Creating Monotype and Monoprint work is an exciting way to explore image development. In art school, my focus was painting and printmaking - and doing Monotype/Monoprint work encompasses both and combines them together.
Here's a very short, and silent, video showing the making of an oil-stick monoprint. See the gallery below.
While I do have to start with "something," often it begins with selecting the paper or other surface; having a sense of the materials I want to use to start the piece and then developing a relationship with the surface and the work specifically. A theme or concept is often not the place I start. Frequently this part of the process evolves during the process as I see the transformations that take place as the work progresses. Among the materials I am inspired to work with are a solid plate (inking surface) of some kind, among which are gelatin plate (home made, usually, and having a very limited "physical life-span," stencils on a variety of materials, linoleum block cut, wood block/woodcut, and more.
As with my methods of working in other media, it's an emerging process. I like to think of the processes of Montotype, Monoprint, and even Mixed Media as generational. For example, typically a Monotype will begin with an original, physical print of some sort, using material like oil-sticks or soy-based ink, and possibly develop from there, including physical media like pastels, colored pencil and more - and even occasionally digital inclusion. Inspiration continues with the process.
Shown below are series' of works arranged by medium, method, and content/approach. Each has its own unique qualities. Oil-stick Monotype with soy based ink Solar Plate Tropical Bamboo Gelatin Plate Katazome Linoleum and Woodblock Click each individual image in each series gallery for a full size view.
Solar Plate Series This uniquely non-toxic, plate-based printmaking process uses light as the etching method. The metal plate is coated with light-sensitive material, that receives and processes the prepared image. These prints are created with non-toxic, soy-based inks that clean up with water! Solar plate etching prints are created using an entirely non-toxic, multiple-process method of creating images on a metal plate, inking/wiping the plate in various ways using single or multiple colors of soy-based inks, then printing each one by different methods as needed. Enjoy!
Tropical Bamboo Series Starting with my original hand-cut stencil. Color modifications added.
Katazome Series Katazome is a technique used by traditional kimono-design artists in Japan.* This is a description of how this series began. Then my own processes took over. * A note about the traditional process: The design starts with an original stencil cut on Mulberry bark paper. Traditionally, the open areas are where the resist material goes an then the stencil is removed from the fabric. When the resist material (tradionally rice paste resists) is dry, the dye colors are applied. Finally, the dried resist material is removed and the dyed, painted silk panels made into kimonos.