Black water-based printing ink & colored pencils on Stonehenge paper, 7×9 inches
(To enlarge, click image, select “all sizes”)
Today I experimented with making monoprints, having been inspired by Belinda del Pesco‘s amazing monoprints, and Kris Shank’s woodcuts. This is the same candle lantern I drew and posted a couple days ago. I’ve drawn it so many times now — for each monoprint you have to do the drawing again. I think some of the others were better drawn but this one was dry and I could add color, so its the one that gets posted.
I’d never made monoprints before and didn’t know anything about how to make them so I read a few articles on the internet and then went to the art store. I bought both water-based and oil-based printing ink and a brayer to roll it out with and some print-making paper. I tried lots of different approaches and had a good time learning what works and what doesn’t. My usual way of learning things is quite different: read lots of books, research all the details, make sure I have all the right equipment and supplies and know what I’m doing before I do it. This time I just experimented, letting it be an adventure, saying “let’s see what happens if…” I made many interesting mistakes and a bit of a mess but since I wasn’t too attached to the outcome it was a great day.
There’s several approaches to doing monoprints and the one I liked best was to apply the ink on a sheet of acrylic and then sort of carve away and push around the ink using various implements, none designed for that purpose (stumps, rubber clay tool, coffee stirrer, paintbrush handle). Once I had the drawing done, I put a sheet of paper on top of the plastic and used my rolling pin to press the paper and ink together. The water-based ink dried fairly quickly on the paper so I was able to add colored pencil to it this evening. I tried applying watercolor but it melted the ink. I think I’ll be able to add watercolor to the oil-based prints once they’re dry. I made half a dozen prints. Two were complete flops and the rest were not bad for a first try.
I also bought a couple of linoleum blocks and carving tools so I’m going to try that next. Then it’s back to watercolor — I have several paintings just begging to be painted.