Tag Archives | printing without a press


Monotype: Blue Sip Cup (& #linklove for INKtober!)

One of the most frequently discussed challenges creative people face is consistency of making things. There isn’t enough time, space, energy, inspiration or focus to sit down and create something with your hands on a regular basis.  (#quote: The secret to success is consistency of purpose. ~Ben Disraeli)  One remedy for this is month long projects, hosted on social media. Writers commit to 30 days of typing their hearts out in groups and on Pinterest Boards.  Illustrators upload a new piece of art based on a single word published every Friday on Illustration Friday. Quilters join Block-of-the-Month clubs to receive a box of fabric to make one quilt …[Continue reading]


Monotype: Dozing (& #linklove)

A spinoff fruit of posting your own work on blogs and social media is all the other great art you discover. Because, well, you know, eye candy is distracting to visual people. And if you’re going to post images of your own work, you *have* to log into facebook, instagram, youtube, pinterest and all the other internet rabbit holes of diversion.  And while you’re clicking towards the page where you’ll post your latest creation, there’s a bread crumb trail of lovelies from your friends, so you might stop to pin a few pretties, click a few likes, leave a comment here and there, eyeball a post they …[Continue reading]


Monotype: Window Hat

An open open door, leading to an open window, with a vase of flowers on the sill, back-lit with hazy, afternoon sun light in a vintage bungalow bathroom in Los Angeles. A long time ago, I lived in a crooked, second story carriage house adorned with 1930’s tile and lead-weight windows with hundred-layer painted sashes. The light in those 60 year old rooms used to send me dashing for a sketch book and my camera. The reference photo for this monotype is 20 years old, but I still enjoy the process of trying to capture the atmosphere in those familiar corners and hallways. I’m working on a larger (20 x 18) …[Continue reading]


Gelli Printmaking: Blending into the Circus

Blending into the Circus 6×6 Gelli Print Monotype with watercolor & colored pencil The last time I posted about using gelli monotypes as a background for mixed media, I had an idea in mind when I started the portrait. This time, I let the patterns and shapes in the print suggest the subject, and the monotype turned into a cautious girl, at a circus near a pot of red flowers. Random, I know, but it was fun. The process shots begin below, and the art is listed in my Etsy shop here. If you’re unfamiliar with gelli printing (no press!), see the video …[Continue reading]


Drypoint: Bowman (new video: printing drypoint without a press)

Bowman  10.75 x 8 Drypoint with watercolor Available in my Etsy Shop Drypoint Printmaking I took my first printmaking class in 1983. I bought my first press in 2012. For the three decades in between, I borrowed time on friends’ presses, audited printmaking classes to get access to college presses, scoured ads for used presses, and tried every method suggested to make prints without a press. It’s no surprise then, that so many subscribers to this blog and my youtube channel have asked for tutorials on printmaking without a press. Drypoint without a Press I used this drypoint engraving (above) to demonstrate how …[Continue reading]


Trace Monotype – Hey, Wanna Split a Sandwich? – and Trace Monotype Methods

Trace Monotype Printmaking Methods In the last post, I demonstrated techniques for a trace monotype made with more tone, and less line. This trace monotype (above) was made with more line, and less tone, which leaves plenty of printmaking paper exposed for 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 play list of several monotype techniques on my youtube channel. The good news is that there are a ton of approaches to making a monotype: dark field, light field, trace monotype, monoprints, etc. Watch a few of …[Continue reading]


Trace Monotype: Portrait of an adolescent boy

Burgeoning Boy 8.25×6.75 Trace Monotype with watercolor washes on Thai Kozo paper   –   Available in my Etsy Shop Yesterday, I printed an edition from a mat board collagraph with a taupe gray mixed from leftover akua inks used on previous projects. I had a dollop of ink left at the close of the day (see first photo below). This inspired a random decision (#distractedartist) to make a trace monotype. My work table is covered with a sheet of plexiglass, so I rolled the leftover ink out with a brayer. The process shots below (hopefully) explain the sequence for this type of print. …[Continue reading]


Monotype: Mixed Media Printmaking Portrait of an Elderly Dog (with a monotype demo video)

Tesseye 4×6 dark field monotype with watercolor & colored pencil (Private Collection) If you’ve had furry family members – cats, dogs, birds, horses, etc. – you know the most difficult chapter of that lovely bond sneaks in when they are aged and infirm, and difficult decisions are pondered. We’ve experienced the loss of our dogs and cats to old age and disease, and my heart breaks every time I hear about another family grieving for a pet.  This dark field monotype is a portrait of a friend’s dearly loved and departed dog, as a remembrance of her gentle and tentative face. It was …[Continue reading]


Monotype: Back Yard Vacation (& a video tutorial on monotype printmaking without a press from Akua)

Back Yard Vacation 4×6 dark field Monotype with colored pencil Back Yard Vacation was created using the same process as the last post (see images below). The reference photo was taken at a friend’s house in San Diego. They have a lovely pool surrounded by palms, geraniums and a privacy hedge. It’s the perfect just-off-the-kitchen place to meander in your pajamas, with morning coffee, to find a comfy chair to plan the day ahead. You go ahead and take that chair by the peachy umbrella. I’ll sit by the pool and dip my feet in while we chat. 🙂 Back Yard Vacation is …[Continue reading]


Monotype: German Conversations (& Happy 74th Birthday, @ringostarrmusic! #peaceandlove )

German Conversations 6×9 Monotype with colored pencil  A monotype is a very painterly printmaking method, and it doesn’t require any harsh chemicals, so it’s perfect for experimenting in a home studio (read: kitchen, dining room, back porch, closet, etc.). I’ve got a video tutorial in the works on the process to make a dark field monotype. In the meantime, this one above was done with intaglio inks on Arches 88 printmaking paper, and I added colored pencils after the it dried.  It’s available in my Etsy shop. In my hand for a sense of scale… On the subject of colored pencil fun, here …[Continue reading]


Four Color Reduction Linocut: Rabbit Meadow

Rabbit Meadow  4×4 Reduction Linocut (4 color) Video Tutorials Tutorial videos for both watercolor and printmaking are posted on my youtube channel. I’ve enjoyed sharing photos of experiments in printmaking, painting and mixed media drawing on this blog for a decade, and I’ll continue to do this, but it’s time to add moving images! Step by step progress is much more detailed, as are the methods, art supplies and the progression. Inspired to Try it Moving images are suited for a visual audience.  If you want to try printmaking, but aren’t sure how to embark on a new creative adventure, visit my channel.  The video …[Continue reading]


Monotype #printmaking with Watercolor: Lemon Sunshine

This art is available in my Etsy shop. I love the half-tone pattern (see below, before I painted it) of this style of monotype. Some folks call it a trace monotype, and others call it a line monotype. If you’re unfamiliar with the process, I found a speedy two minute demo on youtube if you’d like to try making one, using a sheet of acetate, a foam roller, black gesso, a pad of paper and a chop stick or the tip of a paint brush handle to draw with. You don’t need a press.  Check it out here. If you make one (chant …[Continue reading]


Monotype #printmaking: Santa Barbara Harbor Surfers

Santa Barbara Harbor Surfers 8.5×10.5 Monotype with watercolor and colored pencil  Available in my Etsy shop.This loose, impressionistic monotype was painted and pulled during the same art marathon as this one. Art-making speed sessions in the studio with a good audio book, a cup of tea, and plenty of pigments, paper and reference photos works like a salve.  It’ll cure you of your ills, shake the shadows from your brain, and flush your heart with creative swell.  If you haven’t done anything creative in awhile, I hope you can make a little space in your day soon, and have at it. 🙂 If …[Continue reading]


Monotype: Betty (#printmaking #mixedmedia)

Betty 10.5 x 3.5 Monotype with watercolor & colored pencil Process shots begin at the bottom of this post.  Betty is available in my Etsy Shop. The reference for this monotype was a tiny, mid 1940’s photo of my mother on a new bike. Her name isn’t Betty, but in cycling lingo, the term is used to refer to a girl who is a novice biker. For the record, I’m a Betty too.  My bike is hanging, dusty and neglected, on the wall in the garage, while I play with art supplies in the studio, and scheme and anticipate leaving before dawn in …[Continue reading]


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

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. 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 …[Continue reading]