Category Archives: Project 4: Textured and combination monoprints

Project 4 :Variations using masks and multi-colours

Further experimentation adding colour and using masks to develop prints: 

I used the additional prints carried out earlier as the base for printing successive layers using a variety of techniques, including: impressed texture, backdrawing and masking. Using a small sketch of the view from the studio window, I attempted to recreate the image using print.

I used tracing paper, I created a number of masks to add additional colour to emphasise the house gable end and the trees. I dropped water on the printing plate to vary the texture in the foreground, which added interest by was difficult for me to control.

I then covered all areas except the sky to allow me to balance the colour composition of the prints as some areas were too pale.

On some prints, I used backdrawing and imprinting with corrugated cardboard to build up the form of the houses.

Landscapes produced from layered colour ask and impressed techniques 


I really enjoyed using these techniques. However I did find it difficult to create fine detail. However, the effects created by the printing process really added to the visual interest of the prints. For this reason, it was even more important to thoroughly plan the pieces as well as possible before starting printing.

Wome of the prints are quite well registered, but the addition of masks seemed to make this more difficult to achieve due to slippage of the sides of the masks. I tried taping these down with masking tape but ther was still some dragging across the print.


Project 4:textured abstract with back drawing

The subject matter for this project was inspired by some diagrams drawn by my dad demonstrating the effect of momentum on collisions. I found this after his recent death and wanted to explore how I could incorporate them into a visual arts project.

I explored a number of ways of using the spherical imaged within the context of a print, exploring a number of different compositions within my sketchbook. A number of colour options were also explored. Initially I was keen to create strong visual impact by using strongly contrasting colours. As the project progressed, I used more subdued colours which seemed to work well for the subject material.


Figure 1:  Inspiration for abstract print with back drawn symbols



                   Figure 2: masked and textured monoprints from momentum studies

For the initial print, the plate was inked up using violet, with pre-prepared masks cut in 3 different sizes used to protect the circular areas. The negative mask was later used to enable printing with yellow. The White of the paper was allowed to show around the middle circle. The next print was made using the ghost print, varying the colours used on the circles and applying direction arrows using back drawing and black ink. I also experimented with inking over the masks directly. Texture was created I a purple inked plate using bubble wrap imprinted onto the plate directly. Circles were then added using black ink and backdrawing.

Finally a collage was created using the resulting masks and left over rollers ink.


I felt that the initial yellow and purple print was the most successful of the batch of prints, having the greatest colour impact. However, I liked the collage which brought together all of the colours I had used. I think the project was moderately successful but would definitely have benefitted from more careful planning and more experimentation before reaching a final print.

Project 4: Textured and combination monoprints

Life Drawing with Successive Monoprints

For this exercise, I chose to print from a life drawing which I prepared ahead of making my print. I selected a male model in a seated pose and made 2 preparatory studies, the second of which I drew in charcoal at the scale I wanted to print.

The figure was placed centrally, occupying the picture plane with minimal background detail to allow for the addition of  texture within the print without confusing the image.

I placed the drawn charcoal image beneath the printing plate, which was inked thinly to allow me to see the image through the glass. For this, brown was mixed using yellow, red and blue. I then painted the main lines of the figure on the plate in black ink while the thin layer was wet and then printed my first image.

The image of the figure was clear but the surrounding background colour was too pale.

I then reinked on top of the existing print, adding more ink over the whole plate and printed again, experimenting with scratching into the base colour around the figure to refine the image of the figure.

As I became more confident, I tried adding more tome onto the figure by painting the figure itself using a variety of brushes and again scratching into the Figure and the background to produce texture.

I really enjoyed this exercise as I experimented with the technique and feel that it offered real potential for experimenting with figure drawing. The resulting images were less detailed than my original drawing but gained a naive quality which added interest and vulnerability to the image.

Prints were made on smooth and rough papers, the rough paper producing interesting texture and more detail than I had expected.

Masked monoprints with texture


For this print I wanted to explore the potential for using dendritic monoprinting combined with masking to create a landscape inspired by the Chinese landscape painter Fu Baoshi, in particular, the painting Mountains in Sichuan, in which successive mountain ridges receded high above the flat terrain in the foreground. I attempted to recreate this scene initially using torn paper and then moved on to creating masks.

I printed the lightest base colour initially and gradually added several masked layers using both positive and negative masking to create the mountain range.

I found that moving the mask to create a small ridge of white from the paper worked well and explored a number of different ways of working with the masks. The final print involved creating the dendritic forms using a glass and a plastic plate which were inked up and pulled gently apart. These were then printed into the lower part of the plate.
I mixed a brown gray using blue and orange and added some purple remaking from the masking process.

The biggest challenge was controlling the amount of spread of the printing ink on the paper to avoid covering features of the print which I wanted to keep.

I took several prints from the plate and really liked the variations created by the process.

overall I was pleased with the results but struggled to keep the paper clean throughout the printing process.