Project 2: Positive and Negative Masked Monoprints

Masked Monoprints using 2 colours:


The biggest challenge with this exercise was definitely achieving accurate registration.

After a few failed attempts to registder properly, where the orientation of the positive mask was the biggest problem I tried to work out a method whih allowed me to line up the masks consistently on the paper before printing.

To get to grips with registering the prints, I realised that it was important to make markings which identified the vertical and horizontal axes of the plate and the masks, both positive and negative. First, I marked out the outline of the intended paper using an additional sheet which would be placed beneath the printing plate. The plate itself was outlined in pencil on this sheet.

Vertical and horizontal references were made across the assembled positive and negative masks so that they could be reassembled accurately later.

A few further mistakes later, I realised that I had to add a reminder showing the top and bottom of the plate and printing paper to avoid printing upside down which happened on 2 occasions!

Stretching of the negative mask led to misalignment of the prints. I think the problem was complicated by the fact that the image extended to the edges of the paper. A simpler design might have been easier to begin with. An acetate stencil might have proved more effective and survived multiple printing efforts.

Shere Khan
Shere Khan: Masked monoprints usinf 2 colours;


Shere Khan: Masked monoprint with colours reversed


Shere Khan: Ghost print



Shere Khan: masked monoprint using 2 colours – final print upside down



Positive and negative masked monoprints

Negative print using positive mask:

I found using the positive mask easier as the process seemed more intuitive. Placing the mask was simpler as it was easier to handle.

My first print was again too pale as I did not use enough ink and think I did not spend enogh time burnishing the print to ensure the ink transferred properly from the plate.

Shere Khan
Shere Khan: Negative print using positive mask: 1


Shere Khan
Shere Khan: Negative print using positive mask: 2


Shere Khan : Ghost print



Positive and negative masked monoprints

Shere Khan 1
Shere Khan 1: Positive print using negative mask
Shere Khan 2
Shere Khan 2: Positive print using negative mask


Shere Khan:Ghost print

Positive prints made with negative mask using one colour:

I prepared a mask from the sketches I had made of Shere Khan  at the recent OCA Study Day visit to the exhibition Modern Scottish Women: Painters and Sculptors.

My original drawing was enlarged to fit the printing plate. Initially I found the mask difficult to handle as I was attempting to place it on the plate. It was difficult to keep the detail of the tiger’s face intact in the mask and I found that it tended to stretch on the plate and was prone to tearing.

My first attempt at taking a print led to a very pale print and it was clear that I had not used enough printing ink. I reinked the plate, increasing the amount of ink used and obtained a much better result. Finally a ghost print was taken following removal of the mask. This produced a strong image despite some loss of detail.