Monotypes

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The Monotype process is a form of printmaking. The image is unique in that there is only one – no edition. The print may be run through the press once or multiple times. I use either plexiglass or the back side of litho plates for a drawing surface. Oil-based or water-based inks work equally well, although differently. Think of the monotype as a drawing or painting that has been pressed into the paper. When the drawing has been completed it is put on the press bed and the dampened rag paper is registered on to it. Over the paper is placed some sort of padding to aid in the embossing from the thickness of the drawn plate. Once the image has been run through the press, it is checked for printing quality before the paper is removed from the drawing. If needed, the plate can be run through the press again with more pressure. After the print is “pulled” there is usually a faint residue of ink left behind which is called a ghost. This image can be printed with a fresh piece of paper for subtle tones which cannot be gotten on the first pull or the plate can be partially re-drawn and then printed. Once the print is resolved the plate is cleaned off and the process can be repeated. A monoprint is a monotype with one or more stabilized printing elements used to make up the image along with the free-hand drawing.