Mono Prints with oil paints

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    Jack Laver

    Hey there! I was wondering how I could produce mono prints similar to the textural ones I was creating last term at home, and if it is possible to create using oil paints instead of printing inks.
    Thanks! Jack

    Jacqueline Chiu

    Hi Jack,

    Thank you for posting your question!
    It is possible to create monotypes at home that will have similar textures.
    There are three factors to think about – ink, paper, pressure.

    If you are using oil-based products, the key will be to mix them with enough oil/extender to develop thin, translucent layers, and then to roll or scrape them across surfaces thinly enough to produce delicate and spontaneous marks.

    There are also alternatives, such gelli plates, from which you can take monoprints using acrylic paints. The gelli plate has a slightly soft surface, so you can easily imprint textures onto it, before taking the print. The plates are quite small, so you will need to tile them to create larger images.

    Paper + Pressure
    The pressure you get from our presses allow you to use a range of papers – it does the hard work for you, transferring the image cleanly from one surface to the next. When you are printing by hand, however, you want to think about how absorbent your paper is, how thin it is, and how much physical effort you are willing to exert. Papers that thinner, smoother, and more absorbent, take to ink much easier than a textured, thick, cardstock. Once you have settled on an ink or paint, I would try it out on a few different papers – tracing paper, regular copier paper, newspaper, cartridge, etc.

    There are, of course, a range of bench top presses, and pin presses. Check out this video of the akua pin press, the monoprint is quite beautiful:

    Pin presses and benchtop presses are, of course, expensive and are a long-term investment, not a short-term answer to the current situation. You can try rolling with objects you have access to, to see if the method suits your practice.

    Hope that helps!

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