Monoprinting: Linear Containment – Stage 1 & 2

My theme for this project is ‘Linear Containment’ and my start point is a simple triangle.  These monoprints are being formed in layers using multiple masks.

The aim is:

  • to achieve crisp, sharp objects with some overlapping
  • an ordered visual outcome
  • to produce images that evoke emptiness, hollowness, no life
  • to establish a sense of confined spaces, but without specific explanation
  • to create an outcome for viewer interpretation


Unfortunately I’m not always the best at recording my creative journey and often spend time mulling ideas over while out walking the dog, then record only a fraction of my ideas before moving to experimentation.

I really should have cut out cardboard and moved things around, tried colour schemes and so on, but instead I went to Photoshop and played with moving the components there.  Much quicker but possibly not as satisfying.

I chose to use the lower image above to start with.  Ultramarine blue and 2 different yellows were picked, hoping I would get a good green mix on the second print run.

What a shocker!!!!  Disgusting.  First sample (left) super heavy, dull and deserves the bin.  Second sample I used 50% translucent medium in the blue, pressed with tissue to remove additional ink and printed twice, once with a mask over the main larger shape and once without.  OK, moving on ……..  Don’t have time to mix up a new colour batch so let’s see if I can improve it a little at least.

OK the feature triangles are better with the multi-colour (rainbow) roll and as my mask is quite a thick plastic I’m getting the slight white halo around them as I wanted.  So one thing has worked, but the blue and yellow mix on the large shape is truly awful and the random patterned background also isn’t what I’m after.  It’s taken away from my ‘sharp, crisp image’ aim of the project.

Note to self: I detest blue at the best of times so why persist with trying to achieve a satisfactory outcome with something I  don’t see working clearly in my head?  Let’s go back to a colour scheme I love instead.


A new day, a new colour palette, another view on ‘Linear Containment’.

GREAT colour scheme!  More earthy.  Huge improvement in colour, placement and linear dynamics.  Today I’ll continue working on the background patterning covering around 2/3rds of the print plate.
300gsm Hahnemuhle, 3 sets of masks + corrugations, 2 x through the print press, solid colours.

A little bottom heavy, not such a good directional pull (to my eye).  May look better rotated.

I prefer the first sample in this stage.

300gsm Hahnemuhle, 3 sets of masks + corrugations, 2 x through the print press.

Colour was applied roughly to main green feature using small roller to obtain uneven coverage.  Colour added to smaller triangle which remained clear in the first sample.

Final print for this stage.  An additional layer in this print to achieve the ‘ghost’ sections.
250gsm BFK Reeves, 3 sets of masks + corrugations, 3 x through the print press.  Unfortunately one of the masks tore slightly, which is very evident.

Now let’s put these (and new) ideas in a virtual container, shake them up and see what falls out for stage 3, and beyond.


About Claire B

I am a passionate printmaker, paper maker and book artist. I'm a 'forever' student and frequently attend courses and workshops to extend and improve my creative skills.
This entry was posted in My Creative Pieces, My prints and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Monoprinting: Linear Containment – Stage 1 & 2

  1. nolaarcher says:

    Interesting process! And lots of possibilities.
    One thought that leapt out to me was the possibility of using shading to suggest transparency or partial transparency. I liked the multi-coloured shading but found the corrugated area too intrusive. It does add some background interest but takes the eye away from the triangle shapes and how they interact.
    Looking forward to seeing the next experiments with this!

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