On Friday 4th November 2016, I was assigned a monoprint introduction during the afternoon.
Monoprinting is a form of printmaking that has images or lines that can only be made once, unlike most printmaking, where there are multiple originals. There are many techniques of monoprinting. Examples of standard printmaking techniques which can be used to make monoprints include lithography, woodcut, and etching.
After being shown the process I began to make my own prints.
I started by taping down a sheet of acetate to a work surface. It has to be taped so it does not slide everywhere, also the tape leaves clean edges once removed from the acetate, resulting in a cleaner looking print. Next, I rolled blue ink onto the sheet using a roller, ensuring an even spread. Next I worked into the ink with tools such as a rag, cotton bud (both ends), cotton wool pads, each sometimes featuring a bit of white spirit to get the ink moving. I ended up with a sheet of acetate with a variety of different marks, figuratively representing a face. Next, I placed a sheet of A3 paper onto the press, followed by my acetate face down onto it, and then a sheet of newsprint over the top to catch any escaped ink. Once rolled through the press, I did it again, which produced a ghostly version of the same print as it had less ink. The next layer was red, and so I followed the same procedure of inking and drawing/working into it, and then printed it on top of the first print. I had the choice of including a last colour, yellow, but decided not to as I was satisfied with the outcome.
First photo: ghostly second print of blue, second photo: final result, blue and red monoprint.
When starting the previous print, I noticed how blue heavy it was, and how it might be easier to control tonality if I start with the lightest colour: yellow. And so for my second print, I started with the colour yellow. I then printed red onto it, and finally a very small amount of blue.
The photos were taken of my prints on the drying rack, and I was unable to take photos during the process as it was quite messy.
The process was very enjoyable, relatively physical and rather time consuming. I spent roughly an hour and a half making my prints. I would definitely consider monoprint and other print techniques for projects in the future, as there are many different paths to venture and many experiments which could come in handy, along with their obvious historic links to Illustration itself.