getting messy with monoprinting…

Pulling the monoprint © Mari French 2017

Pulling the monoprint © Mari French 2017

I’ve wanted to try monoprinting for some time. The one time I had a go (years back) I was not impressed (excuse the pun) but I think I’d used the wrong type of paper, plate and temperament! A monoprint (or monotype) is a unique print taken from a plate on which ink or (in my case) acrylic paint has been spread with rollers. Marks, textures impressed into the ink/paint and shaped masks (eg. paper) can all be used to create and enhance the final image.

Recently inspired by the beautiful and original monoprints of artist Tonie Rigby I decided to try using a gelli plate. These are very popular at the moment but I’ve not been taken by the proliferation of bright colours and patterns often produced. Gel plates can be a bit tricky to get used to and some artists dislike the texture, but apart from the shape (A4, I prefer square sizes, so may have to cut mine down) I quite liked the slight give of the gel.

Having been stunned by Tonie Rigby’s ‘Urban boxes’ work (see her blog link above), I wondered if I too could achieve something different, a progression of my current painting series maybe. If nothing else it would be interesting and hopefully, fun to try.



Well, today in the studio it was definitely interesting AND fun. I produced over a dozen bits of rubbish before I started loosening up and getting messy, employing more painterly techniques, which is when I work best. I used various acrylic paints and watercolour paper. As with my paintings I wanted to experiment – what would happen if I used this or tried that? …

I must admit I actually liked the look of inked up gel plate itself, perhaps because the transparent surface added another dimension. Today’s work was just the beginning, I’ve just started and have a way to go yet, but I’ll keep at it. Will post more of my monoprinting attempts at a later date.


8 thoughts on “getting messy with monoprinting…

  1. I’ve recently bought a gelli plate, and have struggled to produce satisfactory images. I love the result you posted, well done for persevering! I must have another go. I was interested in Amada’s comments about Open acrylics, I’ve not tried them, but it would give more time to work the plate. Thanks for starting off the posts Mari!

    • Thanks Sue. Amanda’s idea of open acrylics is a good one. Mine are a bit of a mix but I found if I gave them a good mixing with gloss medium it helped their spreadability. But Open might be better in the long run, because I did find the paint was drying a bit quick. I must admit I’d bought the plate a while ago but was a bit daunted for a while. As I mentioned, it was when I started getting messy that it started working for me!

  2. I love using a geli plate. I agree the work you see around is not that inspiring but i think used sensitively you can produce fantastic pieces with depth and atmosphere. I use ‘open acrylics’ which work really well and you can build up layers and mask areas – once you settle in its great fun and very inspiring. I enjoy the spontaneity of the process. This looks like a great start and i’ll look forward to seeing more!

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