Part 3, making a monoprint

I made one of these without realising somewhere in PoP – painting on one half of an A1 sheet then folding it over and printing it on the other. This time I’m asked to use a different technique.

The first exercise, which isn’t numbered and that I’m calling three point zero (3.0), is ideally tackled using a glass plate and oil paints which, for various reasons, is not feasible. I’ve substituted an OHP film and acrylics kept fluid using both a drying retardant and a water spray. The ‘found’ photograph is of an abandoned house in woods, taken by a friend. I ‘found’ it on Facebook and, with her permission, printed it and centred it on white cartridge over an A3 board with the OHP film, also A3, secured on top.

These are three prints made following the set of instructions set out in the course notes.

These unprepossessing images are, from top left, the first print (pink sugar paper), second print (very watery medium on cartridge), and the third almost dry (also on sugar paper).

Baldly, I find very little to like about these, although the very sparse version at the bottom has some broad shapes and textures that may have merit. The image reversal is somewhat disorienting and complicated the next step – adding further paint – because I was forever referencing the original.

Still, adding other media made, to my mind, something a little more pleasing of them.

This is the painted mono. Acrylics and soft pastels worked into the textures left by the printed paint.
I’ve called this the runny mono because, having sprayed the OHP surface with water before printing, I found I had more of a wash at the end. I made some indicative lines with Fineliner brush and left it with its somewhat ghostly appearance.
This is the sparse print which I’ve left as is. I had dabbed the wet paint on the film with a flannel and wiped some areas using the same material. This is the textural quality present in the background and in the gross lines of the building.

I can see how this might be a useful tool to have in my armoury but, at the moment, I can’t see printing as a key methodology for my own work. The process feels redundant – why not just paint the image instead of trying to replicate it in paint that is likely to dry before you can print from it? But then, I am not a printer and I don’t really feel the excitement I know some people do when they discover this way of working. I actually enjoyed the post-print phase more than the print itself and I was aware of making an effort to salvage something from the process. I may come back to the photograph though, to do it justice, and the print process has given me some ideas.

2 thoughts on “Part 3, making a monoprint

  1. I think it’s maybe about introducing some element of risk/chance into the process? Not sure you particularly struggle with that though. And I might be wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a valid point. I wonder if the way we choose courses means each one has to assume it’s the first and that any given student may previously have done no risk taking at all. That would make sense.

      Liked by 1 person

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