Sunday, June 7, 2009

Monoprint Experiments

So while I was tinkering with my woven-fabric collage I started playing with monoprints. These monoprints were made using Paula Grasdal's technique as described in the book, Mixed Media Collage by Holly Harrison. In Paula's technique you don't need a printing press (something I don't have) but you still get decent results.

I've posted a few of my experiments. I spent the better part of this afternoon just playing with the technique. You just need a sheet of plexiglass to use as your printing plate, some rice paper and water soluble oil paints (gouache). These papers are about 6" x 6". They will be torn later and used in a larger collage. I really like the technique and working with the rice paper. These photos are posted in order of my favorites.

I like the colors in the first two sets the most. The blues and the peachy reds turned out much better than the photos (as usual). I used a bird stencil for one of the prints just to see how it would turn out. I did like the result with that one; not so much the color, though. And in these last two sets I just mixed colors that were left on the plate, placed the moistened rice papers down and burnished with the brayer.

The shapes are made by tearing newsprint into strips, placing them however you like onto the wet paint and then placing your moist rice paper on top of that and burnishing. I've never used gouache before and I've had an unopened set for a while just sitting there staring at me. What a perfect use for it!

I still need to work on mixing colors but for a first try I'm liking the technique. Paula suggested making small art studies with the torn papers to play with the composition before trying a larger canvas. I'll probably do that with these last two sets plus some of the others I made but didn't post photos of.

I keep adding to and taking items from my fabric-weave collage. I haven't found the right thing to finish it off. It's getting there but it's not right yet.

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