Monoprinting Techniques: The More the Merrier

Architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe famously said, “Less is more.”

Well, he might know about chairs and buildings, but Mies van der Rohe was no mixed-media artist. In my art book, more is almost always more. Particularly when it comes to layers and monoprinting techniques.

By layering monoprints using different techniques, you can achieve depth, interest, movement, and harmony.

Take, for example, this acrylic and mixed media piece by community contributor “studio cat.”

monoprinting techniques solstice butterfly
“Solstice Butterfly” by studio cat, posted
on the gallery.


This work is acrylic paint, textured by monoprint methods and brayer painting directly on canvas. The repeated organic and floral elements in different colors and in different places on the piece move the eye around and give the impression that the butterfly is floating and flitting around the canvas.

According to the artist of this “Peacock Print,” the piece began with a monoprint made by painting a piece of Plexiglas with ink and running it through the press once.

monoprinting techniques peacock print
“Peacock Print” by The Peculiar Palette,  posted 
on the gallery.

“I then applied black ink to a clean piece of Plexiglas to create detail marks with a rubber stamps and a paintbrush and ran it through the press a second time. After it dried, I added accents with a white paint pen. I cut out the peacock and adhered it to a collaged background using heavy gel medium. The collage was made from various decorative tissue papers and Lumiere and Golden acrylic paints on a Reeves canvas board.”

Here again, the layers and repeated motifs contribute to the rich look of this artwork.

Mixed-media artist Margaret Applin is all about printing and layering with a variety of techniques. She using screen printing techniques, stamping, and monoprinting to create visually compelling works.

monoprinting techniques bee orange margaret applin
“Bee Orange” by Margaret Applin.

In this piece, she layers the stark black motifs over previous layers in pale colors. The undulating shapes of color lend softness to the black images.

See? More is more.

The next time you’re working on a mixed-media painting or collage, consider layering monoprints, stamping, screen prints, etc. Need help with techniques? Margaret demonstrates a ton of them on her Cloth Paper Scissors Workshop video, Paint, Print, Layer Collage

P.S. Do you think less is more or more is more? Leave your comment below?


Blog, Printmaking


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.