Monoprinting is a form of printmaking with lines or images that can only be made once, unlike most printmaking, which allows for multiple originals. In this workshop, discover the ease of creating monoprints at home! Learn to use a small piece of plexiglass as a printing plate, block-printing ink, and cotton swabs to create an image that will then be pressed onto a sheet of paper, creating a unique monoprint.
- Plexiglass Panel
- Block Printing Ink
- Ink Roller
- Cotton Swabs
- Mixed Media Paper
Step 1: Choose one to three colors of ink to be used in creating a monoprint.
Step 2: Place a clean piece of plexiglass on a covered surface; this is where the ink will be rolled.
Step 3: Choose the first color and add an almond-sized drop to the center of the plexiglass panel.
Step 4: Grab an ink roller and slowly roll the ink into a thin, even layer across the plexiglass while avoiding the edges. If it sounds sticky while rolling, that indicates that the right amount of ink is being used. If the roller slides all over, there is too much ink on the plexiglass. Make sure the area of ink rolled out is not larger than the paper. It should be smaller so that your print will stay within the borders of the page. Leave about a 1-inch border that is free of ink.
Step 5: After a thin layer of ink has been rolled out, use a cotton swab to draw a design into ink. Removing ink from the surface exposes the plexiglass beneath, known as a “subtractive method” form of drawing.
Step 6: Once the image is ready, grab a piece of paper and place it on top of the ink drawing.
Step 7: Lightly rub the back of the paper to transfer the design.
Step 8: Pull off the paper beginning from one side and slowly pulling it away, like a bandaid.
Step 9: To add another color to the print, wipe off the plexiglass, add a different color, and repeat the process.
Step 10: Place the same piece of paper on top of the new color drawing and rub the back. The colors will overlay, creating a print with more depth.
Learning and Discussion Questions:
1. Edgar Degas, a French artist who rose to prominence in the late 19th century, created monotypes (monoprints). Watch this video to learn about his work and process.
2. Orna Feinstein is an artist specializing in 3D monoprints, sculptures, paper installations, and site-specific installations. Her passion lies in experimentation and innovations in the field of monoprint making. Click the links below to visit her website and to see a video of her monoprinting process.
Thank you to our sponsor, PNC Arts Alive!, for helping to make this video possible!