Saturday, November 14, 2009

Monoprint Test.

The last time I make a monoprint was probably 4 years ago during my "Intro to Printmaking" class. For those monoprints we used plexiglass with ink brushed on like a painting and then manipulated with water to get the image we wanted and then ran it through the press. It was more like painting, and the results were ok for me, but I wasn't impressed. I much preferred screenprints, and woodcuts. A few semesters later there were two students doing some amazing things with monotypes, that I had been interested in, but had never tried. My interest was mainly in mastering screenprints, and making a series in that medium. Tonight I decided to try my hand at this form of monoprinting. Making monoprints this way are a cheap and easy way to make unique prints at home. Monoprinting in this way requires no press, chemicals, light tables, spray sinks, screens, acid baths, aquatints, etc. All you need to make prints is a brayer, ink, a pencil or pencil like object, paper and a surface to ink up, such as a small piece of glass, or block of wood. Using your brayer apply a nice coat of ink to the surface. In my case this was a piece of cardboard, woodblock, and glass. The type of surface you use with determine what type of texture you get. Cardboard often has ridges, while wood has a grain, glass is often the smoothest surface with the least amount of texture to it.

After you ink the surface place a piece of paper over the inked surface. Then trace your image, or freehand draw it with an object such as a capped ink pen, end of a pencil, or even with a drawing utensil(though this will leave an image of the drawing on the back as well as the front.) Then peel the paper off of the surface and you (hopefully) get a great image with an interesting texture and very distinct line quality. The main thing that differs monoprinting from other printing methods is that with this process you can't really edition your prints because each image is different and unique even if you trace the same image over and over. This may be obvious to you based on the name alone.
The images you see above are the results from tonight's monoprint tests. With the monoprints I completed tonight (or maybe started) I see a lot of potential for really good looking images, particularly the skull drawings. If I were to go back with another color to accent the original image this could be the start of something really amazing.

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