Thursday, April 2, 2009

MonoPrint ATC

I joined the "Easy Mono Print" Atc swap on swapbot. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but I found that making a mono print that was acceptable for swapping was harder than it looked!

What is a Mono Print?  Well, it is the most basic form of making a print.  You apply color (paint) to the surface of something, then place another surface on top (paper or fabric), press down, remove your paper, and you have a unique painted print!   It has been described here as:

The monoprint or monotype is often thought of as a halfway stage between painting and printmaking. The process is simple: the artist paints, rubs, or wipes the design directly onto a plate, using a fairly slow drying paint or ink. The fleeting image must be printed before the ink dries. Printing may be by press or by hand, and as the name monoprint implies, one can usually get only one strong impression. The effect must be guessed right from the start; there will be no trial proofs or different states unless the design is redrawn for a second impression. This term is used to refer to any print made in one version and incapable of being repeated. A monoprint cannot be editioned.  
Mono prints are supposed to allow for artistic spontaneity which I found out pretty quickly.  In my usual "fly by the seat of my pants" way of doing things, I decided to give this a try using the directions on swapbot:

Use a roller or a paint brush to spread the paint over an area big enough for your work. You will have to work rather quickly before the paint gets too dry. Using a stick or end of your brush or a pencil, draw a pattern or a quick sketch into the paint. It will be printed in reverse so remember this if adding text. Now place your paper onto your glass and give a quick, even rub with your hand and peel off immediately.  
First, I tried flowers.
flower monoprint atcs - help!

This didn't work out so hot.  My designs were too intricate and didn't show up well.  I decided to try something simpler, like an egg.

I used an old ipod box as my glass surface.  It is exactly the size of the atc.  You can see where I scraped off the paint for the print.

monoprint box

I tried this a bunch of times, some worked and some didn't!

chocolate egg monoprint atcs

I let them sit for a day, and then went back to them.  I thought that if I embellished a couple, they would be ok.  So, I picked one and added some glitter, gold and little jewels.  

egg atc for swapbot swap
For the next one, I figured that if I used something wider to lift the paint off the surface, it would make the design stand out more. I found a pencil with a nice round eraser on top and used that. It worked great on this little chick.

Chick ATC

So, this was a fun, get your hands full paint, type of project.  Today, I did a quick search on how to make a monoprint and found some sites that would have been helpful to me before I started this project.

  1. How to make a Mono Print
  2. MonoPrint for Beginners and Children
  3. Janet Clare's Tutorial
  4. Making Monoprint Background Papers - I quickly discovered that all the rejects would make great backgrounds for other ATC's.  This little tutorial will show you how!
  5. Take it one step farther with a Monoprint Mini Book!
If you like to see how rather than read it, you can find lots of tutorials for monoprints on youtube. 


nancy said...

I love this monoprinting. I haven't done it in ages. I'll be trying some soon.

Jan Allsopp said...

I love monoprinting too and just like you find it much more difficult than it seems. I have books on the subject and have read heaps. I've seen heaps of fantastic monoprints and I'm made heaps of prints myself with only a very small percentage that I've been happy with. It IS a challenge! That's why I wanted to do something with my very large monoprint - hence my monoprint minibooks. Thanks for linking to them. They are lots of fun to make! (Maybe more fun than making the print? I don't know. It is fun!)