Speed Up Your Art Process with Monoprinting

Monoprinting is one of favorite ways to get paint and pattern on a substrate. With just a small investment in materials, you can create endless unique backgrounds, designs, and color combinations.

gelatin monprints by jodi ohl
Jodi Ohl used gelatin monoprints for these "creative blocks."

Because every monoprint is unique, you can guarantee that your prints will have a look no one can duplicate, even if they use the same process.

Today, I'm sharing Jodi Ohl's process for gelatin printing on paper using a Gelli ArtsTM printing plate, from the March/April 2013 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors magazine. Jodi almost always favors strong, juicy colors; imagine how these papers would look with more muted tones, pastels, or metallics.

Printing papers
By Jodi Ohl

1. Set up your workspace. My work surface was about three times the size of the gel plate.

2. Mix a small amount of paint with the Golden® Open Medium  on the palette.

3. Place the gel plate on the work surface, add a small amount of the paint mixture to the plate, and roll the paint out with the brayer so it covers the entire surface of the plate. If you like, use the brayer to mix in another color. There are many ways to create prints so use this time to discover what works best for you.

4. Lay a stencil(s), sequin waste, string, or other item on the plate (Figure 1 and 2) and place a piece of drawing paper over it. Rub your hands over the surface of the paper without moving the paper to make the print.

gelatin monoprinting
Jodi lays the groundwork for her
textured monoprints.

5. Lift the paper to reveal the print. Remove the stencil(s) and you should have enough paint to do another print with the paint that remains on the plate.

Tip: When you change paint colors or want to change the designs, wipe down the plate and the brayer with a soft wet cloth with a tiny bit of soap.

6. Continue to layer the papers with additional colors and prints/designs until you have a composition that is pleasing. Note: If you use paper that is larger than the plate and you want the entire page full of color, you can always paint the edges later or add prints to the edges.

Spend an hour or so making these monprints and you'll have plenty of backgrounds and pages to cut up for collage work.

I've had a sneak peek at the articles to appear in the next few issues of Cloth Paper Scissors, and can assure you that there will be printing, monoprinting, and stamping techniques (along with many others) you will not want to miss. If you're not already a subscriber–or you have a friend who would benefit from the inspiration and techniques in Cloth Paper Scissors magazine–now is the time to sign up.

P.S. Have you done gelatin monoprinting? Did you make your own gelatin plate or use one from Gelli Arts? Which do you prefer and why? Leave a comment below.

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Blog, Printmaking

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