Art, MMT - Part 4 - Mono and collatype printing, MMT - Pt4 - Pj1 - Ex4 - Working with stencils, MMT - Pt4 - Project 1 - Monoprinting, Textiles 1 - Mixed Media for Textiles

MMT – Pt4 – Pj1 – Ex4 – Working with stencils

This was my most successful foray into print making, I had already found my self adding items to printing plates to act as resists and I love the drama created by having pronounced negative spaces.

The majority of the prints I made for this exercise were done on the Japanese calligraphy paper with the contrasting sides. The paper is called Hanshi and is made from mulberry pulp, it’s not the cheapest, I’d forgotten that because I’d had it such a long time, replacing it might have to wait!

Having 2 sides with different absorbency qualities was an advantage, it also becomes transparent without ripping too easily, this had the added delight of allowing you to see the print as it was developing in front of your eyes.

Wanting to develop more interesting compositions I experimented with some fabric.

At this stage my brain was hurting; I was building very interesting paint plates but that wasn’t always translating well into print.

Overlaps and lace quickly lost the complex texture and details. The prints looked like they were base layers not completed compositions. I was learning that selection and placement was important and had to be viewed as as a means to an end not as an artistic, aesthetic artwork in its own right.

The answer? Press harder!

Or, add more layers.

Now I was getting somewhere, I was able to print light over dark.

And then really mix up the stencils to create large resist areas for the quiet and small areas of intense detail for the noise to create more dynamic compositions.

I even had a play with printing on fabric and the dried out wet wipes that I’d used to clean the printing plate, they just love to be printed on.

At this stage I went back and had another look at Making Your Mark a book by Claire Benn and Leslie Morgan, they are textile artists and when printing they use thickened dye. I’ve had some Jacquard dye thickener hanging around for ages (was this yours Anne?) and I thought now might be a good time to use it. I mixed up some black procion dye and used it for a top layer which looked like this.

But before the black layer I added a red and yellow layer and in one case I did some back drawing.

The process was quite frenzied, I have a tendency to work like this when a process really grabs me. I used blank sheets, pre-printed and dried sheets, wet wipes but not fabric which I now wish I had.

My sketchbook page doesn’t really express how much I enjoyed this printing session.

I really love these specific prints that came out of this session, they have a fractal quality, not in the tessellating way but in the way that clouds, trees and the works of Jackson Pollack are similar when viewed in their entirety or up close in detail.

They could be abstract landscapes or autumn leaves captured in puddles.

Art, MMT - Part 4 - Mono and collatype printing, MMT - Pt4 - Pj1 - Ex3 - Back Drawing, MMT - Pt4 - Project 1 - Monoprinting, Textiles 1 - Mixed Media for Textiles

MMT – Pt4 – Pj1 – Ex3 – Back Drawing

I’d watched quite a few videos on making back drawing prints and was quite looking forward to this exercise.

I was growing more confident and start to experiment with different mediums, like Brusho and surfaces.

I used a magazine photograph to ‘trace’ this image of a highland cattle. And then some interesting rooftops.

It’s not best practise to use someone else’s images in your work and with this part of MMT I wanted to take heed of my tutor’s advice and to dip in and out of research during my creative process, not just at the start.

So, I took a deep breath and looked at a copy of Cloth Paper Scissors for some inspiration on drawing.

There were 2 good articles, one by Carla Sonheimand one by Carrie Bloomston.

Now things started to get interesting, I gave in and bought some new paint, the oil based printing ink was very expensive and I just couldn’t bear the idea of using terps so I bought some water based ink paint. It still has a strange smell but it does stay wetter for longer.

This was when I discovered a Japanese calligraphy paper that I’d bought a good while ago. It has a very smooth, not very absorbent side and a slightly rough and absorbent side. The paper often when almost translucent when printed and the image could be seen, with some interesting differences from both sides.

My prints were still coming out quite tight and not very expressive even when I made more deliberate circles.

I liked the circles so I continued with that theme but with a more loose hand, experimenting with both sides of the paper and varying amounts of paint.

The results have far more energy, the circles expand and contract across the page.

There was plenty of paint left on the plate so I was able to do some ‘negatives’ with the more absorbent side of the paper.

The technique also worked well when translated to fabric. I wasn’t so happy with my colour choice here, I don’t really know why the blue was so much better. Could it be because the pebble shapes and the blue create a seaside narrative?

Art, MMT - Part 4 - Mono and collatype printing, MMT - Pt4 - Pj1 - Ex2 - Drawing onto the printing plate, MMT - Pt4 - Project 1 - Monoprinting, Textiles 1 - Mixed Media for Textiles

MMT – Pt4 – Pj1 – Ex2 – Drawing onto the printing plate

This technique was tricky and labour intensive, it was also the first time I came across my nemesis The Reverse Print.

I started with high hopes and my love of Barbara Rae prints.

Things did not go well.

The paint didn’t lay on the glass properly.

It drove me mad and there was only one image that I’d actually painted in some kind of craze fuelled abstraction that I liked.

I even managed to get the building on the right side of the page. Don’t ask what the black blob is I don’t know!

But, I do like the energy created by the skewed perspective and the thick black lines next to the blocks of colour.

I didn’t give up but I did try using a different medium. I was using plain paper as a base at this stage.

I’m not one to give up or stop before I’ve had a good go at something so I experimented with some less landscapey images.

I was finding that the acrylic paint dried far too quickly and more liquid mediums like acrylic ink just mixed and became mucky

I have some screen printing ink which I had discounted because of it’s thick constitution but I decided to try it and change the plate surface too.

This is the practice on brown baking parchment.

I’m pleased with the final print. I like the boldness of the black and blue paint with the contrast of the white negative space. I added a couple of small circles to create conflict against the large sweep of the jug.

Art, MMT - Part 4 - Mono and collatype printing, MMT - Pt4 - Pj1 - Ex1 - Mark Making, MMT - Pt4 - Project 1 - Monoprinting, Textiles 1 - Mixed Media for Textiles

MMT – Pt4 – Pj1 – Ex1 – Mark Making

Print making is a messy old business and I really didn’t take to the damp pages that I made as a result of painstakingly adding paint to a glass plate. Now I wonder what is would have been like to have used a more textured surface like sanded plastic sheets.

I tried lots of patterning and found the tools that made larger, more defined marks and therefore more negative space worked best.

I was struggling at this point to make an image that I felt had a picture like quality. The prints were more like patterns.

Art, MMT - Part 4 - Mono and collatype printing, MMT - Pt4 - Pj1 - Ex1 - Mark Making, MMT - Pt4 - Project 1 - Monoprinting, Textiles 1 - Mixed Media for Textiles

MMT – Pt4 – Pj1 – Ex1 – Mark Making

This piece of glass appeared at just the right time for Monoprinting. It stays nice and firm on the table and it just the right size for mixing and printing.

I started off testing prints with acrylic paint, I don’t have any oil printing ink and I wanted to see if I could get away with not buying any more products.

Once I’d played and they had dried I recorded the outcomes in my sketchbook.

I wasn’t very happy with these prints but I did have more success with the colour yellow.

I then went on to make a series of yellow prints, I experimented with a strong colour contrast as the paper. The images were very soggy and I wasn’t that happy with them when they first came off the plate. Dried they are so much better, far more delicate and interesting.

At this point I decided that the acrylic was drying far too fast and I decided to try some oil paints that I have hidden away. I was very concerned about mess and the hassle of cleaning up so I also decided to experiment with different, disposable printing plate surfaces like clingfilm.

I also wanted to make more deliberate marks with the paint, less thin with scrapped areas and more dramatic application. The resulting prints have far more energy and are very abstract …. and they took flipping ages to dry!

I recorded the process in my sketchbook

This led onto making some more delicate prints using fabric paints. With these prints I left the textured plate to make the marks and I repeated the prints to create layers. I was able to manipulate the tin foil to change the base texture as I repeated the printing process.

Art, MMT - Part 4 - Mono and collatype printing, MMT - Pt4 - Project 1 - Monoprinting, MMT - Research, Textiles 1 - Mixed Media for Textiles

MMT – Project 1 – Monoprinting – Research


Pinterest : OCA – Monoprinting

I particularly like : Barbara Rae

Books (WordPress won’t allow me to add links to the books but they can all be found on Amazon)

Marking your Mark by Claire Benn & Leslie Morgan

Creative Printmaking – Rosemary Firth

Print Making – A Complete Guide to Materials and Processes – Beth Grabowski & Bill Fick

An absolute bible for printmaking, full of clean information and artist’s profiles.

This is a tricky assignment, it seems to focus on technique but what you print has to be interesting and meet at least some design principles!

I looked to:

Painting Abstracts by Rosina Van Vliet’s, and

Nicolas Wilton’s Art2Art videos.