Q: Can you see further possibilities from combining two printmaking methods?
A: Unquestionably. I think I’ve only scratched the surface of what can be achieved by combining techniques.
The design I chose as the lino print has a lot of complex line work supporting the focal image which meant that I had to be very careful what I placed underneath it. Had I used much in the way of reduction monoprinting (i.e. taking away selected inked areas) I believe the impact would have been lost. So in this case the monoprinting techniques used were minimal – rolling, large and small brushwork and cotton bud softening of additional colours
The monoprint has worked extremely well to support the linocut without becoming overwhelming. As my progress with this project evolved the imagery became increasingly subtle, less busy and much more refined. By masking specific areas I eliminated the colour from within the horses which encouraged them to leap forward and remain the very dominant element.
In this work the monoprint has worked to push the strength of the linocut. This is shown by the fact that the linocut can be printed as a stand alone and is still visually active and interesting, but the monoprint cannot. The coloured print has no defining focal point, no technical stand-out that grabs the viewer when it is solitary. Hence my description of it as a support for the main design.
Is there anything wrong with that? No. I see the process as one where the techniques used should be enhancing each other and unifying the finished print. I’m satisfied that I’ve achieved that here.
Of course there will be other occasions where the scope to form a more involved monoprint is more appropriate, perhaps in a more abstract composition. However, today as I look at the prints sitting in front of me I’m very pleased with the entire process I followed to get to this point. I was aiming for movement, vibrancy, the feeling of fun, music and lights as the carousel turns and I’ve achieved those with the full-scale imagery, the light selective carving on the foamex monoprint base and the addition of smaller carved areas showing the partial post and layered flowers. My tutor has previously commented on my preference to mix tertiary and reduced intensity colours so this has been a fantastic opportunity to bring out the bright primaries and secondaries – and they’ve worked a treat.