Today, I’m briefly talking about the printing technique called monotype, and I’m showing you photos of my first experiments with that technique.

What is a monotype?

Briefly, a monotype is unique print usually produced by drawing or painting on a smooth, non-absorbent surface. The image is then transferred to a sheet of paper by pressing both together. The result is a one of a kind print that cannot be duplicated, contrary to other printing methods such as linocuts or woodcuts, which allow printing several copies of the same work.

Étude monotype no.1 (Monotype Study) Acrylic on paper 5 x 8 in (12,7 x 20,3 cm). October 2018. © 2018, Louise Lamirande.

Étude monotype no.1 (Monotype Study)
Acrylic on paper 5 x 8 in (12,7 x 20,3 cm).
October 2018.
© 2018, Louise Lamirande.

The flat, non-porous surface used to create monotypes is most often glass, Plexiglas, a gelatin plate or a smooth gel plate, but it is not limited to these choices. The prints are made with specialized ink (oil or water-based), oil paint, acrylic paint, gouache and more.

Étude monotype no.2 (Monotype Study) Acrylic on paper 5 x 8 in (12,7 x 20,3 cm). October 2018. © 2018, Louise Lamirande.

Étude monotype no.2 (Monotype Study)
Acrylic on paper 5 x 8 in (12,7 x 20,3 cm).
October 2018.
© 2018, Louise Lamirande.

According to the material and the technique chosen to make monotypes, it is not always necessary to have access to a press. This makes doing monotypes much more accessible to everyone.

Étude monotype no.3 (Monotype Study) Acrylic on paper 5 x 8 in (12,7 x 20,3 cm). October 2018. © 2018, Louise Lamirande.

Étude monotype no.3 (Monotype Study)
Acrylic on paper 5 x 8 in (12,7 x 20,3 cm).
October 2018.
© 2018, Louise Lamirande.

My Experiments

Since a few weeks, I explore several techniques allowing me to create monotypes without a press and I enjoy it more and more. I’m in the discovery phase of monotyping with its joys and disappointments. The joys of novelty, but also the disappointment of not having the perfect control of the result caused by my lack of experience. It’s part of the game. It is totally normal at that stage and I accept the disadvantages since they are only steps in my learning journey.

Étude monotype no.4 (Monotype Study) Acrylic on paper 5 x 8 in (12,7 x 20,3 cm). October 2018. © 2018, Louise Lamirande.

Étude monotype no.4 (Monotype Study)
Acrylic on paper 5 x 8 in (12,7 x 20,3 cm).
October 2018.
© 2018, Louise Lamirande.

For my first trials with the monotype, I chose to use only the traditional black color to put my focus on the technique, as well as the contrast, shapes and lines.

For now, I like the mix of spontaneity, control and surprise that creating monotypes bring to me and it incites me to go on with more experiments.

Étude monotype no.5 (Monotype Study) Acrylic on paper 5 x 8 in (12,7 x 20,3 cm). October 2018. © 2018, Louise Lamirande.

Étude monotype no.5 (Monotype Study)
Acrylic on paper 5 x 8 in (12,7 x 20,3 cm).
October 2018.
© 2018, Louise Lamirande.

Étude monotype no.6 (Monotype Study) Acrylic on paper 5 x 8 in (12,7 x 20,3 cm). October 2018. © 2018, Louise Lamirande.

Étude monotype no.6 (Monotype Study)
Acrylic on paper 5 x 8 in (12,7 x 20,3 cm).
October 2018.
© 2018, Louise Lamirande.

Étude monotype no.7 (Monotype Study) Acrylic on paper 5 x 8 in (12,7 x 20,3 cm). October 2018. © 2018, Louise Lamirande.

Étude monotype no.7 (Monotype Study)
Acrylic on paper 5 x 8 in (12,7 x 20,3 cm).
October 2018.
© 2018, Louise Lamirande.

Basic techniques

In the following videos, the artist Dan Tirels briefly shows two of many ways to make monotypes. Those videos inspired my first experiments, those illustrating this blog post.

Updates on Instagram

I regularly publish updates of what is happening in my little art studio on Instagram if you are interested to be the first to see the evolution of these experiments.

Thanks for your visit and see you soon,

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