MONOPRINTING

This is a simple but effective one-off printing technique that can be done in a variety of ways.

A smooth sheet of glass, acrylic sheet, a glazed tile or a gelatine plate is rolled with ink. Drops/smears of different coloured inks are added, marks made into the ink:

 swirls, imprints, dragged patterns, drawings.   

Stencils, masks or natural materials such as leaves, feathers, lichen, can be  laid on the ink. The inked 'plate' can be splashed or sprayed with white spirit if using oil based inks.

A print is then taken from the inked 'plate'.

A monoprint can be a picture in its own right or as a background or collage material.

PRINTMAKING TECHNIQUES

RELIEF PRINTING

Printing is the process of transferring an inked image on to paper, fabric or other material.

In all types of relief printing, ink is applied to a prepared 'plate' and it is the raised areas of the plate that take the ink and create the printed image.

LINOCUT PRINTING

This is a relief printing technique.

Traditionally canvas backed linoleum is used but more recently a range of softer vinyl material has become available which is easier to carve into. I use Japanese vinyl which is blue on one side and green on the other with a black core.

Using lino cutting tools with sharp, shaped blades, areas of the surface are cut away to create the design. Ink is rolled on to the 'plate'

and a print is taken from it.

A more complex 'reduction' technique is achieved by further removing parts of the 'plate' and printing on top of the first print with a different coloured ink. Successive cutting will result in images with several colours and can be very intricate and detailed.

Lino prints can be made using a relief press or by burnishing the print using a spoon or 'baren'.

COLLAGRAPH PRINTING

As suggested by its name, Collagraph printing is made using a 'plate' that is collaged with different textured materials. It differs from Relief printing in that the raised areas are wiped clean and the cut areas and indentations hold the ink.

A card base-plate is used and the desired image is created by cutting into the card and peeling away the smooth surface and by adding texture with a variety of materials such as wallpaper, sandpaper, textured modelling paste, different adhesive tapes, natural materials, carborundum etc. The addition of PVA glue, when applied to specific parts will provide smooth tonal areas that can be wiped clean. The collaged plate is then sealed with shellac varnish.

The 'plate' is inked up, using the 'intaglio' method, working the printing ink well into the crevices of the 'plate' and then wiping the surface with scrim or paper to remove the top layer.  Other colours can be applied on at a time if needed and the finished plate is given a polish with tissue paper to remove any excess ink. The print is made using an etching press and dampened paper. Unlike lino printing, only a limited number of prints can be made from a collagraph plate due to the fragility of the materials used.