Project 3 – Two colour masked monoprints

Two colour masked monoprints

I used oil based inks for these prints.

My first attempt was using my face mask, red and yellow ink and basic printer paper:

2 colour mono 2

The image is registered correctly, but there is a white line around the edge. This is presumably caused by the edge of the paper mask, which despite being made of very thin paper, causes the ink not to print right up to the edge. Maybe a printing press would force the ink closer?

The same process with the car mask:

2 colour car

I then tried the face mask again using some Chinese paper. The negative mask worked well on this, but I presume the ink was too dry, or the paper is not absorbent enough when I came to do the positive mask and the lines from the spoon mess up this print:

2 colour mono

I tried a print with the car mask using this to my advantage to create a random background and sketchily drawn detail on the car which I think worked well:

2 colour car 2

Three colour print

Here I printed the cars using the negative mask, first in yellow, then in orange. Finally the positive mask was used to add the blue background and I added some roughly sketched back drawing:

3 colour mono


Painted plate with 2 colour monoprint

I tried a two colour monoprint using the car masks and painting the printing plate. I tried using a thin Chinese paper for this print which maybe wasn’t designed for printing. The ink came through the paper and it rubbed through entirely in one area (and it still hasn’t dried after about 3 weeks! Maybe I will give up on Chinese paper for now!):

Painted car1


I tried a few experiments with impressing textures into the printing plate next. The notes said “using an inked-up printing plate press the items into the wet ink and lift them off”. I found this impossible to do though, I couldn’t get the items pressed well enough into the plate to make an impression, but I found that taking a print with the items on the plate, then removing them, worked well.

First print of dried leaves in blue ink, followed by transparent red ink with two bird positive masks:

Textured bird 3

Second print of dried leaves with a single bird mask which worked much better:

Textured bird 1

Second print of feathers with a single bird mask:

Textured bird 2

The feathers didn’t come out too clearly, but they gave a nice effect overall.

I tried a textured landscape which as you will see below didn’t work very well:

Textured Landscape

I’d used cotton wool for clouds, cut out foil with holes in for building outlines and tissue paper for sea in the foreground, but only the clouds really worked.


I’d already tried a few of these with earlier prints, but did a few more:

Backdrawing 1

For this one I took a print produced in Stage 2 and added text to it.

Backdrawing 2

Here I started from scratch drawing a design I had sketched on the back of the paper in a number of colours. I also bought some proper printing paper (Zerkall) for this print which seemed to work well (and certainly much better than the Chinese paper).

Both of these prints suffer from the ink coming through where it wasn’t intended to (the ink was probably too wet). I don’t think it matters too much on the second print though, except where there was a drop of water (above the reservoir surface) left on the printing plate after cleaning up which caused a big blotch.

Next I tried a still life drawing using back drawing in a single colour and also took a second print from the plate.

Back Drawing3

Back drawing of a still life

Print from the ink remaining on the plate

Print from the ink remaining on the plate

I prefer the initial image.

Back drawing forces you to use a more sketchy style as you can’t rest your hand on the print without getting ink under where your hand lies. I like this as my drawing are often detailed works, whereas I prefer sketchy drawings.

Sketching on the plate

I tried a few drawings of a face, this being the better one, drawn with toilet paper wrapped over a pen to soak up the ink:

Face sketch

Turps on oil

Sprinkling turpertine on oil based inks:

Turps print

This gave an interesting effect and could be a nice print to try to give the impression of rain on a windowsill.

Overall I’m please with some of the prints I have managed to produce in this stage and I am starting to see the benefits of the various methods of monoprinting.

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