Monotype prints are considered unique prints in that they are not editioned in the same way that a lithograph or lino print would be produced. A monotype is created in a similar way to a drawing on paper or an oil painting on paper By using monotype an artist can work quickly and smoothly and unlike in drawing is able to rework and erase areas in an almost invisible way. A monotype refers to the production of a single unique print.
For a monotype the ink is drawn or painted directly onto the plate and can be wiped off, scratched into and manipulated in many exciting ways. Talcum powder can even be scattered onto the surface to create a snowstorm type of effect. Monotype allows the artist to explore materials and imagery in a way that often impacts on more "permanent" types of printing. At The Artists' Press artists often use monotype as a way of leading them into what will later develop as a lithograph. Kim Berman and Elza Miles have found this to be most effective and examples of the results of their monotype prints can be seen on our gallery page.
Monotype "ghost" prints, which are the print pulled from the plate once the primary image has been printed, can also be used to develop the image further. Robert Hodgins enjoys playing with these overlays and takes delight in where the image leads him. When Robert is working at The Artists' Press on monotypes he has a large arsenal of unlikely materials at his disposal to work with. A variety of toilet paper (each creates a slightly different effect), earbuds, rags and oil paints are on hand for him to use.
Monotype printing allows very clear colour combinations to come through and Hodgins enjoys the fact that he can use the intense oil colours that he loves so much directly from the tubes. Later ink is mixed to match the monotype colours if it is decided to develop an edition from the monotype.