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What is a Monoprint?

An impression is created by printing a reprintable block, such as an etched plate or a woodblock, in such a way that only one of its kind exists, such as by incorporating unique hand-colouring or collage.


The term can also refer to etchings that are inked and wiped in a non-repeatable, expressive manner; prints made from a variety of printing elements that change from one impression to the next; and prints that are painted or otherwise reworked by hand before or after printing.


Monoprinting appeal stems from its spontaneity and ability to incorporate printmaking, painting, and drawing techniques.



Image Credits- House of Watercolors

Step-by-Step Monoprinting Instructions

Step 1: Create Your Monoprint

Create a rough sketch of your design on paper until you're satisfied with it. You can then either scan it to make a copy to preserve your original design or print it directly from the original (note that this will almost certainly ruin the original design; monoprinting is designed to be used only once!).


Designing a good monoprint includes the following steps:

  • Keep your first design simple; once you've mastered the technique, you can move on to more complex designs.

  • Keep in mind that your design will be reversed when you trace it.


Step 2: Monoprinting Surface Preparation

Before applying any ink to your sheet of glass/perspex, make sure it's clean. Apply a small blob of ink to the sheet and roll it with a roller/wooden spoon until it has a velvety texture and a slightly sticky sound!


To avoid a mess, make sure your inked area is the same size or slightly smaller than the piece of paper you want to print on, so you don't get ink on your work surface!


Step 3 – Monoprinting Techniques

Place your chosen paper on top of the inked area and lightly rub the back so that it is in contact with the ink and does not move. On top of the paper, place your scanned or original sketched design. Draw over the lines of your design with care, as this will transfer it to the paper.


Tips for printing your monoprint:


  • You can tape the edges down if you leave a little space around the edge of your paper so it doesn't move.

  • Avoid putting too much pressure on the paper with your hands, as this may smudge the ink.

Hope you learnt something new today. We can't wait to see your version of the monoprint!


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