Project 2 – Positive and negative masked monoprints


These are the four drawings I used to make my monoprint masks:


The face shadow drawing is the reflection of my face in the printing plate, the car drawing is of a model mini, the leaves are from a card design book and the head and shoulder profile is from a photograph in a yoga book.

First prints

I started out using water based linoprint inks.

My first attempt with a negative mask and blue ink – I had too much ink on the plate here and didn’t use enough pressure to get the areas of detail. I also forgot to reverse the drawing:


A second print from the same plate – still not great, but got the ink in the small areas this time


A third print from the same plate with the mask removed and also an interesting effect from wetting the paper (just before printing, so not soaked evenly)


The second run with the same negative mask and ink, with the image the correct way around worked better


Moving onto the positive mask in red this time. The red ink gave a nice textured effect and the bold colour worked well with this design


Selection of prints

A selection of prints from my three other masks using both negative and positive prints

Leaves 2Leaves 1Printing0040Printing0043Second face 2Second face 1

I got a nice effect backdrawing swirls with the end of a wooden spoon on the negative mask of the car


How did you find this process?

  • Once I’d got the hang of the amount of pressure required, I enjoyed this process and produced some prints I was very pleased with.

Did your ink dry too quickly and not print evenly or was it easy to achieve a smooth print?

  • The water based inks did dry quite quickly, especially when taking second/third prints from the same plate, although this did give the opportunity to experiment with backdrawing. Overall it was reasonably easy to achieve a smooth print, although I prefer the prints where there is some texture to the print.

Does your image work well in both its positive and negative forms?

  • I think the negative prints work better for most of my prints because there is more ink on the plate and it makes a more complete image. For the positive prints, I like the third print from the negative mask with the mask removed, for the same reason.
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