Project 2 – Positive and negative masked monoprints

Designs

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

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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:

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

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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)

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

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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

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Selection of prints

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

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

Questions:

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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