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Trace Monotype Printmaking Methods

In this monotype print demo, I demonstrated techniques for a drawing transfer monotype made with more tone, and less line.

This trace monotype (above) was made with more line and less tone too. The benefit to this approach is that it leaves plenty of printmaking paper exposed so you can add watercolor or other media.

If you’re looking for a video tutorial on how to make a trace monotype without a press, here is a playlist of several monotype techniques on my youtube channel.

how to make a trace monotype
Drawing on the back of a sheet of paper against a plate rolled with wet printmaking ink

Learning How to Make a Monotype Print

You’ve never made a monotype print? The good news is that there are a ton of approaches to this painterly printmaking method!

There are dark field monotypes, light field monotypes, single color monotypes, full-color monotypes, trace monotypes, and monoprints, etc.

Watch a few of the videos, and read a few blog posts here that go over monotype methods. From that survey, you’ll be able to pick one monotype technique to give it a go.

And as always, if you have any questions, don’t be shy. Really. Leave a comment here, or in the comments under the video. I always try to write back in a timely manner. 🙂

Images of a trace monotype print in process

Monotype Printmaking Ideas for the Classroom

Here is one of the trace monotype tutorials from my YouTube Channel (see the video window below).

You’ll see that I’ve used a composite of several photos overlapped to create an imaginary scene. You can do that too; just print photos from your computer.

The resulting trace monotype was altered still more with colored pencils after the ink was dry.

I think you’ll find that this is an excellent printmaking method for students. The ideas for subjects can be themed, or left wide open, depending on your directive.

Self-portraits with their favorite superheroes. Sitting atop an enlarged version of the family pet. A group picnic with images from current family photos combined with vintage family photos two generations back. You’ll have so much fun with this!

trace monotype printmaking techniques
Hey, Wanna Split a Sandwich? 5×7 Trace monotype with Watercolor (sold)

From Trace Monotypes to Embroidery Thread

Speaking of line, to satisfy your eyes with a little snippet of threaded loveliness, here is a seven-minute video (below) about the illustrator Sally Mavor.

All of her book illustrations are made with thread (line) and fabric (color/tone). She doesn’t use a sewing machine, and her intricacies, characters, and color details are mesmerizing and 100% handmade.

Grab a cup of tea or coffee and treat your eyes to this little introduction to her world of stitched, embroidered, and assembled characters.

Wishing You a Creative Week

Have a creative, hands-on week, and I’ll see you in the next post!


P.S. Here’s a monotype and monoprint board where I add goodies on Pinterest. You can follow along if you’d like. 🙂

P.P.S. You can subscribe to this blog to get each new post via email if you’d like (free) right here.

Art Quote

To me, all creativity is magic. Ideas start out in the empty void of your head – and they end up as a material thing, like a book you can hold in your hand. That is the magical process. It’s an alchemical thing. Yes, we do get the gold out of it but that’s not the most important thing. It’s the work itself.

Alan Moore

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9 thoughts on “How to Make a Trace Monotype Print”

  1. Bonjour,

    J’aime le regard de ce chien… Très jolie peinture où l’harmonie des couleurs se marie agréablement.

    Gros bisous ☂ (il pleut chez moi aujourd’hui !)

  2. This was a great drawing and as a monotype it came out great. Good colors, lively composition and nice graininess that the ink and paper add when they go through the press.
    Very “alive” and nicely done.
    (I’d have bought it too).

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