Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Colour Sketchbook :: 6

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.

So this one was simply cut out and stuck down onto the white page which is a big improvement.

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.


  1. Picture 5, 14 and 15 are just soo beautiful. I know you don't like to be called a genius and therefore I stick to very talented today. Thank you so much for another lesson in how to perform some magic.

  2. Wow, I love that leaf.What kind of leaf is it please?
    Your prints are beautiful.

  3. Just been catching up on your posts - the sketchbook posts are particularly interesting. I really liked Tracey Emin's monoprints, so was really interested to see how you've achieved this effect.

    Thank you.

    ps I'll be getting Strangeland, looks like it'll be an interesting read.

  4. These sketchbook posts are just amazing. I can't wait to try this monoprinting lark

  5. That's such a beautiful leaf Gina and I love the image from the inked version of it - stunning. Your enhanced samples are beautiful. My trouble is that I'm not used to getting good results so when one is achieved I'm afraid of mucking it up if I do any more to it! Haven't started my monoprinting yet so had better get cracking.

  6. Those are so amazing. Love what you've done!

  7. I had a great time doing my monoprinting and got all excited and stuck them into my sketchbook - now I need to go and work on them a bit.

    Love the leaf prints. I'm off out to the garden to see what I can find!


  8. Now I've cleared my desk a bit I may find room for a bit of monoprinting - always fun. Love your leaf print.

  9. Fantastic post. I love your monoprints and your write-up. I love seeing what you can do to the "not-so-nice" prints. Much thanks,

  10. Gina...wonderful images!

    I can't wait to try them out. Afraid I'm a bit behind, only just on the tracing element, but I'm definitely inspired.

  11. These are so inspirational Gina - I am up to the potato prints but you are still racing away from me! Will endeavour to catch up next week and post the results. x

  12. I love monoprinting Gina so these strike a chord with me. There's a printmaker who uses leaves etc to produce monoprints which she then collages together to graphic effect. I love her choice of colours too. Have a look at www.marymargaretbriggs.com and let me know what you think?

  13. hugely informative tutorial Gina - full of ideas (and encouragement!) love the effect of rollering the reverse of the painted leaf.

  14. The leaf print is amazing!!
    Vivienne x

  15. Am going to have to play..........

  16. I've just had a play - waiting for them to dry - then more play. Thanks for all the inspiration!

  17. limited only by your imagination?! Just a few words, and what an imagination you have. It's like a helter skelter ride. You leave me feeling that one day I'll be saying - oh yes, I remember when she started in a red telephone booth!


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