I've just finished another three hour workshop on monoprinting with Sandra Pearce. My first exposure to this art form was way back in September and I had not followed up and couldn't even find my notes - so thought I had better repeat the experience. The workshop was through the Brisbane City Council Art Bites series which is just so good - and even better, Art Bites activities are free!!
Something must have stuck as I was much more productive this time, producing 8 or 9 small prints. I meant to take photos of the process but forgot my camera so here are a few notes. We used various objects to produce the prints - fresh and dried plant material including some amazing skeleton leaves, paper cutouts or stencils (birds, dragonfly - even more interesting effects if they are made from textured paper), bits of lace, onion bags, string, in fact anything that makes an interesting pattern and is fairly flat.
The inks are oil based etching inks which are quite thick. Ink (lightest colours first) is placed on a glass plate and a small roller completely inked up by rolling over this source plate.
This is then rolled onto the printing plate which in our case was a small piece of plastic (about 12x12cm). Then the various objects were placed on this plate, this preventing ink being printed on the paper (a resist). These objects could be inked as well - in a different colour - to give a different effect. Paper (photocopy paper is fine to practice with) is placed on top of the inked plate and pulled through a roller (which happened to be called Thumper!).We used Asian rice paper (110gsm) and newsprint (50gsm). After this first print, the plant material etc is taken off the printing plate and another piece of paper placed on top and run through Thumper again. This gives what is called the "ghost print". These initial prints can then have other objects and inks added producing a layered effect. I didn't get that far!
It all can get very messy so gloves are a good idea. Cleanup with vegetable oil and turps.