I’m currently two weeks into a six week e-learning course called Make Monotypes with Linda Germain. Linda loads up a video and sets a task each day, and there is a closed Facebook group where we can share our results.
The first thing we did was to make a gelatine plate using a recipe from Linda. The plate is effectively a thin layer of jelly on which ink can be rolled using a brayer. The paper is simply placed on the inked plate and rubbed with your hand. No press is needed so its easy to do in your own kitchen.
We tried different masks and stencils, both natural and cut from different materials. Here are some of my prints:
The plate was inked with blue, various square and rectangular masks applied together with some string and thread and the paper printed. This was then repeated with yellow. This is called a shape print.
This is the corresponding detail print. After the shape print is made, the stencils etc. are removed carefully and another print is taken without reinking, just using ink that was underneath the stencils. With some exercises it’s the shape print which looks better, while other times it’s the detail print. Some times they can be mixed with a detail print being layered on top of a shape print. The possibilities seem endless on occasion.
I really liked the detail prints with the natural materials. Between the shape print and the lifting of the stencils/masks, you can carry out a ‘newspaper pick up’ which removes extra ink. This gives cleaner, higher contrast detail prints. This is what I did here. I called these prints ‘poorman’s etchings’.
This is a shape print using natural materials:
Here are three prints I did using a stencil I cut based on a drawing of leaves of our cheese plant.
And I’m only a third of the way through the course! More fun to come!