Nobs and Toobs: Monotypes
Printmaking is the process of creating an image on one surface and transferring said image onto another. For instance, a crayon rubbing of a memorial or texture transferred to paper is a very basic form of printmaking. The medium of printmaking is broad and includes a variety of techniques: screen printing, relief prints (woodcuts), intaglio (etchings), monotypes and more.
Unlike most printmaking techniques, monotypes are unique, one-of-a-kind impressions. They are the “original” image. The methods I employ include additive, reductive and trace techniques. A piece of 12 x 9 inch plexiglass is coated with a thin layer of printer’s oil-based ink. Print paper is laid on top. I draw on the back side of the paper, lifting the ink from the plexiglass. What remains on the plexiglass is a field of ink with white lines where I drew. On the paper, are lines and marks in the color of the printer’s ink. I then print the field of ink left on the plexiglass with an etching press.
The result is two prints. One is a rectangular field of a color (say blue) with white lines. The second is a rectangle of characters drawn in blue. Each new color requires another plexiglass plate, and the process continues. The field of color may be printed again yet it will continue to lighten with each successive printing. Each impression may include as many as five or more printings, one for each color.