I started to experiment by just doing a spontaneous drawing on the back of a paper on my printing plate. I started off with back paint as a vase and a layer of yellow on top. Drawing on the paper with a sharp pen acts like I am etching. The pen creates an indentation on the paper that translates on the paint.
Above: this was only a tester sample to see how this technique works. As a tester sample it has worked well. The black lines are clear against the yellow.
I continued experimenting, this time drawing on the back of an old sketch of my children that I did for ideas & processes. This technique is good as I can choose what lines I want to outline and leave the ones I am not interested in.
Above: I do the same this time using a self portrait (fibro&me,also a previous drawing from ideas & processes). I randomly rolled some yellow paint on the white paper so it became patchy. The outline of my face is white as I hadn’t apllied a layer of black. This image almost looks like I applied gold leaf on my image. It is a different effect than the one before which interest me.
Above: A drawing of a pregnant fairy. I wanted to see how I could change this drawing and transform it. I used white paint on black paper and on a glass plate. Because I used a thick amount of paint on glass I noticed that the paint produces some ridges which I find really interesting. They give an interesting texture to my fairy. I could see this image made into a lace panel.
I left the remaining paint on the plate and added a small layer of yellow and used a black piece of paper to draw on top. The image has become more defined as if I drew it with a black pen. There is still some textured pattern but this has become more subtle.
I find it very exiting how a image can change from one print to the other achieving different effects.
I continued experimenting this time with another drawing that I made previously.
I wanted to see how I can translate a face with this technique. Can I record small detail like eye lashes?. I started off with applying black paint on my printing plate and blobs of red and yellow paint in selected areas. I then placed my paper and started drawing on top of it on another piece of paper. I was careful only to apply pressure to the areas I wanted to be more defined. I have learnt that manipulating the pressure of my pen, hand or whatever tools I choose to use is just as important as the tools and media I use. The pressure that I use will determine the quality and thickness of my line.
I am secretly impressed on the outcome of this print. I was surprised that I could record small detail and thin lines. Luckily I recorded this sample on a photo as in my attempt to develop the image and add more layers I ruined it. That is the downside of monoprinting I am making one off prints so there is no way of replicating them exactly the same. So in the future I will always take a picture so that I can add to and edit it without ruining the real thing (note to self)
Below is the ghost print of the one above. I have learnt that a ghost print is the one that you do with the left over paint on the plate. I often prefer the ghost prints as they are not so defined. I am pleased with the monochrome effect of this image and the added splashing of red with a small hint of yellow.
I got addicted and continued to investigate the “splashing of colour’ adding orange and yellow. In my opinion the originals are always best. I have the habit of continuing to develop an image and the results can be more of the same, clouding my judgement. This is when my tutors advice is on point and I hear her words ringing in my ears ‘make less’ ‘refine your ideas’ but yet I cant help myself and I continue listening to the voice inside me telling me ‘what if you are missing out on a better outcome?’ How far do I take it and when do I give up?
I am afraid I cant answer that question yet.
At this point I am happy that I listened to my inquisitive almost obsessive habit of continuing to push an idea until sometimes I ruin it. I took my images and layered them on photoshop and heightened the colours. I really enjoy the outcome. I layered my favourite image from exercise one and my favourite print from this exercise and it resulted in something interesting. The qualities that I like from each print became forefront featurers of a new print. The veins of the ivy above the right eye. The marks of the glass cup and of course the back drawing of my face has made this image very appealing to me. It is with this image that I really learnt the possibilities that monoprinting afford me. I am exited by building on the foundations of monoprinting. There is so much more that I need to learn and practice.
I continued layering images exploring outcomes not all of them successful. That’s ok though as I learnt so much.
Above: Too loud! Overdone. Colours are to brushed?
Umm, to many lines missing not as interesting as the ones above.
Above: I photocopied one of the images I previously made and then I added some green and brown paint on my plate and drew with a sharp stick on top of the paint. Combining all of the techniques I have learnt so far, this gives me even more layers and added texture. I wonder if this image has become to brown. The colours are not the bright usual ones that I use. This can sometimes be an advantage but I am not sure it worked this time.
above, I combined all of the techniques I learnt so far. I drew on the plate and then I did I back drawing. I also mixed Indian inks onto the plate with block paints. This was interesting because the Indian paint is thin and fluid so it created drips and moved . The block paint stayed and became a barrier for the Indian ink.
So far back drawing has been my favourite technique for monoprinting as I have been able to create a varied body of work with so many different effects.
I carried on experimenting with CAD, editing some of my images heightening the colours and repeating the patterns and explored the idea of making it into a simple (in shape) dress just to imagine how my print translates onto fabric. I do realise this is a bit premature but it helps me understand why I am experimenting with these techniques and the possibilities they provide me. I personally like this dress and is something I would of worn when I was younger. I realise that it is probably very bold for most people and probably very psychedelic. The colour scheme is very different to what I usually use but I think this time they are successful. The image above has the fluidity of the Indian ink with the richness of marks that I researched previously. It is a culmination of all of my research and for that reason alone I think it is successful.
Just when I think I have finished I experiment a little bit more. This time by printing my monoprint on lace.
It is not the usual choice of material to transfers my print on to but I was curious of what the outcome would be. It is interesting as it is only when you stretch the fabric out and you place a white background that you are able to appreciate the drawing.
It could be used as a scarf. Although I think the effect of the fabric draping is a success even if you are only able to see the splashing’s of colour. The truth is that the lace is very scratchy so it wouldn’t work well as a scarf.
With a lining underneath it would work well as a kimono.
Below: Another print on lace. This one being a bit more understated.