Printmaking Project 1 – Exploring Monoprinting

Getting started on the Printmaking Project proved a bit tricky! I knew I needed to buy printing inks, and rollers, inking trays and an surface to ink on but I didn’t really know where to start. I emailed my tutor and ended up buying Caligo Safe Wash Oil based Relief Ink (I may have spelt that incorrectly!)

I went for primary colour and a black and white tube, thinking I could mix my own colours, rather than the cost of buying a large variety of colours up front.

Brand New Unused Ink!!

Brand New Unused Ink!!

I knew that White Spirit would work as a thinner for any paint that was oil based, and seeing as I had some at home thought I’d use that to begin with. There were some interesting results that led to me changing what I used, but more on that later.

The point of this project is to learn the basic form of printmaking: Monoprinting.

This involves using brushes, cloth, any kind of mark maker to place the ink onto a printing plate, once the ink is on the plate, you lay paper over it and using the back of your hand rub the back of the paper to reveal your first ‘print’.

My first attempt looked like this:

Printing Ink on Printing plate - First go!

Printing Ink on Printing plate – First go!

First Monoprint on Watercolour Paper

First Monoprint on Watercolour Paper

Taking a close look at the Printing Plate (a sheet of perspex) you can see that the consistancy of the ink is quite lose, I wasn’t sure this was right, think I used too much White Spirit to thin the ink:

Close up of Printing Plate

Close up of Printing Plate

This led me to change the amounts of White Spirit I added to the ink for the next print.

I used two types of brushes and the back of a pen to make the marks on the printing plate. The Orange arch shape at the top was created using a rough house painting brush which I think gives a nice lose, textured feel.
Whilst the orange wiggley lines were created with a smooth watercolour brush, which I’d kept in good condition, it gives a much smoother line, but it’s more transparent than the rough line.
The blue dots were made using the back of a pen, and this gives a much richer hit of colour, but maybe there was too much ink transfered onto the plate as some of the dots have smudged!

More experiments to follow…




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *