Teddy and Amber Trace Monotypes – Part 2

I have finally finished the trace monotypes of Teddy and Amber.  Initially I couldn’t work out if they should be called monoprints as they are the same picture of Teddy and Amber or if they should be called monotypes, as a monotype is considered a one-off.  I would think that if the image is the same, but you do something different to each one, then it is still part of an edition and should be numbered as a varied edition.  Essentially, a monotype is a one-off print taken off of the plate.  Though I am not sure what a ghost print of your monotype would be.  So confusing sometimes!

In any event here is what I made.

This is what I would call a true monotype.  The print on the left was created after making a trace monoprint and where I wiped out ink with some silicone tools and a Q-tip.  It doesn’t really look like much and I wasn’t sure I could do anything with it, but it was the first one I worked on using oil pastels.  I also took the liberty of adding a sky.  Below is the trace monoprint and the photo reference.

The next one I used Derwent Inktense Pencils.  I started with them dry and then wet the paper to make the colors more vibrant.

And the next one was made with watercolor and chalk pastels on top.  I haven’t touched my watercolors for some time and the paper is not watercolor paper.

These last two would also be considered monotypes as the images are different sizes and have different media.  I have two more prints left that have a rather clean background, but I kind of lost the will to live with trying to work out what to do with them.  I am not used to painting the same thing more than once, even though it is in different media.  There is only so much one can do with brown.

These were made as an exercise in making trace monotypes and I used inexpensive drawing paper that buckled when it got wet.  I will need to try it out on different/better paper and be more thoughtful about my border next time.  I used a matt frame from a 10×12 inch picture frame, but I may need to make a slightly smaller one so that I can have a bit of a border around the image.  I may try working in A5 so that I can matt my images for an A4 picture frame.

In any event I enjoyed myself and it seems that anyone can do this technique as it is an easy way to make a painting, especially if drawing skills are lacking.  If you want to see this technique in action, check out Belinda Del Pesco’s blog as she is amazing!






Printmaking – Class 5

In class 4 I mentioned that we printed the final color, blue, onto the prints we had created.  Unfortunately my classmate was unable to attend due to a work commitment, so we only printed mine.  This week, class 5, my classmate was there and so we printed all of her collagraphs with blue while I got on with playing with a linocut.  I seems that I need to get some new cutters as mine are not that great and the soft cut is not a brilliant substrate to use compared to the hessian backed lino.

I got all of my prints back and some turned out very well.  My tutor suggested that we do something more with them, but I balked.  I wasn’t ready.  Sometimes I just need a little time to work out what to do next.  I had a good look at them today and will most likely take some to class next week to see if there is any more that can be done, and I will keep what I like best.  I can’t help but get attached to some of my work even though we were just playing.  If I had access to a fancy printer, I might feel less precious about them as I could always print more whenever I wanted.  In the meantime,  here they all are and grouped by what I consider to be the least successful to the most successful of the bunch.  You can click on each photo to see all of the detail.

The collagraph for these lily pads was created at home, while the others were made in class.  I don’t consider these to be very successful in that I had too many layers.  I will remake this on mountboard as I now know where I went wrong here.  To re-cap, we printed the first print in red, then yellow and then blue.  Some areas were masked out to save a color or to make sure that we would get green, especially for the leaves.  We used one of our least successful first prints to use as a mask.

My favourites are the two on the bottom, especially the bottom right as it came out perfectly.  Sometimes you just need to have the right amount of ink on the paper and plate for it to work well.  The detail of the sky came out surprisingly well as that was made from paper towel.  I used a fair amount of glue on that to help hold its shape.  Everything else was made from paper.

We got some really nice purples and greens here.  This collagraph was made only with paper on cardboard.  We printed some more of these in class yesterday, but started with blue.  It will be interesting to see how those progress.

These five are my favourites of the whole lot.  I think the main reason is that each one is so different and the clarity of the scrim and the string is amazing and give that part of the print a 3D effect.  I’m not going to mess with these.  If I make something similar again, I will make sure not to have string with knots in.

We have one more class to go.  In the meantime, I need to finish off those trace monoprints of Amber and Teddy, and I will be playing with linocuts.  Hopefully I will not cut myself again as I did in class.  Those cutters are sharp!

Amber and Teddy – Trace Monoprint/Monotype

What is a trace monoprint/monotype you might ask?  Well, I didn’t know either until the other day.  A trace monoprint/monotype is where you ink your plate, put printing paper on top and place an image on top of that and trace it.  When you are finished, you peel your paper off of the ink and you have a trace outline of your image.  Below is a video tutorial on how to make one.

Belinda calls them monotypes, which I can understand as no two will be exactly alike, even when using the same image.  But I am more inclined to call them monoprints if making more than one and calling them a varied edition.

I made some monoprints of my English Springer Spaniels, Amber and Teddy.  Here is the photo reference:

The image on the left is the original, and the one on the right is flipped, as when you pull your print it will be in reverse.

I printed the reversed image in two size: 1 full size A4 and 1 8×10 inches.  Picture 1 and 4 are the 8×10.  In picture 1 I missed out on a few areas, but I can fill them in with black pencil.  Some of the ink from the back ground got transferred onto the paper, but that shouldn’t be too noticeable when I either paint or color in with pencil.  As you can see in prints 3 and 4, there is not so much ink in the background and I think that is because some of the ink has had a chance to either dry out or the ink on the plate was reduced due to printing.  Also, I modified Amber’s (the little one) ears to how they look now as this photo was taken a couple of months after a drastic haircut.

The other thing I did was try to pull a print from what was left on the plate and this is what I got.


I got a rather dark white line image.  I used a silicone tool to take off some of the ink around my tracing before pulling off a print using a brayer.  I will see if there is anything I can do with this.

I also pulled another print off of the plate and got this:


I used a silicone tool to wipe out ink from the tracing and a pastel smoother to remove some of the ink from the background.  I also used cotton buds to wipe out the white areas of the dogs.  It is a bit faint, but using watercolors should bring it back to life.

I used Caligo Safe Wash relief ink in black.  This is an oil based ink that is meant to be washed with soap and water.  I used a natural orange kitchen cleaner and a paper towel and it all came off easily off of my plate and brayer.

I now have to take the next step and color my prints in.  This is a little scary, but making the prints is so easy that I can make as many as I want without worrying that I may mess them up.  Will let you know how it goes.