After the monoprinting I'd done my thoughts were full of reflections and ripples and I started to do some drawings. They were A4ish in size, just using pencil and graphite sticks; little explorations of the broken linear marks that I could make. I thought I'd make some more monoprints and prompted by Caroline I decided to post about how I made them.
I started off by using a sheet of perspex as the plate. As it's so warm at the moment I used water mixable oil paint so I didn't have to worry about it drying too quickly and being water mixable it's nice and quick to clean up. I could have used a roller to apply the paint onto the perspex, but for these I brushed it on as I wanted to explore linear marks. I used mixtures of burnt sienna, raw sienna and naples yellow. (The previous time I'd added paynes grey.)
Next I started to remove the paint using a brush, cotton bud and twigs, making the same kind of marks as I had done in the sketches. The paint is quite a thick layer in places and ridged up on either sides of the marks I've made. Some of these ridges I kept and others were thinned out with a brush. Once I was happy with the mesh of marks that I had made I was ready to print it off. Not having a press I printed them by hand. I also dampened the paper which helped to give a smoother print, dry paper can give a different kind of effect which is sometimes useful.
This was the first impression that I got from the plate. It looks quite rough and ready as a print but will be something that I will work back into later. Where the paint made ridges it has printed much thicker and there are some blots where it has balled up, other areas are much thinner so there are subtle depths of tone too. When I work back into it with different mediums these surface textures will, I hope, enhance the end result.
The plate still had quite a lot of paint left on it and feeling lucky I thought I'd try making another impression. I could have added more paint to the plate and redrawn back in but thought I'd see what happened. It's the unpredictability and the chance of happy accidents that I enjoy about this process. This time the thinness of the paint has given a much more subtle print.
I pushed my luck and went for a third impression. I'd dampened the paper much more and not having a baren to help apply more pressure I picked up the nearest thing to hand which happened to be a roll of masking tape. Making circular motions and pressing very hard all over the back of the paper worked better than if I'd just done it with hand pressure but as there was so little paint left on the perspex I've ended up with a very feint print. It could be with a wash of watercolour paint over the top that the oil paint will resist and the colour will pop back out but we'll have to wait and see.