Another technique when monoprinting is to use resists. These can be anything such as torn strips of paper, cut paper shapes or one of my favourites - plant material or leaves. Ink up the plate as shown in the previous tutorial and lay your chosen resist on the surface. The red colour of these leaves led to me chosing them.
Lay a sheet of thin paper on the surface, covering the inked plate and your resist. With a clean roller, press hard all over the surface but without disturbing or moving the resist.
Carefully lift off the paper and you should have a dramatic silhouette print.
The next stage can only really be done successfullywith plant material/leaves with a distinct texture and markings - lift off the resist, re-ink the plate and lay down the resist again but this time inky side up.
Repeat the process with a sheet of paper and a clean roller and this time you should get a wonderful detailed print.
Of course by now you will have a stack of prints, some more successful than others and are probably wondering what to do with them, so I thought I would show you how some of mine have ended up in my sketchbook which I hope will give you some ideas.
This smudgy looking print from last time actually looks a lot better in the photograph (which I quite like) than in reality, where it is very indistict. Even with the addition of colour it is very murky... the photo was taken with it held up to a window and the light brightens it. On the page it looked dead and the colours didn't show at all.
So I added more colour, which made it darker still, added some bleach (there is a tutorial for this in last year's sketchbook posts) to lighten parts and finally some black pen to emphasise other areas.
The resulting image was cut and torn out and stuck in my sketchbook.
The ghost print from last time also didn't excite me very much... again it looks better in the photo than reality.
So the addition of some colour emphasised the shapes
The print below was another where the actual print disappeared into the background making it look indistinct.
The print below is one of my favourites and has been simply enhanced with the addition of some carefully placed colour.
And this last one has been a combination of a couple of prints, both given a simple colour wash, cut out and overlaid and stuck down.
I think the point is to keep playing. Even if you don't like an image, add colour - I have used inks, water colour paints and water soluble pencils, add bleach, tear them up, cut them out, combine two or more images and stick them down... the ideas are only limited by your imagination and there is no right or wrong way of doing any of these things. Don't be afraid of making a mess or "spoiling" your work.