Tag Archives: direct line monotype

Spots and Twists

15 Jan

warrior spots

I like working on direct line (trace) monotypes. It’s an immediate and spontaneous way to get an original print and the quality of the line is soft and smudgy. I also like to work with models in poses that are twisted or contrapposto, they have a dynamic interplay of forms and planes that I find more interesting that passive standing poses. I particularly enjoy setting the model against or within a pattered  artefact like a rug or blanket. This model is a young soldier who often models for our life drawing group when he’s on leave.

The monotype is printed from a perspex (plexiglass, acrylic sheet) plate coated with black oil-based litho / relief ink thinned with a little extender. It’s important to roll the ink super thin otherwise you’ll get huge black smudges everywhere. Once there is a very thin layer of ink on the perspex, a sheet of fairly thin paper (a good cartridge paper around 150 gsm will be fine) is placed on top and a pencil drawing done on the top of the paper. The pencil needs to be kept sharp. When the paper is lifted off the perspex, the ink will have stuck to the places the pencil touched, creating an unique monotype. It’s a very good method for artists who love drawing.

Just A Quickie

12 Feb


The lurgi is still with me but I managed a couple of hours pottering today, showing an old friend some of my work in exhibitions, then I went home and crashed. It’s very frustrating because I can’t get the energy to do any artwork when I’m in this state. So here’s one I did earlier :).

I was doing some direct line monotypes in the studio a while back and as I started to clean the ink off the perspex, I liked the smudgy marks, so I quickly scribbled a figure in the corner with a cotton bud (Q tip) and took the print (a reduction monotype) onto some acid-free tissue I had hanging about, very gently smoothing it with my hand. I’d always thought that you needed a press to take a reductive print, but it depends on the thickness of the paper. Using really thin tissue worked quite well, so I’ll do some more experimenting with it – when I finally get rid of this dreaded lurgi!!!!!

Mucky Hands and Monotypes.

29 Nov

Starting a monotype - VERY thin ink.

I spent a happy morning yesterday making some direct line monotypes down at Swansea Print Workshop. The trick to getting a good result is to roll out your ink VERY very thinly. I used Intaglio Printmakers oil-based litho/relief ink in black and a Japanese rubber roller inked onto apiece of Perspex. Don’t be tempted to add more ink because your paper will stick to the plate and there’ll be an awful blobby mess instead of some lovely lines. I based my monotypes on some life drawings I had done and I made tracings and reversed them and stuck each to the back of a piece of paper.

Direct line monotype: drawing onto the back.

I used a Zercoll 145gsm which is a lovely creamy colour. Previously I’ve used Fabriano Academia 120gsm,  acid-free cartridge paper and even acid-free tissue. I’ve never had good results from paper that’s heavy or textured. I put the paper face down onto the inked plate and I use a 2H pencil to draw deftly onto the back of the paper and then use an HB to go over key lines that I want to emphasise, keeping the pencils very sharp. You have to be VERY careful not to lean on the paper or rub it in any way or there’ll be a dark patch. When you’ve finished, peel it off and there it is! Easy peasy. And you can use the tracing again and again.

Direct line monotype: finished!

And now I’ve got mucky hands.

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