monotype print with colored pencil

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Spontaneous Monotype Still Life Print

I’m in the midst of filming, editing, and narrating a video class on monotype printmaking. It’s complex work, and not in my creative wheelhouse. One of the best ways to shake off the monitor and keyboard is a spontaneous monotype. That’s how this one arrived.

Sketching a partial lime after slicing off a wedge to squeeze into my water.

Fixing a Monotype Print – While You’re Still Making One

Do you get frustrated when making dark field monotype prints? The removal of ink (carving the light into the dark field) is magical and fun… until you realize the shape you just made is wonky!

Or, maybe you meant the section you just cleared completely to be a half tone of mid-range value?  Edges are too hard? Eyes look a bit crooked? That arm is wayyy too long…. Sound familiar?

If you’ve already put time and effort into your monotype design, maybe you hesitate to wipe the plate clean and start over? The video below is a super speedy demo of mid-creation repairs for a dark field monotype.

You can do this to one little section of the plate, or the whole plate entirely. I hope this helps you lighten the grip on your tools while making the plate, and bumps your elbow into taking a deep breath to relax and enjoy the process.

Red Oxide Ink (Akua Intaglio) printed from plexiglass on BFK Rives paper with a spoon. My other favorite Baren is wood: a handmade wooden baren from Ian Whyte’s shop – Highland Wizard Crafts

Dark Field Monotype without a Press

My camera was already set up to film segments for the monotype course I’m building, so I collected footage of this speedy monotype repair job (see below).

If you’re looking for a comprehensive introduction to dark field monotype printmaking without a press, sign up to be notified (here) when the class is posted over with my other video classes at

Evening couch time at our house: art on a lap desk in the form of a throw pillow (listening to this audiobook)

Adding Colored Pencil to Monotype Prints

Monotype prints – especially those that missed the mark on values, or their faint cousins, monotype ghost prints – are *perfect* for colored pencil fun.

This monotype was quick, and the paper’s sizing had deteriorated (more on paper sizing going all wrong in this post), so the print needed a little something-something. Enter colored pencil!

Lounging in the evenings on the couch, adding color to increase contrast and adjust values on the monotype
Finished adding soft layers of colored pencil, and ready to make a new one….
Gibbous Lime 9×7 Original Hand Pulled Monotype Print with Colored Pencil (Available in my Etsy Shop)
Here is a speedy little demo of how you can fix your monotype in the middle of making it.

Dark Field Monotype Print Supplies Used in This Video

Plexiglass Plate (2 – one for the monotype, and another as an ink slab)


Akua Intaglio Ink (red oxide)

Silicon Tip Shape Tool

Paint Brushes

Rubber Gloves

Cotton Swabs with varied tips

Non Skid Shelf Liner

BFK Rives Lightweight Cream Colored Paper

Colored Pencil Set

Making a Fast Dark Field Monotype on a sheet of plexiglass

Squeezing Things In

I hope you’re squeezing spontaneous sketches or doodles into your busy life too.

Big chunks of non-art-making time feels like a boat drifting out to sea, away from the island shore we crave. We’re being called by the palm trees, white sand and cushy lounge chairs all set up with paints and paper and brushes.

Editing video feels like that sometimes, and I crave more art. Stolen moments in the middle of other projects, and evening couch time with my tote bag of art supplies saves me. I hope you’re inserting the same creative opportunities into your busy days.

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


Using Adobe Premiere Elements on a Mac
Not artsy, but important just the same. Editing Videos.

Art Quote

Be less curious about people and more curious about ideas.

Marie Curie

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6 thoughts on “Monotype Print Still Life with Colored Pencil”

  1. Thanks Belinda for being so altruistic with encouraging ideas and suggestions. I’m getting the books, they sound very interesting and I wouldn’t have come across them otherwise. There’s a good one about tracking down a Caravaggio, if you haven’t already read it.

    1. Hi Elizabeth! Thanks so much for your compliments and feedback. I hope you enjoy the books. On the Caravaggio book, do you mean The Lost Painting by Jonathan Harr? If so, I listened to it, and *loved* it! Thanks for mentioning it though, because I might be due for a re-read this summer. Have fun with your beach reading plans!

  2. Thanks Belinda. Great idea. I’ve used colored pencil extensively to salvage and enhance ghost prints. Also to make repairs on all kinds of prints. Which pencils do you recommend. I use almost exclusively akua intaglio. I usually use prismacolor premier pencils. Thanks. Marlene

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