Monotype: Details in Brush Work

I worked on the second to last vertical monotype in this series, so just one more to go. I actually resurrected an old composition from another plate that had previously crashed and burned in the printing process. It’s always interesting to do another version of the same composition, especially since it’s been several weeks since I did this composition. Sometimes I hate bringing back an old composition because it has the potential to feel like you’re simply repeating yourself. I find that if you take the same idea but approach it without trying to “recreate” the original image it’s actually a terrific exercise to put yourself through. I also find it really good to take a step back and see how much my brush technique has changed since then. Specifically, I think that the brush work is now more fluid and more controlled. Looking at the older plate now, I see that the space falls apart in many areas due to lack of movement and relationship between the brush strokes.

I’ve been trying to make a more deliberate effort to step up the smallest, most detailed brush strokes in these monotypes. These monotypes have always had a range of strokes, but I’m striving to expand that range as much as possible. I’ve been working on creating a wider range of very thin, wispy brush strokes as a contrast against the large, heavy handed, more dominant brush strokes which determine the composition. The thin brush strokes are in many ways more challenging for me than the large brush strokes: I use a very small watercolor brush which doesn’t have the same substance and versatility that the large brush has. Physically, they’re capable of a lot less variety in terms of mark making, and so I have to really push for diversity in my strokes.

Unprinted Plexiglass Plate

The unprinted plexiglass plate from today.

Unprinted Plate

An older plate, featuring a similar composition.

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