Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Trace Monoprinting

One of the blogs that I follow in Google Reader (the blog's name and author of which I totally can't remember at the moment), reminded me of this type of art.  It's called trace monotyping or monoprinting and I've done it in the past and love the results.  

So last week, I spent some time one day playing with the technique.  It's one of those that you sort of get better at as you go because you figure out what works and what doesn't.

The very first trace monoprint I did that day didn't turn out at all.  Too much ink on the printing plate (a piece of plexiglass) and maybe the wrong paper? Although I'm not positive that paper wouldn't work.  It was a less expensive, 140 lb. watercolor paper.  I switched to a more expensive watercolor paper that comes in large sheets and all of these shown are on that.

The ink I used is a water soluble block printing ink by Speedball and I've had it in my stash for a long time (several years).  I don't know if that stuff goes bad or not.  It was sort of thick and I don't remember if that was how it was originally.

After the ink dried, I attempted to add some watercolor and quickly had a disaster.  The black ink was not waterproof.  Yikes.  It started smearing all over the place.  So I stopped painting and let it dry and then used a spray fix to set everything.  I wasn't sure how the watercolor paints would work on the paper after using a spray fix, but it seemed to work okay.  I added some white acrylic paint to some of the areas where the ink smeared a lot.

In the coming weeks, I really want to play more with this technique and also try it on fabric.  I found an ink online that claims to not smear after it dries, so I may get some of that and try it.  I also plan to experiment with acrylic paints.