Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Hand pulled Prints: Monoprinting part 1

Additive Monoprinting

 Bear with triangles.
There is something about print making that excites me, the processes involved, the experimentation, how 2 prints are never the same even in the same run. Hand pulled prints are my number one purchase when I buy art……..I also love creating them.

Monoprinting is easy to set up, easy to clean up, no need for a press, quick, experimental and as it's name implies each piece is an individual run as it is only pulled from the plate once.

There are many ways to create a monoprint here is just one of the processes that I use:
The additive technique, painting directly onto a piece of glass with a water based block printing ink.

The glass I use (can be easily sourced…it was a glass chopping board, originally it had a vinyl picture adhered to the back..this I peeled off to create a clear piece, it has to be smooth. The good thing about a glass chopping board is that it's thick, has rounded edges and can be moved easily………if you have a granite worktop this can also be used or a metal surface.

Monoprinting equipment:
A baren and/or a wood or metal spoon
Paper: good cartridge/drawing paper but not too thick
Glass plate
Paint brushes
Block printing ink (water based or oil based depending on your finish preference and cleanup choices.)
Paper towel

Stage 1.
Decide on an image to create. I quickly sketched some very basic animal outlines. I then placed the image under the glass.

Stage 2.
The printing ink I use is very thick, it is water based and sticky when brushed onto the glass. I paint the image, leaving areas white that need to be white. Although it is important to cover the glass in ink, applying it too thick can cause smearing when printing, too little the ink will be too dry to transfer onto the paper when burnished.

Stage 3.
When I am happy with the image to be printed, I make sure there is no ink anywhere I don't want it to be…wiping up any drips or edges that need to be neater. I then place a piece of paper over the top of the print area, trying to position the image in the middle of the paper. I lightly press the paper to the glass so it adheres to the ink.

Stage 4.
I then take the barren and rub the back of the paper over the print area, pressing firmly and repeatedly moving over the image area in different direction, carefully in order to not to snag the paper. If you removed the paper now the image would be transferred but not as intensely as I like. So now I take a metal desert spoon, and again rub the back of the image. I burnish the image by pressing hard and moving the spoon fast, horizontally, diagonally and vertically as I like some directional line to show in my prints. I lift up the paper a little to see if the print is how I want it to look and then remove it fully.

Just a few prints created in a mono-printing session

Mono-printing is fun and has so many possibilities, and with some very basic equipment anyone can do it.


  1. love the prints - will definitely open my new Gelli plates and have a go!
    ruth x

    1. Thanks Ruth, make sure you have lost of space to dry all those prints, I can get carried away! :)