What is a Monotype Print?
A monotype is a hand-pulled art print, created with pigment alone (usually printmaking ink) on a smooth plate (usually metal, acrylic or glass) that is pressed against paper (usually printmaking paper) to transfer the pigments from the plate to the paper. The root word ‘mono” means one, because you get a single print. This printmaking method results in a single, printed, original art image. Monotypes are not editionable the way relief or intaglio prints are. There are no repeatable mark-making elements in the plate – like incised lines, or adhered shapes. There are no repeatable mark-making elements laid in the ink, such as stencils, or organic materials like leaves, etc. The design of a monotype is made with manipulated pigments alone, and therefore it is considered a very painterly form of singular image printmaking.
How to Make a Monotype
Here is a monotype printmaking tutorial video on my youtube channel. The monotype process demonstrated there – with the resulting print above – is a perfect first monotype printmaking project if you don’t have a press, or a whole day to play with ink. (Sign up to be notified when my online Monotype Printmaking class series is released here.) In the demo you see in this post, a single color of ink is rolled out directly on a table covered with a sheet of plexiglass. If you don’t have plexiglass, you can roll your ink out on a sheet of drafting film, or yupo paper, or a piece of glass from a photo frame, taped down to a table with masking tape or duck tape to cover the sharp edges. The back of a paint brush handle is used in the demo to sketch shapes into the wet printmaking ink, and the art-making process is off and running from there. The reference photo I used for this demo was snapped by my father-in-law in the 1950’s in Scottsdale, Arizona, where it almost never rains. Use a photo you like, with simple shapes in light and dark. Avoid lots of detail in your first monotype.
Monotype Printmaking Video Tutorials
You can watch the video below, or click here to watch it directly on my channel. There are five other monotype tutorials posted over there, so have a look if you think you’d like to experiment with this painterly form of printmaking. And if you’d like to take my online course on monotype printmaking, sign up here to be notified as soon as the course is published!
Helpful Monotype Printmaking Posts from this blog
- Adding watercolor to a landscape monotype ghost print
- Preparing a plate for a large interior light field monotype
- A light field monotype of a still life printed from mylar with no press required
- How to make a trace monotype without using a press
- Mixed Media Dark Field Monotype printmaking demonstration video
Tools to make a Monotype
Monotype Tutorial Videos
- Links to Trace Monotype mash up with watercolor & pastel (Tutorial #1) https://youtu.be/vSBkHBQt7rU
- and Trace Monotype mash up with colored pencil (Tutorial #2) https://youtu.be/_-8o0CrJ0BE
- The finished art is in my Etsy Shop here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/64706088…
More Monotype Supplies
- Check the links below for supplies used in this video so you can experiment with this fun printmaking method too:
- Rubber gloves http://amzn.to/1bNmWvu
- Apron http://amzn.to/1fWXkIh
- Wood stir sticks for your ink http://amzn.to/23vAWRk
- Plexiglass for your table top http://amzn.to/1R7gI7z -or- 12×12 acetate sheets to roll your ink out on http://amzn.to/1UfjNru
- Newsprint to slide under your plexi table top http://amzn.to/1RZTm5n
- G-tip low-lint cotton swabs http://amzn.to/1RZTp0Z
- Rubber tipped wipe-out tools https://amzn.to/2DDenov
- akua ink https://amzn.to/2DDbCUl
- Fine Mist Spray Bottle to spritz your paper if you need to, or if you happen to be using fast drying inks http://amzn.to/1qhOzoG
- 4 inch soft rubber brayer http://amzn.to/1vOHPzY
- Drawing bridge http://amzn.to/22ngGyR
- Clothespins for hanging/drying art http://amzn.to/20tuPLq
- Prismacolor Premier Soft Core Colored Pencils http://amzn.to/1HZ9mjp
- Brown Handle Synthetic Craft Brush http://amzn.to/1SK120Y
- Japanese kozo paper http://amzn.to/1C97v9I
Monotype Reference Books
- The Painterly Print http://amzn.to/1Ld9aUU
- Monotype: Mediums and Methods http://amzn.to/1P0aghm
- Printmaking Bible http://amzn.to/1Ld9gvQ
- Print Workshop http://amzn.to/1QMmFYl
- If you have any questions about the process, please leave them in the comment section, and I’ll do my best to answer them quickly! Happy art-making!
Thanks for stopping by today, and I’ll see you in the next post!
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P.P.S. You can join the Monotype Printmaking Group on Facebook, and share your work there for feedback!