Discovering monotype

Updated: Jan 1

I love how even the tiniest marks in a dark-field monotype can produce magical lights and textures you could never make yourself. It's even more dramatic when you're actually making them over a light box. The fact that you never know quite what you're going to get when you print makes it all the more exciting.

'The Face', monotype, 19 x 24.5cm, Stonehenge paper

Keen to get back to printmaking after 15 years without touching a press, I was pleasantly surprised to find that non-toxic printing techniques had come on leaps and bounds in the interim. The added bonus was that they could easily be done at home. Initially, I used the simple but effective techniques generously shared online by the British printmaker, Dan Tirels. Working quickly and spontaneously was new to me but I enjoyed the freedom it gave me to explore without worrying too much about the results. The results did vary a great deal but, hey, I was thoroughly enjoying the process.

My very first monotype was Summer Days. After spending most of a class working on an etching, I decided to avail myself of inks left over by my classmates and try my hand at a monotype. Ably assisted by my Willoughby Arts Centre tutor, Meike Cohen, I produced three monotypes in quick succession. Not having worked in such a spontaneous way before, I really enjoyed the freedom of it. My wife still regrets that I sold Summer Days and continually reminds me that it's her all-time favourite! Ces't la vie, with monotypes!

Here's a sample of my experiments in tone and texture:

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