making a monotype or monoprint

seahorses. monotype. approx 14 ins tall. Vivien Blackburn

This is an old piece of work that I have on the wall in the bathroom - a monotype I did in the first year of my degree. It is actually a normal rectangle but as it's behind glass I had to take the photograph at an angle because of the reflections.

it was made by rolling out a varied mix of turquoise printing ink onto a metal plate and printing it onto the paper using an etching press (rather like an old mangle with a flat bed but rather more expensive :>( ) - inking up the whole plate with a thin layer.

It was left to dry overnight and then I made stencils, cutting and tearing newsprint freehand with no drawing to make the sea horses and weed. These were positioned on the turquoise print.

Then I rolled up the plate with a dark midnight blue and put it through the press again - where the newsprint was it remained variegated turquoise and the deep background appeared. This was the first time I'd used this technique - in fact the first printmaking I'd tried.

I really enjoy printmaking and I'm seriously wanting a little press of my own. I don't have the funds or space for a big one ........... but a little one would be fun and enable me to do more printmaking - lino, collagraphs and monotypes.

Monotypes are one offs where the image contains no repeating element. Only one print is possible.

Monoprints are one offs with a repeating element - like differently inked up collagraphs or dry point with monoprinting.

Blurb say my book is on it's way .............. I do hope the colours are ok



katie jane said…
So much work but such a pretty print. Very nice.
vivien said…
thank you :>)

printmaking is a lot of 'process' and takes as long as painting but the finished results are interestingly different. I love it but don't get much chance to do any at the moment :>(
Billie Crain said…
i love your seahorse, Vivien! i wonder...maybe there's a way to get this effect with watercolor?
vivien said…
thanks Billie - I reckon if you drew the outline in masking fluid and then sloshed the watercolour about quite freely you could do something similar. It would keep the colours strictly separated.
Jeanette said…
I love the subject and the colour in this Vivien. Its beautiful.

I haven't tried any kind of printing, but the process sounds interesting. One of these days...
Anita said…
This is the only type of print-making I know how to do. And I loved doing it. It's always been one of sorrows that we were not taught more on the foundation course as I find myself drawn to prints over and over again.
vivien said…
Hi Anita - lovely to hear from you - I hope all is well.

and Jeanette :>)

it's a process that you can manage to use without an etching press so you could easily have a go - you can either rub the printing plate hard to transfer the ink or some people recommend driving the car over it! I haven't tried that and my neighbours would probably think I was even weirder than usual!

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