By definition a monprint is a unique print. This is not a process for producing multiples, rather it is used to obtain special effects not obtainable in any other way.
“Printmaking can be used as a creative process in its own right. The effect of a printed image is quite different from one that is drawn in pencil or pastel, or one painted in water colour or oil colour.”
The Complete Manual of Relief Printmaking: Katie Clemson and Rosemary Simmons:Alfred A. Knopf. New York 1988:ISBN 0-394-56853-2
Monoprint detail: Outreach workshop Pat Briggs
Monoprinting combines printmaking, drawing and painting techniques. A single image developed on a flat surface with oil or water based ink is transferred to paper by means of a printing press or by hand burnishing.
Transparent materials such as glass, Perspex or acetate allow a sketch to be placed underneath which can be used as a guide and all sorts of interesting marks to be made with brushes and other tools. Areas that you are not satisfied with can easily be rubbed out and reworked.
It is an exciting painterly print medium which involves painting and drawing, where ‘one of a kind’ images are developed using a variety of traditional, contemporary innovative approaches. This creative process involves simple printmaking techniques
One of the simplest approaches is to roll up some ink on a flat surface, place a piece of paper over it gently and then draw on the back of the paper with a hard point. A characteristic fuzzy line is produced on the reverse of the paper.
Another way is to roll up ink on a flat surface and then draw into it with any implement that will make a mark. This is a subtractive method as the ink is being wiped away to establish white areas in the image.
Vinita Voogd, a Californian artist, has developed a remarkable three layer technique using process cyan, magenta and yellow inks, which when overprinted gives a rich black. Using a clear piece of plastic sheet and working on a light box, she inks the plate up in yellow and prints that.
Three layer monoprint technique: Vinita Voogd Masterclass
Then successively the magenta and blue is overprinted. Some of her prints are very large indeed and may take a day to ink up one plate.
See Masterclasses for details of her three day visit to Swansea Print Workshop