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Mono Printing

Mono printing is a process in which printing plates are used in combination with oil-based or water-based or paint for creating individual prints. A mono print is unique and it is a single print, thus to create another image, we need to re-ink the plate and recreate the image . It is well suited to mixed media techniques. This method of printing is named as mono printing because it is the single image (mono) done at a time and then transferred to paper by press or hand pressure. The origin of mono prints can be traced from the early stages.

A Dutch painter Hercules Seghers (1589-1638) has experimented printing in color on linen and papers . His prints were different and impressions vary from image to image. There are two important ways to do mono printing. They are additive and subtractive ways of printing. With the additive method, while creating the image, we can add paint to the printing plate just as we do in canvas. In this method, we can add the color until we are satisfied. To create an image using subtractive method, color should be added to the plate at once in blocks. After that, using different tools we can take away the color as required.

For both these methods, a piece of plexiglass can be use as a printing plate. Either oil-based or water soluble paints and ink can be used with these methods. The technique of additive method is that the image can be created freehand or we can apply a drawing or an outline under the plate and can be used as a guide to apply color. We can use traditional gouache, watercolor paint, water soluble crayons or water color pencils in this method. The techniques for oil-based mono printing are same as that of the canvas painting. While using water-soluble materials as they dry very speedily, we have less time to work on the image.

But in oil based printing, it takes more time to dry and we have more open time to work on the image. The archival stability of oil paints and paper is very important. Burnt and stand plate oils are preferred for oil painting mediums. Linseed oil has acid condition and when this medium is used, the paper might get damaged. So this medium is not recommended. To speed up the drying time of oils, odorless mineral spirits are used. This method is mostly preferred as the oil paints dry without having the oil from mediums and it helps the paints to bloom on the page.

After applying colors on the printing plate, to print the image on the particular area of the paper, registration is necessary. Registration is compulsory when multiple plates are used for printing. To transfer the image on to the print making paper, we need to prepare the print making paper before hand. Print making paper is best for mono printing. Mono printing and mono typing have similar features when compared to each other. Both techniques involve transfer of ink from a plate to the canvas, paper or any other surface.

Mono typing has a featureless plate but mono printing is made from the plates which have permanent features on them. Many well-known artists have used mono prints. Some of them are Tracy Emin, Georg Baselitz and Degas. Rembrandt has used etchings with individual manipulation of ink as surface tone. These are rarely classified as mono prints. Among the print making techniques, Mono prints are considered to be the most painterly method . With the characteristic feature of this method that the no two prints are identical, this method is really beautiful with the combination of painting, printmaking and drawing media.

There are many techniques of mono printing. Some of them are hand-painted additions, tracing form in which think ink is laid on the table and paper is placed on the top, transferring ink on to the paper. Mono prints can be used for tracing images like photographs and logos; the image can be photocopied and transferred to the blank sheet to create a mono print for further study of the image. Mono prints are different for each image and no two images are same. Mono prints can be made by altering color, type and by altering the pressure of the ink, different prints can be created.

Mono prints can be made of standard printmaking techniques which include woodcut, lithography and etching. It’s an ancient process of printing where everyone enjoy making the mono prints which are unique in its kind. REFERENCES 1. Shetland Wildlife and Landscapes. http://www. howardtowll. com/section101960_25573. html 2. A Brief History of Monotypes, 2003. http://www. foldingimpressions. com/html/body_history_of_monotype. html 3. What are Mono prints and Mono Types, 2007 http://www. monoprints. com/info/monoprints. html

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