far as I know the WC member Timelady is quite an expert on Monotype

08-19-2003, 05:34 AM
eeek! Who, me?

I'm a lazy-man's printmaker! That's why I love monotypes. Basically, I can't be bothered to do a whole edition. ;)

I usually paint on any surface available - copper plate, perspex, or glass. Use my oil inks (intaglio inks) and then hand print on etching paper. I prefer just pressing with my hand on the back of the paper to get the most pressure possible. (Be careful if your plate is glass though) The other method I have used is to do a drypoint on copper or a collograph and then do a series of prints from that. :) Usually it's a very very minimal part of the image, btw, not just a full image that's different colours in each print. For example, I want to do a largish plate about 11x14" with a small (2" or 3" square) structure in drypoint towards the top. The rest of the plate with be painted freehand and differently for each print. Usually I do about 4 or 5 prints before I get bored.


08-19-2003, 06:21 AM
Wow. You're my hero. I love your yummy abstracts.
I'm just learning the process and am working with water based inks from Daniel Smith and Akua inks as well. I want to keep the process earthy and have no plans to buy a huge expensive press, etc. I'm working on glass now and fortunately we have friends arriving for the week who teach printmaking, including monotypes. I'm loving the intuitive aspect of the medium and I paint fast so this kinda works for me.
I've only worked on glass. Can you tell me a bit about working from copper? And thx for responding!

08-19-2003, 01:56 PM
I use a monotype drawing technique which perhaps isn't monotype after all. Though for years I have always thought it was:D

You ink up the plate as normal (usually with a roller and one colour of intaglio ink, though you can use the painted technique too) place your paper and then draw on the back of it. This produces a line quality on the "front" that has a life to it that I really love. You can use a whole variety of different papers and drawing tools (finger, pencil, wrong end of a paint brush, credit card) to change the line quality. You will need to play with your ink for a while to get this one to work well though - the quantity of ink on the plate should be even, and JUST at the point BEFORE your paper sticks to the ink layer (it should be able to slide across the surface). Any less ink than that and your drawing will look weak, any more and you will have a big sticky smudge:mad:

You can then take a second ghost print that will be a negative of the first (kinda like Timelady's drypoint technique).

In addition you can also make an "invisible" drawing first with a sharp pointed object. Press hard in order that you create an indented line. Then depending on which side of the paper you set down the ridges or grooves that hit the plate will make positive or negative lines. You can use that in combination with all the different techniques that have so far been listed in this thread.

08-19-2003, 02:17 PM
Yup, those are monotypes too!

As for the copper - I just paint on it like glass. Again, it's just a matter of being lazy. I had some copper etching plates lying around and no glass, so I just flipped 'em over and used the back for monoprints. :) I should point out that the dryppoint method, where part of the plate is drypoint, means it has to go through an etching press.


08-19-2003, 08:57 PM
Monoprints are great fun. I like to use plexiglass so that I can put my sketch underneath as a guide. You can also turn it over, hold it up to light to see if you have good coverage. Don't forget to make some ghost prints too. You can use those all kinds of ways:) I can't wait to see some of your work. Post soon!:D

08-20-2003, 05:18 AM
Goggle your technique is incredible, so much to learn. Thx for sharing.

Ok now I'm confused. I thought I understood the dif between monotypes and monoprints.
I am working with one image, one print, no second pulls or ghosts which I believe translates monotype. If I made a second pull or ghost would the piece then become a monoprint?

TimeLady I get it with the copper and understood the drypoint, amazingly. I am just crawling with this media.

Sassy thx for the plexiglass tips, it would never have occurred to me. I promise to post some pieces in the coming 48hrs. I'm working in oil now, my ink is en route.

Monotypes are painterly and loaded with intrigue. I'm hopelessly addicted.

08-20-2003, 05:56 AM
Monotype - unique prints made with no base plate image. The entire image is painted directly on an empty surface.

Monoprint - each print is a unique version of a base plate. Such as, an etching plate inked up differently each time. For a monoprint there's essentially a plate used as a basic for the unique version. Does that make sense? My drypoint ones would be monoprints because I'm repeating that carved portion of the plate in each one.

I don't know about ghost images used as prints in and of themselves. But you could use a ghost image to then work on further in other ways. Then it would be a mixed media piece. :) Degas used to paint or do pastel on top of monotypes. I personally do a lot of pastel on top of monotypes that don't work out the way I liked.

To add to that, most artists just say monoprints for monoprint or monotype. Partly becaues they don't know what a monotype is, they don't care, or the buyers don't really know. I usually just say monoprint to buyers because that's the word they know.


08-20-2003, 12:31 PM
Tina, I save my ghost prints to use with relief or intaglio prints. Some of them come out very striking with the hint of color in the background.

08-21-2003, 04:52 AM
TimeLady thx for the clarity. What an intuitive media and I personally am hooked on the thrill of the unknown. I think I get it now with the mono language.