I decided to start out with black acrylic paint, with the addition of some medium. I had cut the templates to fit an A5 piece of paper. The printing plate was a little longer but I thought I could mask off the bit I wasn’t using.
Not a good idea as you can see from the first prints I pulled!
The problem was worse when applying the positive mask. I didn’t read the manual properly and used the same colour oops!
I preferred the third prints, once the masks had been removed but this ‘print run’ taught me to use the correct size template for plate. I recut the template and cut three more templates to fit the acrylic plate.
This set of prints was better in terms of fit but I wasn’t happy with the ink which still stuck to the mask. Also I realised that the plate would be a problem later on as later on I will need to ensure a white border when printing and the acrylic plate was too long. For my next printing run, I decided to use my gelli printing plate which was a better size and would be a more practical shape for the paper I had on hand. So I recut my template on a different size paper. I also decided to use the block printing ink I had used previously.
Apart from the obvious mistake I made, forgetting to reverse the template, the ink was really difficult to roll out onto the gelli plate as it would not go on smoothly and I had to keep going over and over it. When I pulled the print it was too thick and had no texture at all. I pulled several more prints and found some interesting results as what appeared like a snowflake effect appeared on the paper. This became more pronounced on the third print and I really liked the effect when I removed the mask and pulled a final print although it was rather pale.
I then applied the positive mask and pulled the first print. It was at this stage I realised that I hadn’t reversed the template so I printed again with the negative mask.
The ink was working better as was going on more evenly but I no longer got the interesting ‘snowflake’ effect!
I carried on practicing my technique but found that every print was unpredictable and different. I suppose that was makes monoprinting exciting!
Here are some prints I liked but probably wouldn’t be able to repeat!
I found overall that the masks produced prints that worked well in both positive and negative forms. I plan to repeat the process with the other designs I produced at a later stage. I am getting used to the printing inks and adding just a little medium helps the consistency.