Monotype: Central California Farmland

dark field monotype ghost printmaking

Central California Farmland 7 x 8 Monotype Ghost w/ Watercolor

The Beauty of Monotype Ghost Prints

I’ve had this ghost print from a monotype in my flat files – just waiting to become something else for months. The beauty of monotype ghost prints is that you can take them anywhere you want with other media. They act as a perfect underpainting to get you launched into creating a new image.

Monotype Printmaking Process

This monotype started on a sheet of beveled plexi glass, coated with Daniel Smith Oil-based etching ink. With my reference photo propped nearby, I’ve drawn into the ink with the point of a pen, just to give myself a map in the pigment, and I’m using paper towels here to lift ink off the plate to clear areas of big sky.

Ready to Print

The ink (above) has been pushed, cleared, scraped, tapped into half-tones, grooved with pastel stumps, and it’s ready to have a sheet of soaked & blotted paper laid on top of the pigment, and rolled through an etching press to transfer the ink to the paper. Pulling the paper off the plate is *always* a surprise. It’s great fun.

The ghost print before I started painting. (click the image to visit a playlist of monotype printmaking tutorials on my youtube channel)

Where to Learn More

If you’re new to the process of monotype printmaking, you can visit a playlist of tutorial videos on the process on my youtube channel here, and also check out a 5 minute video of this method from start to finish by a British printmaker named Chris Gollon, check this out.

The first washes of watercolor are added, and big, cotton clouds are placed in the sky.

Almost finished, with my reference photo on the left. You can see that I’ve used a little creative license, and strayed from the photo by adding a few trees, the clouds, and an altered shape of the horizon on the finished monotype.

Give it a Go

If you’ve never made a monotype, I hope you’ll give this flexible, no press required, inventive printmaking process a try. Follow along on any of the tutorial videos on my channel, and if questions come up, leave them in the comments here, or under the video you’re using to make your print. Have a monotype party with friends and share the results online so we can see. Tag me (@bdelpesco) on social media so I can check out the fruits of your labor. Whatya say? Let’s get started!

Thanks for stopping by and I’ll see you in the next post!


P.S. You can subscribe (free) to get each new post via email by signing up here.

Art Quote
I have done a few drawings. All in all, I have been less courageous than I expected to be. I refuse to give up before I get results, though. As I am at loose ends here, I might as well make the most of my time and study my craft. I have started down a hard path that requires great patience. ~Degas 1858 (age 24) in a letter to a friend while visiting Florence, Italy

what's the best watercolor paper?

Want the details on all that watercolor paper out there? Which one to buy for your painting style? Click the rinse water to get a free watercolor paper primer download.

, ,

10 Responses to Monotype: Central California Farmland

  1. www.peacefulones.blogspot.com September 8, 2010 at 6:51 pm #

    Ok, I fell in love with the color and texture at first glance.

  2. sarah meredith September 1, 2010 at 8:36 pm #

    Makes me want to try my hand at printmaking – the colors are really vibrant and interesting. Very strong.

  3. Debbi Smith Rourke August 31, 2010 at 5:30 am #

    Thanks for sharing this beautiful piece and your process. What possibilities. Your final piece is quite delightful.

  4. Barbara M. August 29, 2010 at 12:38 pm #

    Hi Belinda,

    Love this one and the story behind it.
    In Nova Scotia we were driving down the highway in pouring rain, when the other side of the road was bone dry and in sunlight! So bizarre in this wide plain where you could distinctly see weather systems. I am hoping you get some rain. Meanwhile gorgeous art.


  5. Curtis Verdun August 28, 2010 at 4:48 pm #

    Very nice painting, Belinda. From the very first glance I was awestruck. The texture of the landscape and the drama of the clouds is really effective.

    I don’t do watercolors but if I did, that’s the look I would be after.

  6. Nancy Goldman August 28, 2010 at 5:43 am #

    This is wonderful. As usual, your colors are so rich and I love what you’ve added to make the scene your own. Thanks for posting the WIP photos too.

  7. Marilyn M. King August 27, 2010 at 8:42 pm #

    This is stunning! Your creative license is what made this piece sing!

  8. SarahBowie August 27, 2010 at 7:13 pm #

    Great landscape – I am a sucker for clouds. Nice that daughter is on Etsy too! 🙂


  1. Monotype: Start Here and Paying Attention in Art - Belinda Del Pesco - June 12, 2018

    […] little still life monotype ghost print was pulled from the stash I keep in a box in my studio. It’s nice to have a trove of art […]

  2. Monotype: Solar Flare (and supporting research for a cure to Alzheimer's) - Belinda Del Pesco - March 21, 2018

    […] love-affair with monotypes continues with this floral still life, painted on a very faint ghost print.  I’m considering a monotype workshop in my new online school – […]

Write something.... we'll wax poetic about art & making things!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Site by Spunmonkey