A versatile process…

When a drawing or painting is made onto a surface that allows it to be transfered to another surface – it can create a monoprint. If the surface that the drawing is made on is flexible, for example a plastic sheet. It can then be transfered to another surface, maybe a gesso board, or a canvas, a wall or a piece of paper. Size or surface is not restricted. This would not be possible if you needed to put the image through a press to get the print…

The ‘why’ is for you to fathom.

Perspex, plastic, glass.

I am going to use just my hand pressure to transfer the marks I make. The perspex and plastic could also be put through a press if I wanted, but the glass can not.

I used a sponge to cover the plastic with an even covering of ink. And the roller to cover the glass.

Rhythmic gentle pressure to cover as evenly as possible.

The subject, a seashell that I had picked up from the shore at Arbroath. I particularly like this object because it is not complete. Its sides are eroded to reveal the inner structure.

I am not using the press for these pieces so the process is entirely possible without big investment equipment. But it helps to have soaked paper – as that aids the transfer of the ink and better absorbs some of the detail. If the paper is too damp/ wet it can creat havoc. Just like with watercolours. The dryer the paper the more control and detail possible. But if the ink and paper are too dry you might get nothing shifting. And more damp encorages unpredictable, exciting effects and sometimes complete chaos.

Paper soaking in the sink.
The drawing on plastic.
The print.

The image is Lways reversed by printing, that is generally unforgiving of an unbalanced work. And of course makes the monoprint unsuitable for famous city skylines… Though there is always a solution. Draw the image onto tracing paper first, turn it over and use the reverse to create the monoprint. Any how, I never tire of what the mono print/ transfered mark does to a drawing/painting. It arbitrarily changes details and offers unexpected gifts, the smudges and accidental changes that occur through the process. Sometimes magical and delightful – and sometimes smeared and slippery rubbish, or even nothing, absolutely nothing at all.

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