Skip to main content

I just finished teaching a monoprint class

Last week, I went to the Interlochen College of Creative Arts to teach a 3-day intensive course in monoprint printmaking to a group of 6 adults. A monoprint is a type of print you make by painting or rolling ink onto a surface (a metal plate or plexiglass, for instance), manipulating the ink in different ways, then pressing paper onto the plate and applying pressure, either by hand-rubbing or a printing press. You usually only get one print at a time this way, hence the name "monoprint." (Strictly speaking, there is a difference between a monotype and a monoprint, but I'm not terribly purist about that.)

It was a great class, very tiring for all concerned, but we got some great prints out of it. On the first day, we spent some time outside making contact monoprints while doing some blind contour drawing:


Here are a few prints from that session:



The next photo shows a plexiglass plate on the bed of my portable printing press, the image painted freely with Akua intaglio inks using q-tips instead of a brush:


And this is the print that came out:


To keep track of the various combinations of inks, papers, and so forth, I drew a chart on the whiteboard so that people could check off the type of print after they had completed it:


On the final day, we made larger size monoprints by taping together two sheets of acetate, and combining all the inking and wiping methods we'd been trying out for three days: rolling ink on, brushing it on, using stencils, masking out certain areas, wiping out ink here and there. Here is one participant's print above the inked up acetate it was printed from:


Some truly glorious prints came out of this:


And what was so great about the whole session was that there were a couple of people with art school experience, and several people with no experience, yet they all produced really high quality prints. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Soft Ground Etching with Baldwin Intaglio Ground

This is another post where I talk about my own research into how to obtain the best results from non-toxic etching materials -- specifically, the Baldwin Intaglio Ground. This is a form of etching resist developed by printmaker Andrew Baldwin, from the UK, as a non-toxic alternative to the nasty chemicals contained in traditional hard ground and soft ground resists. It comes in a tube, and when you squeeze some out onto an inking slab it looks like etching ink. You roll it onto the copper plate with a brayer, as if you were inking a relief block, in contrast to the traditional hard grounds, which are either melted onto the plate or poured on as a liquid hard ground. Applying the BIG to make a hard ground is relatively easy. Using it as a soft ground can be quite tricky, and it has taken me many tries and many failures to achieve a satisfactory etch.

The main problem, unfortunately, is the lack of specific instructions in preparing the BIG soft ground. Andrew Baldwin has some excellen…

A List of Every Drink in Hemingway's "The Sun Also Rises"

I first read Ernest Hemingway's 1926 novel "The Sun Also Rises" when I was a teenager, and immediately fell in love with it. For the last couple of years, I have had the incredible privilege of teaching a class based around Hemingway in Paris -- while living and teaching in Paris itself, close to the Boulevard du Montparnasse, where most of the action of the novel's first half takes place.

Of the many things that one notices about the book, the colossal amount of drinking is something that stands out. These people didn't just drink like fish: they drank like whales, as if the ocean they swam in was alcohol and they had set themselves the task of drinking the seas of the world dry of it. During my read-through of the book before class started last year, I tried to underline every mention of drink in the book. And now, purely in the interests of science, I am listing the entire menu of booze mentioned directly by name. Some preliminary observations:
Most of this is…

How to etch a linoleum block

Linoleum as a material for printmaking has been used for nearly a hundred years now. Normally, you cut an image out using special gouges similar to woodcut tools, cutting away the lino around the image you want to print. This is called relief printmaking, because if you look at the block from the side, the material that remains stands up in relief from the backing material. You then roll ink with a brayer over the surface of the block, place paper over it, and either print by hand or run it through a press. You can do complex things this way (for example, reduction linocuts), but the beauty of the process is that it is quick, simple, and direct.


A few years ago, I saw some prints that were classified as coming from etched linoleum blocks, and I loved the textures I saw in them. In the last few months, I've been trying to use this technique in my own studio, learning about it as one does these days from websites and YouTube videos. I've also had email exchanges with several pr…