The Monoprint Printmaking Process

There are many different ways to produce a monoprint. it is a quick, spontaneous and beautiful method of printmaking. One of the ways I monoprint is to roll out a thin layer of ink using a roller onto a smooth cleanable surface, such as perspex or glass. I work on an area that is bigger than the paper that is being used. I start the monoprint by placing a piece of paper onto the inked surface and using pencils or pens draw an image onto the paper taking care not to lean on the paper, as this will lift the ink from inked surface and go onto the paper.

ginger cat monoprint printmaking process

If you have a very specific image in mind some times it's a good idea to draw that on to the paper first, then place it on the inked surface and go over the drawing. Using a finger to rub in certain areas will create darker tones on the monoprint.


Another way of monoprinting can be achieved by using a piece of sheet plastic or aluminium cut to the appropriate size. Ink may be applied to these surfaces using a roller, then marks can be made in ink or ink can be wiped away to create the desired effect. When ready the plate can be placed on an etching press ink side up and then place the prepared paper over the top ready for printing. Stencils can be used on the plate inked in different colours to create a multi layered image.

owl monoprint printmaking process
bat monoprint printmaking process

I have been experimenting with another way of monoprinting where I cut animal shapes out of thin cardboard. I cut areas out of the card and these do not retain ink so therefore remain white. This allows for details like eyes and mouths, or just more contrast to the over all appearance of the finished print. White areas on the print can also be hand coloured once the print is dry. I roll over the cardboard using a roller with the chosen colour of ink and then wipe away areas to create more contrast on the finished print. This technique can be seen with the Owl and Bat prints.