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  • Writer's pictureJWylie Designs

Exploring Monotype Printing

I've done a little monotype printing in the past. In the past I used water-soluble printing ink rolled onto a glass plate into which I drew images and added a variety of textures. Paper was then pressed onto the inked glass plate and the image was transferred. I found it to be fun and very painterly especially when compared to many relief printing methods.

Lately I've been doing a lot of linocut printing as well as stenciling on fabric. While these methods produce beautiful images, I miss the more painterly feel achieved by monotype printing. I decided to re-visit the technique!

Initially I made my own round gelatin plate. It was quite successful and was great fun experimenting with different paints, masks, and stencils to create a print. Examples of some of these circular prints can be found on my Instagram feed. The problem with the gelatin plate though was that it wasn't permanent and the surface could be easily damaged. I decided to get a printing plate which looks and feels like gelatin, but are durable, reusable and store at room temperature. These plates, such as those from Gelli Arts or Speedball, are easy to clean and always ready for printing. I used acrylic paint mixed with Golden's Gloss Glazing Liquid to slow the drying time of the paint on the plate. The paint was rolled onto the plate and various stencils were used to add textures and images. Here are some of the first prints I made while experimenting with this fun technique,

I decided to scan the prints and, in Photoshop, create a patchwork pattern using the various monotype prints. Here is an example of the patchwork design as well as some mock-ups using the pattern.

This pattern, called Seasons, is now available on a variety of products in my Society6 shop. I found this printmaking technique to be fun and great for experimenting with colours, textures, and images. The prints can be framed or scanned and altered in Photoshop. I will definitely be exploring monotype printing more and trying different techniques (packing tape transfers!).


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