Tuesday, 14 February 2017


Took the better part of the day to organize supplies (ie find them in the bottomless pit I call my studio), prep the plate, paint it, set the press, find, cut and soak the paper, print it and dry it (will take at least 24 hours to dry completely). Oh....and make sure both the right and left sides of my brain were engaged! It was fun to do a print - my favourite part - is pulling the print - like opening a present, it is always a surprise to see how well the pigment has transferred and how it looks on paper versus the metal plate. Didn't plan anything just painted. I've included a few pics from start to finish to give you an idea of how I am working. Few surprises for me as to what pigments did and didn't transfer - white does not usually transfer, but most that was on the plate did print (that was a surprise, was thinking it would work as a resist), the grey C'aran d'Ache crayon and the yellow chalk pastel did not print well (acted as a resist). Also - what you put down first is the layer that will sit on top when you pull the print. Because I am using water soluble pigments the plate doesn't need to be printed right away (I have left plates for a week) - but you can't leave it for too long or the paint will start to flake off. For this print I probably could have soaked the paper for another minute.

Plate and materials ready for some
mono-print making

Pigment on plate
Masking tape is still on edges
Plate ready for printing. Masking tape
has been removed and edges have been
given a wipe

Plate after printing. You can see the pigments
that didn't print - not uncommon - some just don't. But you don't know
until you try. Anything that is water soluble should print and
materials that aren't water soluble will act as a resist. You will see
in the next picture where the grey acted as a resist and you
have the white of the paper showing.

Finished image size 5"X7"
on BFK Rives paper
You can always go back in and rework the print once it is dry

Printmaking is one of my favourite art mediums. I had forgotten this and realize that I have missed it a lot. Love the creative freedom of working on the plate - if you don't like what is happening, you can always rinse it off and start again. Takes away the pressure of that blank piece of paper and the 'what if this doesn't work out and I have wasted a piece of 'expensive' paper!


  1. Janet, what fun to wake up and see how a monoprint gets made. Well, really, to see you YOU made YOUR monoprint. I got to go to your studio and watch everything unfold before my eyes. Grand adventure! What kind of pigments do you use? Loved that part of the rounding-up of supplies included rounding up both sides of your brain. Love your pointing out that the rinse-it-off-and-start-again nature of working on the plate has big appeal for you in monoprinting. Will you continue working with this print?

    1. Good morning Dotty! There are lots of ways to make a mono print - this is just the way I like to work on them. I will post more info - have had some other questions about pigment, etc. Not sure if I will continue working on this one. It is a little rough around some of the edges but it does have a certain appeal - or for me it does - and it is a 'print'. I have gone back in and worked back into other prints done this way - added some image transfer, made some details a little crisper. Really a personal preference. Good to hear from you.

  2. So you are using a metal plate, not glass? Also using watercolor? Did you say you have a press or just using your hands? I am a newbie at this and still trying to learn how to do it better. I like what doesn't print as well as what does and really like the colors you used in this one. Do you pull any ghosts? Also have you gone back in and enhanced a print? Oh yes, sorry, to as so many questions, but when you let the plate dry do you rewet it or just let the wet of the paper pull it off?

    1. Glad to share with you Nelvia and all good questions! Didn't post all the technical, mainly because I am not sure how much people want to read. What I think I will do is write another post with answers to your questions and any other 'stuff' I can think off.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. I think my comment got lost so apologize it this is a duplicate. Great post. Looking forward to seeing more of your monoprints.

    1. Thanks Judith. Will do another post with more 'technical' info on what I am using and doing. Looks like you have been busy - lots of beautiful framed work - awesome!

  5. Very interesting, more details please :) I have never had the chance to try this, but I can see the appeal. As you said, to work on a plate instead of clean white paper.
    I really like this piece. the roughness, and the ... primitive feel of your marks. Oh, I can see how you would get lost in doing more and more of these. :)