Lesson 4

Taught by Roxana Tuff, Artist

August 5, 2016, Friday
Cephas House, 217 MLK Drive, San Marcos, Texas 78666

Lesson Four - Monoprints

Note: Click on any photo and view a larger image.

 HOMEWORK:  Do a few more of these over the week to work out the process.
Bring two or three of your best prints for the next class.
To see examples of Student Work done during class, scroll down past the Lesson.

Monoprinting Demo by Roxana Tuff, August 5, 2016
Monoprint by Roxana Tuff, August 2016
We will make Monoprints. Mono printing suggests that each work will be unique and hard to duplicate. A "one-off".
These prints are fairly unpredictable in outcome, but allow creativity and an "in the moment" spontaneous approach to resolving the work.

These works can be abstract or representational.

You will need:
    • plastic transparency or plexiglass which has been sanded lightly to roughen up the surface
    • sandpaper
    • tape
    • watercolor paint, brushes, and watercolor paper*
    • paper towels
    • large spoon
      Use tape around the edges of your paper to mask off a border. This creates a neater area within which to work on your monoprint.
      Roxana holds up a sheet of sanded plexiglass.
      Transparency film may also be used, if sanded.
      1. Prepare your plastic transparency or plexiglass by sanding lightly to rough up the surface. You don't want the paint to bead up.

      2. Tape the transparency down to the table or board so it won't move. (I don't tape the 1/8 inch plexi-glass, but I guess you could put a couple pieces of rolled tape on the back if you needed to)
      Watercolor applied to transparency film. Paint is still wet.
      3. Do a painting on the plastic surface and allow it to dry. We didn't have time in class for the surface to dry, but the pulled print will smudge if the paint surface or paper surface is too wet.

      You can use a paper towel or a damp brush to remove sections of paint, or add texture, if you like.  Notice the light area within the broad purple stripe, near the center of her painting. She used a paper towel to selectively pick up paint.
      Using a spray bottle, dampen the watercolor paper.
      4. Soak a piece of watercolor paper for about 10 minutes.

      Here, Roxana uses a spray bottle to dampen both sides of the watercolor paper. If you soak the paper in a tray, remove it from the water, allow it to drip off, and then blot it with a sandwich of paper towels or newsprint.

      You don't want the receiving paper to be shiny with water, just damp.
      With the painted plastic surface lying on the table, Roxana lines up the damp watercolor paper over it, then brings the paper into contact with the painted surface.
      Once the damp paper is positioned onto the painted plastic surface, she uses the back of a large spoon to burnish the back of the paper. This will create the monoprint itself.
      5. Lay the damp watercolor paper down on top of the painted plastic transparency film (or plexiglass).

      When the paper and painted plastic are sandwiched together, use the back of a spoon to burnish the surface.

      The paper and the painted surface should temporarily adhere together. 
      Burnishing the paper and painted surfaces together.
      6. Carefully pull the watercolor paper off of the plexiglass or transparency film.
      You will have a reverse image of what you originally painted.

      You can go back into the painting with more watercolor, watercolor pencils, ink, etc. to finish the painting.

      The print will be somewhat distressed since not every part of the painting will transfer.
      Student's sunset monoprint and plastic original.
      Here is a student's work in progress.

      At top, you can see her monoprint which takes great advantage of the texture of the paper itself.  At bottom you can see her painted plastic surface, taped firmly in place.
      Student's very dimensional monoprint.

      At left, monoprint of poppies.
      At right, painting of landscape.
      Both images by same artist.
      More examples of student's work in class.

      At top, you can see a very dimensional-looking monoprint. It uses color tones to great effect.

       At bottom you can see a monoprint of red poppies on the left, next to a landscape painting (not a monoprint). The contrast between image styles highlights the difference in processes which were used by the same artist.

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