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

55 comments:

  1. livethegoldenrule12:59 AM

    You take my breath away! Right now I am having one of those "why didn't I think of that??" moments ;D You are always so clever. I just love that!!! Thanks again!

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  2. Formidabile! Non conoscevo questa tecnica... mi viene voglia di provare!!!

    Formidable! I did not know this technique ... I want to try!!!

    Ely

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  3. nifty spifty. just did some monoprinting from an acrylic block but i like the flexibility a baggie could give...

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  4. This looks great, I love mono printing :)

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  5. Great idea! And I love that I already have everything I need at home - doing this with my boys today!

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  6. Hello Alisa!
    I'm a french teacher, for little kids (école maternelle, we say), and i love your painting work...and your collaboration with Lucy...which inspire me when i'm with my little student!
    My daughters are fans to, they leaved a comment to win the sarf yesterday, and one of them like to draw like you...
    Please excuse my bad english...
    Have a nice day!

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  7. Love this! Looks like fun :)

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  8. This looks like so much fun. I think I'm going to have an Alisa Burke style art making session this afternoon on my unexpected but pleasant day off!

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  9. Anonymous6:06 AM

    wow, just keep repainting on a plastic bag!! I gonna go pick a color combo and go printing!!
    Smiles, Ruth

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  10. Anonymous7:54 AM

    Awesome. You inspired me to do monoprints with my two year old, and we both had a blast. She loved using the brayer, and the whole process was very intuitive for her. Plus, the result is quite cool (not a must for her - she's all about the process - but it's nice when we can make gifts out of the end result.)

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  11. Awesome! Awesome! Awesome! I'm going to try this very soon.

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  12. Sandi9:25 AM

    YOU are a genius...... thank you for a very inexpensive way to print!!!!!

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  13. One of the things I love about your style is that you find everyday objects to do techniques with. Projects don't require an expensive trip to a craft mega-store. Art shouldn't be inaccessible! Love it!

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  14. Loooovvvveeee this idea! Thanks for sharing!

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  15. Alicia,
    Wow! I have been looking for a way to show my friends how to monoprint on the cheap! I tried it out this morning and got really nice results. I think I am going to host a holiday tag making party for my work friends using your technique. Thank you for your daily inspiration to create. I would love for you to check out the blog post I did today....I have credited you for the inspiration and technique! My blog is Lucy's Lampshade.

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  16. This looks like good cheap fun!

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  17. I love your little demo! Thanks for sharing this innovative and inexpensive way to do monoprinting (one of my favorite techniques, as well)!
    Cheers and Blessings,
    Briana

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  18. Chelsea Slay12:42 PM

    I absolutely love this. You are a wizard Alisa Burke!!!!!! #stolen!

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  19. Hi, This looks amazing. I am going to try it out with my after-school art class children tomorrow. Thank you for a great project. I have just bought your on-line printing course....how do l get access to it please? X :) Lynda

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  20. As always you are amazing !

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  21. All I can say is," Why didn't I ever think of this!?!" You're amazing!! Thank you for this great inspiration! I could easily do this with my students at school!!! Now I'm off to make some plastic bag prints!!! :)

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  22. woow what a cool idea !

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  23. Thank you so much for sharing this.
    Can I use acrylic paint to print on fabric? Will it stay the same after laundry?

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  24. Fabulous! Love the video.

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  25. I just have to say it------YOU ARE AMAZING. Your talent is way beyond other artists.
    Barb
    NC

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  26. Love the marks this technique makes.

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  27. the BEST!! gonna do this with the kiddos.xoxo

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  28. I love this Alisa! Thank you so much.

    Sheila

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  29. Great process and fantastic results too.

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  32. I always love this idea but I try this just once. You can do it with pleksiglass (how you call it.., maybe I didn`t wrote..)

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  33. I just wanted to let you know how much you have inspired me to do my art with my son. He loves this technique and has asked me to do this "art project" several times now. Thanks for your inspiration for being more free with your supplies and enjoyment of art with your little one.

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  36. I love how accessible this project and the amazing results that you can get. I'll be sharing this on The Crafty Crow soon!

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  37. OMG, these are amazing! My first "gelli plate" was a plastic page protector with a magazine stuffed inside--but this is much better. can't wait to try it!

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  40. LOVE this, can't wait to try it.

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  42. I can't believe how amazing all of this art work looks. And to think, it's all done on a plastic bag! You truely have a gift! I really wish that I was able to do something like this. Where do you get all your bags?

    Mike Ross | http://www.saffe.com.au/category.asp?id=100

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  43. Lovely idea! I would love to do it and design plastic bag print-marketing. Great Effort by you.


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  45. Been looking for a way to make inexpensive prints and reusing my plastic bags. Gelli plates are pricey, and silkscreen is too but this idea is super! I once read a quote that said, "Trash is lack of imagination". Thanks for showing us how to use our "trash". Thanks!

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  46. There is lots of thing to learn on this blog,now I am Waiting for next blog Plasticware Equipment Manufacturers

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  47. Clever, fun and creative. Thank you for posting!

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  48. Anonymous5:21 AM

    love love love, I fell in love with printmaking in college and it's still my favorite teaching process grades K-8, am so doing this with my art elective kids yay! Thanks for the inspiration

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  50. Hi Alisa loved yr post and lovely prints, gr8 idea, I did my first run of backgrounds with my homemade geli plate, not the most successful as my scale is not working so had to guess ingredients and plate didn't set very well. Anyway will def give yr bag idea a try. Thanx so much ✳

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