Monotype: Printing Techniques and Process

It looks like my patience with a longer dry time was definitely worth it.  The trickiest part of the printing process this time around was the fact that the plexiglass sheet I was using is nearly the same size as my press bed since I’m printing at home on my tiny press. So unfortunately, to run the entire print through I have to start at the very edge of the press bed and roll it all the way out to capture the entire image. It’s a little bit of a hassle, because it means I have to assemble the plate, paper, newsprint, and blankets on the press bed in advance, and reset the press pressure every time I print.

I was surprised at how much control I was able to get over the ink in the image. I had tried this monotype technique two other times when I was working on the Waiting Series, and the major issue I had was that I never really felt that I could control enough of the ink to get the results I was looking for. This time around it was completely different; I was able to take advantage of some of the more unpredictable parts of the technique while also managing to achieve areas where I was in complete control of the results. Allowing the plate 3 days to dry also prevented any thick areas of ink to blot and bleed in areas I didn’t want it to, so from here on I’ll keep that dry time as part of the process.

Already I can see the advantages to this technique: it’s able to replicate many visual effects that are usually seen in ink wash drawings, and yet at the same time there’s a quality to the way the ink hits and dries on the surface of the plexiglass that is completely unique.

I’m also excited about the long rectangle shape of the plexiglass. I had hesitations about it because I was concerned that it would be too limiting in terms of how I could manipulate and present space in the drawings. However, I like that the long rectangle references the length of scrolls in Chinese painting, as well as the idea of a landscape. I already have a thought to do some prints using a very tall rectangle, depicting a single figure with an extremely long reflection. It could be a good way to exaggerate the length of the reflection in the water.

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