Project 4 – Textured and combination monoprints

1) Birds

Techniques: Masks + Back drawing

Inks: Linoprint water based

Paper: Somerset, Newsprint 250 gsm

I wanted to emulate a print seen in “Printmaking handbook: Monoprinting”, by Jackie Newell & Dec Whittington called ‘Feathers’, by Ann Bridges. This was a brightly coloured print of many different feathers on a blue background. I’d also seen ‘rainbow rolling’ in the book “Printmaking handbook: Relief printing”, by Ann Westley, which involved rolling two colours at either end of the roller so that the colour combined in the middle. With these two in mind, I chose a bird image to produce my background print.

I cut out bird shapes from some printable acetate (a slight mistake as a printing medium as although the plastic side worked on my second attempt, the side designed for printing on is effectively a layer of glue which obviously didn’t work very well!).

I then ‘rainbow rolled’ yellow to red with linoprint water based inks and placed the masks on top and printed (these prints were for pressing the ink onto the masks, not for use, although the results were very good and would make a good basis for another print).


The plastic masks were then peeled off, turned ink side up, and placed on a plain blue rolled plate and printed.


The print was finished off by back drawing the same bird (a common tern) in a different flying pose on top of the background print.


2) Still Life

Techniques: Drawing on the plate + masks + back drawing

Inks: Linoprint water based

Paper: Cartridge

I ‘rainbow rolled’ a green-blue plate and drew a still life sketch (the area in front of my printing plate) into the printing plate before printing.

I then cut a mask of five flowers which I printed on top of this in three colours, yellow, orange and red.

Still Life1

Holding the print over a light-box I then sketched in the location of the flower stems so that I could back draw these in green to complete the print.

Still Life2

3) Landscape in the rain

Techniques: Painted plate + turps on oil

Inks: Acrylic paints + oil ink

Paper: Zerkall 100hpw white smooth

When I did the turps on oil print for project 3 I thought this could be used to represent rain on a window, so I decided to try to use this to produce a print looking through a rain splashed window to a landscape.

I started out sketching an imaginary ‘Dales’ landscape onto A3 paper to place under the printing plate.

I covered the plate in acrylic medium, painted the landscape onto the plate, then printed it.


I then mixed a transparent light blue oil ink, rolled this onto the plate and sprinkled turps onto it to get the raindrop effect.


4) Map of ‘Baras’

Techniques: Textured plate + back drawing + mask

Inks: linoprint water based ink + oil ink + oil paint

Paper: Cartridge

‘Baras’ (or ‘Bare House’) is an old farm building up on Yarnbury Moor above Grassington. I have walked past this building many times and it used to have a rusty water tank outside (sadly now gone), which was riveted together and rusted completely through in many parts. The idea of this print was to show a piece of this rusty tank, on top of a map of the area.

The starting point was to produce a textured green background to depict the fields around the building. This was done using scrunched up tissue paper flattened and rolled on a green water based ink plate. I printed from both the plate and the inked up tissue paper, the latter giving the nicest print.


I then sketched the wall and building details on the back of the print from a map of the area and back drew these in black water based inks.


I then tried to add the rusty metal to the print by painting it onto the plate using acrylic paints. This looked terrible once printed though, so it was fortunate that I tried it on a test print, as it looked like a dirty splotch on the print.


It was then time to rethink so I decided that I would use a mask and some oil based inks instead. The brown I mixed up was darker than intended (on the test print) but mixing white to it resulted in a sludgy grey so I risked a second print from the plate, the speckled effect from which actually worked well for the effect I was hoping to achieve.

I then needed to add a lighter colour to the print to show the detail of the rivets and joining plate. I tried this first using a new mask and yellow ink, however this didn’t show up at all against the dark brown background.

So I resorted to adding the detail using oil paint.


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