Sunday, January 25, 2009

Monotype Printmaking at home


Several of you have asked about a step by step description of my process creating monotypes at home, using my rolling pin. So today, while I printed new monotypes, I tried to remember to take some photos of the process. Hopefully, this will clarify a few things for you. It's really not that hard, and I am sure anyone could do this at home, after a little bit of experimentation.

The first step is to paint your plate. I use plexiglass plates, that I got from Dick Blick. The one in this demo measures 8 x 10 inches. I use Charbonnel etching inks, which are oil based, and really gorgeous. I actually apply the ink with a brayer, mostly, except I forgot to take a photo of that part. I spend quite a bit of time, mixing colors and preparing my plate. I experiment a LOT! You can also apply ink to the whole plate and then use a cloth (or Q-tip or whatever) to remove ink. Once you get the plate looking the way you want it to look, you are ready to try printing it!

I have been printing in the kitchen, where there is more room. I use my cutting mat to print on, so I can make use of the grid. That way I can be sure the paper is centered over the plate. First, I wipe the edges of the plate clean (carefully). Then, I set the plate on my cutting mat. I use printmaking paper (BFK rives). I dampen the paper using a spray bottle filled with water. This is something I do over the sink, but I didn't take a photo of that. I squirt both sides pretty well, and then blot the excess water off using paper towels. Once I have dampened the paper, I carefully lay it over the inked plate. Then, I use my hands to press the paper down onto the plate, rubbing along the edges of the plate. I do this to prevent the paper from sliding when I apply pressure. I first use the baren and rub back and forth first horizontally and then vertically. While I rub with the baren, I hold onto the paper to keep it from sliding. I have found that if I put a piece of tissue paper over the top of my paper, it keeps the paper from being rubbed off, and also keeps the back of the print clean.

Next, I take the rolling pin. I place the rolling pin in the center of the paper and roll out. I roll the pin in the same way, horizontally and vertically. I am trying to get as much pressure as I can, and also trying for even pressure. I go over the paper with both the baren and the rolling pin several times. Once my arms get tired, I am ready to lift the paper and see the results! This is the fun part. What I have discovered is that the monotypes I pull by hand, using the above method, are much "grainier" than the ones I pull using a printing press. You can see for yourselves. As Robyn discovered, the jackrabbit I did two posts ago was printed using a press. The lizard from Friday was printed using the wooden spoon and pvc pipe.


So there you have it!!! That is how I have been creating monotypes at home without a press. I hope this gave you a clearer idea of my process now. There are many different kinds of printmaking, but what I like about monotypes is that each one is unique, an original one-of-a-kind. Most other types of printmaking will give you several prints of the same image. So far, monotypes are the only kind of printmaking I have done. I am hoping to try some of the other kinds. For now, I am loving these monotypes!

13 comments:

pRiyA said...

i have been shown the light! lovely! so this is how it's done.
thank you for showing this step by step process.

High Desert Diva said...

Very interesting. Not what I imagined...at all. Thanks for the tutorial!

bindu said...

That was very helpful, Karine! Now I can imagine how you make your monotypes. The finished piece is very pretty.

Melissa and Emmitt said...

what a great post karine!

i love the cutting mat and tissue paper details. you are so smart!

your new print is just gorgeous! i love the colors and i think the "graininess" is more interesting than the consistent hard pressure of a press.

great work!

did you remove ink to get your pattern or use a cut out shape?

xo
melissa

lee said...

Love the tutorial. Question did you use oil based because it takes longer to dry. Do you think it would work with acrylic. I am going to give this a try, I love how yours turns out

Karine said...

Hi Everyone! Thank you for your comments. Melissa, for this print I actually used a little circle I cut out of some mesh sort of material. The light colored circle was what remained after the FIRST pressing of this plate; I inked over everything else and then used the SAME mesh circle (which I inked again) for the darker circle.

Lee, I used oil based ink because I love the deep, saturated colors of the ink. I know you can buy water-based ink for monotypes. I will send you the link for some that is soy based and non-toxic, if that is a concern. I have not heard if you can use acrylic, but I doubt it, since it dries so quickly. You don't want your paint to dry on the plate before you print, so that would be the concern. Dick Blick has waterbased monotype inks, too, I think.

Robyn said...

Thanks for that Karine. It was great to see how it's done.

lee said...

hey thanks Karine, I am going to the art store and get some of those inks, I really want to try it.

Red Fish Circle said...

that was really interestng, you get really beautiful results with the oil based inks and without a press. thenks for posting that

Nancy and the fatties said...

All of that painstaking work really shows in the finished product, Karine. My original work from your studio has such rich color and great texture!

coloredsock said...

it's great to see your process, karine. thanks! it reminds me that printing at home isn't as daunting as my mind makes it out to be. it's pretty simple! and i like the tip of the tissue or wax paper... i have some table space beggin for me to clear off and make a 'printing' space. thanks for the inspiration!

julie king said...

okay, i'm seriously wanting to try this!! i just had my hubbie take the old antique wooden table out of my art room so i'd have more space. now i'm going to have him set it up in the florida room for this exact purpose. thanks so much for the inspiration!

Angie Rosie said...

Do you use printmaking ink or regular paint? I've been wanting to do some monotypes at home since they're so much easier to do in a limited environment.