The following short video demonstrates the creation of a simple monoprint. To learn more about the process illustrated in the video, please review the step-by-step description by clicking here.
Monoprint is a process in which one can use a combination of painting and printmaking techniques. It results in a unique image and some effects that cannot be achieved in any other form of art. Monoprint is a spontaneous technique that gives the artist freedom to work with a wide selection of materials such as inks, pencils, crayons, and pastels, and to choose from a variety of methods to transfer images.
The process produces a single print by using pressure to transfer an image drawn or painted on a plexiglass. The image is created on the plexiglass by inking the plate with a brayer [roller] and then manipulating the ink with various methods. A sheet of paper, often dampened, is placed over the completed image and run through the press by mechanically moving it under rollers. The image then gets transferred onto the paper. Oftentimes, the plate is cleaned, and a second color or image is applied over the first image.
Registration of the paper to the plate is critical in order to line up all the layers. On a newsprint, mark the size of the paper that the artwork will be printed on. Inside these lines, mark the size of the plate in the desired location as it should appear on the paper.
There are two basic methods of working on the plate, the additive and the subtractive. In the additive approach, the image is painted directly on the plate. This is known as working into light filled. In a subtractive approach, the ink is applied all over the plate, and then the image is removed with various tools. This method is also known as working from a dark filled.
Chine-collé is another technique where another paper is collaged onto the print. The inked plate is placed on the press bed and the collaged paper is placed on the ink. The collaged paper with glue facing up is placed on the plate and the paper is then placed over it and run through the press. This way collaged paper and the ink are applied in one run through the press to achieve different textures.
Frottage is a hand transfer technique in which unique images are created by placing paper over a textured surface and rubbing the paper with a crayon or pencil.
Suminagashi is a Japanese technique of printing over water. The design is created by placing drawing ink over a tray with water. A paper is then put over the water and the design is transferred on to it.
Each monoprint is different and unique and the artist may use one or more techniques to achieve the image that he or she want to create.