Sunday, 17 January 2016

Feather Monoprints Tutorial

Monoprints are a very quick & simple method of printing which is relatively cheap once you have invested in the basic equipment.

2 x glass or perspex sheets
Ink roller
Printing ink (oil based or water based)
Newspaper (to cover work surfaces)
Image (or draw freehand)
Pencils & other mark makers
Rags & white spirit (for oil based ink)

I decided to experiment at the weekend with producing some further monoprints following my first print class. This is my original pen drawing of feathers.
Begin by photocopying the image you wish to print or you could use an image from a magazine. You could also draw freehand to produce a spontaneous design. Your eventual print will be reversed so bear this in mind if the image includes lettering.
Squeeze a small amount of printing ink onto a piece of glass or perspex & roll it out to a smooth consistency. This will act as your palette. Transfer ink to your working piece of perspex or glass making sure the ink covers an area large enough to incorporate your image. I used water based printing ink at the weekend but oil based printing ink at my class which I was informed produces a better finish and stays 'workable' for longer.
Fix your chosen image with masking tape to a sheet of drawing paper. Lay these on top of the inked working surface & fix with masking tape to the top of the glass/perspex so you can lift the paper to reveal the effect you are achieving without the print moving from its original position.
Use a pencil (or similar) to draw your image (very much like a tracing) without leaning on the paper.  You will find that your mark making differs depending on how soft or hard you press onto the paper. 
Once you are happy with your print remove it from the inked surface & allow to dry.
As you can see the first print I made picked up a lot of ink so next time I shall use a test sheet to remove the excess ink. My second print showed much finer detailing.
I drew a double border around my third print to frame the feathers. I think this is my favourite print of the three.
Each print is a unique one off. Be prepared for a slightly messy finish but this is part of the charm & gives each print its unique quality.

This is my inked work surface following 3 prints. I love the overlapping images.
A piece of art in itself which I couldn't bear to wash off.
Water based inks can be washed off with warm water whereas oil based inks require an old rag & white spirit & it's a good idea to wear disposable gloves, old clothes or an apron as it can get very messy.

Another photocopied image from my sketch book.
The palette had started to dry whilst I had lunch so I added some water to it which produced a different background effect again. With oil based printing ink you can add a small amount of white spirit to create different effects or use a rag to remove areas of ink. I haven't tried this yet but plan to in the weeks to come.
The second print had a more faded effect.
The finished print.
Have a go it's fun.
Happy Printing!

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