Before starting my first monoprints the course manual asks me to undertake some research by looking at work produced by my classmates, those who are either further on in the course or who finished the course within recent years. At this stage I’ve concentrated only on their monoprint work and related learning log entries and will continue to follow their progress through the later modules as I also reach those subjects. I’ve spent several hours perusing numerous logs, seeing the different ways they have set up their work spaces and the materials they have tried out. I’ve found this to be a very valuable insight and have made notes of particular points worth remembering.
I”ve also been working on the reading list and obtained several of the books, either purchased or from the library. I’m still awaiting the arrival of a couple. The Printmaking Handbook by Jane Stobart is extremely good and she makes the process easy to understand. The monotype section is well written, demonstrates three methods of printing and explains a simple registration technique. There are quite a few finished monoprint works scattered throughout the pages. Good to see some quality outcomes whilst learning the process.
Another of the books I’m looking at, by Judy Martin, covers a wide range of printing techniques and goes into some detail about each. Most of these I haven’t heard of, or I know the names but not exactly what they are. Using a sunflower as the subject, a double page spread shows the results of printing the flower in each of the techniques covered. These include etching, collage print, mezzotint, wood engraving, monoprint, woodcut, drypoint, linocut, lithography and screenprint. This gives an excellent overview of the type of visual outcome you can expect from each discipline. The book is full of images, from materials through step-by-step instructions and how-to’s, ending up with the finished pieces. It is full to the brim with ideas and artists artworks. The final section is entitled THEMES and covers the following topics:
- Line and tone
- Graphic impact
- Pattern and texture
- Mood and atmosphere
This publication, whilst only on the recommended reading list and not essential, I’m finding extremely useful and have decided to add it to my purchases as I currently have it on loan from the library.
As a result of my research over the last few days I have now made my first monotype registration template. Sorry, the photo shows the scan of white paper sitting on a white background, but the idea should be able to be appreciated.
I took an A3 sheet and marked the centre lines. I placed an A4 sheet exactly in the middle and marked the corners. I then drew the outer black lines, end to end, through the corner marks to show where the A4 sheet will sit when printing. I decided on an unprinted clean border of 1″ top and sides and 1 1/2″ at the base and drew these lines in red. These are the lines that my resist will sit against when printing so the ink won’t touch the paper. I’ve left a larger margin at the base to allow space for making notes on paper type and technique or whatever else I decide at the time.
My printing paper will be marked with short pencil lines along each edge, half way between the ends, so that when I lie it down on top of my template the cross lines will match up and theoretically give me an exact registration each time – fingers crossed at this stage. This should become much clearer once I start and photograph it.
The template will, obviously, sit beneath my glass printing plate. The plate will be inked up, ensuring I can still see at least the base line and corners of the A4 markings so I know where to align the paper. As it flops into place the side markings should match the central horizontal line on the template. That’s the idea anyway. Now let’s see if it works.
Time to start printing.