Monotype: Gentle Giant (Great Dane) printed from mylar drafting film

a monotype of a black great dane dog sitting on a lawn with a red collar on in three quarter profile
Gentle Giant 4×9 Dark Field Monotype with watercolor

Available in my Etsy Shop. Sold

The Beauty of Ghost Prints in Monotype

This ghost print (below) was very faint (below) compared to the bolder textures and contrast I got from the original monotype (see that in the process shots at the bottom of this post), but it was still enough shape to suggest a big dog with a dane’s profile, so I added watercolor and let the pigments mingle without too much noodling.
A faint outline of a great dane dog on paper with a pencil nearby, getting ready to add more saturated pigment to the art
Monotype Ghost print, before adding more pigment (watercolor)

Pulling a sheet of paper off a a piece of drafting film that was colored with water-soluble crayon after a trip through the press. The pigments have been transferred to the paper as a result of the pressure.
Pulling the ghost print on the press bed
Pulling the original dark-field monotype from mylar supported by a sheet of mat board after a trip through the press. There’s just enough pigment left on the mylar to pull a faint ghost print, and that is where the art at the top of this post came from.

Here’s a Tip

Trim a sheet of mat board the same size as the drafting film and slide it under your monotype. It helps to raise the surface of the printable pigments a little higher than the press bed. This way, you don’t have to crank the pressure of the press roller down quite so hard against the entire press bed – since the drafting film is no thicker than regular printing paper. That little bit of lift also results in a lovely plate impression in your soaked and blotted paper when you pull the print.

Making the monotype on a table with a reference photo of a black great dane and a pile of caran d'ache crayons strewn about
Caran D’Ache water soluble crayons, a reference photo and a sheet of drafting mylar with my drawing on it, ready to go to the press for printing (sold).

Jump in – the Water is Fine!

Have you ever made a color monotype with Caran D’Ache water-soluble crayons? The idea that you can print from a sheet of drafting film or mylar was a revelation to me, and I’ve been re-using the sheets over and over again for other monotype prints.  If you need a little tutorial on the basics of monotype making – take a look at this playlist on my YouTube Channel. The materials are listed in each tutorial under the video window in the “Show More” section. If you have questions, leave them in the comments there, or here! And be sure to give your playful side lots of room to run amuck!
Happy printing!
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Art Quote

The creation of that perfect thing we recognize as art, is given to all too few of us. When it happens, it transcends time, and is rightly included or added to the treasures that have stirred the imagination of past centuries. But art is a kind of tyrant. It came to me dressed up in wanderlust.
~Gustave Baumann (1881-1971)

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