Monotypes can be created with any medium that will transfer from a smooth plate to a sheet of paper. You paint on a plate, and press the wet painting against a sheet of paper, either by using a press, or by hand with a brayer, or a baren, etc. There are lots of mediums to try…. oil paints, etching or relief inks, water soluble crayons, etc.
In this piece, I rolled black etching ink onto a smooth zinc plate with a rubber brayer. This shows a reference sketch, and the plate after I moved and pushed and wiped the ink around to make my sleeping figure.
After rolling the plate through the press against a sheet of BFK Rives printmaking paper (below), I’m pulling the print off the plate (on the press bed). The image will print in reverse of what’s on the plate.
The photo on the left shows the print, next to the plate I pulled it from. Notice there are still faint remnants of ink on the plate. When you have enough ink left over to press a second sheet of paper against the plate, it’s called a ghost print. Ghosts are my favorite monotypes, because they’re such a soft, perfect under-painting for a watercolor. After I printed the ghost of “Five More Minutes”, I washed the plate clean of any remaining ink, and made something else. There are no permanent marks on the plate, so with a monotype, you’ll usually create one print and one ghost of your painting.
The image at the top of this post is the ghost print, with watercolor painted on top of the ink.
There’s more work like this, with process shots, through out this blog. Enjoy!