No printing press? No problem! Make one-of-a-kind prints from plexiglass plates with this watercolor monotype tutorial. Let’s get started!
- Dishwashing Liquid
- Paper Towels
- Watercolor Paper
- Watercolor Paints
- Spray Bottle
- Rolling Pin
Step 1: To help the watercolor paint grip to the plexiglass, sand the surface of the plate until the shine is gone.
Step 2: Apply a thin layer of dishwashing liquid (an alternative to gum arabic, which many people do not have at home), and allow it to dry onto the plate.
Step 3: Place your paper underneath the plate to guide how large your painting should be.
Step 4: Paint the plate with watercolors! Try not to go too heavy on the water.
Step 5: Once your painted design is complete, wait for it to dry while misting your watercolor paper with water.
Step 6: Dab the damp paper with a towel until there is no more water sitting on top of the paper.
Step 7: Place the paper on top of the plate’s design in one quick motion. Make sure it lines up!
Step 8: Use the rolling pin to press the paint on the plate into the paper. Be careful not to rip or slide the paper across the plate.
Step 9: Gently peel the paper off of the plate and allow it to dry.
Ideas to take your watercolor monotype to the next level:
- Dunk the paper underwater to see how it varies the final result of the print.
- Go back in with a brush and watercolor paints to add details.
- Use the monoprint as a background for an original painting. Get creative!
Learning and Discussion Questions:
1. We may have used a rolling pin for this workshop, but the history of the printing press is an interesting one! Visit the History Channel website to learn more.
2. How do additive/subtractive monotypes differ from trace monotypes? How are they similar?
3. Are you wondering about the history of watercolor? Read about its evolution here!