Much too late with this post. So much that I cannot recall what I did during the session. These are the results of the second week of my printmaking course at LPW, on Monoprinting. Nichola first explained what monoprinting was and how we’d go about it. We were each given a metal plate to use which we inked up with plain black ink. Back on our worktables, we first took one impression onto newsprint to remove a layer of ink so that later impressions were not smudged with the excess ink.
Then we proceeded to lay sheets of newsprint onto the plate and ‘draw’ onto the newsprint to leave an impression on the side touching the plate. We drew with pencils, fingers, and anything else that would leave a mark where the paper was pressed into the plate. I did not know what we’d be doing (would have been useful to know more in advance so that we could prepare ideas) so I basically scribbled to see what would happen.
#1 is scribbling with a pencil on the back; lots of ink transferred since the plate is unused. #2 is more scribbling plus pressing edge of set square down and rubbing it lengthways.
#3 is scribbling again then rubbing with finger. #4 is more sort of drawing; still getting good marking even with all the previous prints. The plate was never re-inked during the whole print taking session.
#5 was tearing out some pieces of paper, laying them over the plate and smoothing over with my hand. #6 was the same (with one piece of paper removed – didn’t like the effect) and then smoothing more forcefully with the edge of the set square. Can’t have been too much ink left at this stage.
The next stage was to use colour and rollers. The plate was cleaned of black ink and several colours were rolled out onto the preparation surface. We used the rollers to roll out strips or edges (using edge of roller) of colour, blended colours on the plate and scratched patterns onto the plate or masked bits off (I didn’t do that). Then the plate was printed onto damp paper using the roller press.
I made a second print to see how it came out (and liked this print better).
Since the time allowed, I wiped the plate clean and rolled/scratched further colours and designs onto it.
I liked this one as well. Which I also printed a second time but, in this case, did not like the second print, it came out very bland. I think I used two different presses for the two sets so it is likely the second was tighter and more ink transferred to the first print leaving little for the second.
I really could have spent a day doing this, trying out different techniques and colours, rather than the two hours we had. The only downside was how inordinately covered in ink my hands were time and again. They were stinging at the end of the two hours from the paint, vegetable oil used to clean the plates and swarfega used to wash out hands. Will invest in a few boxes of latex gloves in the future.
But it was a really enjoyable session. I preferred this to the drypoint.