Monday, November 11, 2013

plastic bag printmaking

 I fell in love with printmaking back in college and my favorite printing process is 
monotyping- drawing or painting on a smooth non absorbent surface and then transferring it to paper. A monotype produces a completely unique print with a process that is unpredictable, expressive, painterly and totally unlike any other creative process. There are all kinds of tools and supplies for monotypes (acrylic printing plates, the Gelli plate, etc) but really any slick surface will work- even something as simple as a plastic bag!

I like to start by "inking up" a plastic bag with either a brayer or a paint brush.

You can can use printing ink, acrylic paint or even fabric paint if printing on fabric surfaces.

There are all kinds of ways to get expressive on the surface- you can scratch into the paint with a toothpick, old paint brush or the end of a pencil. You can pull paint away (subtractive method) with a cotton swap or a rag. You can even add paint and brush strokes to the surface.

Once you are satisfied its time to print by simply placing the plastic bag onto your surface. I like to roll my brayer over it a couple of times and peel the bag away from the surface. You are left with a print! 

If you are lucky and there is still enough ink on the bag you are able to get a second print- called a "ghost print".

Since I tend to work more messy and abstract I like to start by adding layers of prints on top of each other to create a background full of color and texture.

And then I go back into my surface with adding a final layer of pattern (typically flowers or shapes inspired by nature). 

Interested in learning more about printmaking? I've got a fun new mini class called
Print.Make.Play. Check out all the details HERE


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