Featured post

Originality, technical ability, emotional response
Copyright for all text and images @bellabow.studio

Very simple monoprints

Monoprint is such a lovely relaxed way to make an image, especially if you use a photocopy as part of the process!

Today, I just wanted to puddle around getting creative and not too heavily into something serious. Here's a 30 minute afternoon session whilst waiting for the rain to stop.

Step 1

Find something you'd like to reproduce. Here's a photocopy of a flower from a copyright free book.

I've drawn it onto a piece of printer paper - this is just so I don't mess up the original and can use it again.

Next stage is to find something to roller some ink onto. I've used Dura-La, a thin transparent film which comes in pads (photo - no affiliations) You can use glass, perspex, polythene etc. I know someone who uses plastic carrier bags.

Rollering ink can be a bit messy, so I like to cover my table with something disposable or wipeable. Messy Mats are brilliant for this.

You can use acrylic paint (Open acrylics are best as they stay wetter longer), oil paints, printing inks - oil or water based.

I squeezed a little bit of Caligo linseed oil printing ink onto the sheet and used a brayer to roll the ink in a thin layer- about half to one inch squeezed straight from the tube.

It makes a gorgeous crackling sound when it's just right, so if yours is silent you probably have too much ink on the sheet - scrape a bit off and keep rolling until you hear the crackling.

Find a piece of paper to make your print on - it can be anything from newspaper to watercolour paper.

Gently lay your inked sheet, ink side down, onto the paper. Try not to press.

Lay the picture you want to copy on top.

Use a biro to go over the outline of your image. Try very hard not to press on the sheet with your hand.

Here's the flower. The background has bits of ink which have transferred accidentally to the paper as well as the image, but I love this "noise" around the image.

The image can be left to dry or used whilst still damp to make any over-colouring seep and run into it. If you've monprinted onto watercolour paper, you could get some lovely effects. I've just popped some paint onto this to show you what I mean, but I'm sure you can do better than me!! 😜 Not really my thing.

But don't stop!

Your print plate can be used again and again without re-inking. If you like, you can use the brayer to just roller out your previous marks, but it's not necessary. Here's a self portrait, and you can just see the biro marks on the photocopy. I love doing the hair! I also left out one of my extra chins.

It's a very easy way to get an original portrait which you can colour, stitch, make part of a collage etc.