Using masks in monoprints

 

 

I chose the cat scratching post as a shape for this exercise as it has a striking figure and made a pleasing composition. I thought the clean lines would suit the bold two colour masking. In practice, I found the thin areas really tricky to print successfully. The registration was good, but the image not as clean as I had imagined it would be. I was much happier with the ghost prints as the edges were really well defined, and the slight mis-registration created the illusion of shadow. I think this would work well with using found objects and leaves as masks, and have seen this technique used with gelatin prints.

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For my next set of prints I used some sketches of blue tits as a basis for the design. Although the printing around the fanned wings was set to be even more difficult than the prints above, I thought that a softer, more feathery result might be acheived.

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I think this worked rather well, and the registration was good. I had several attempts in improving my technique. I have found that rubbing from the mask towards the inked sections worked best to prevent ‘bleeding’ of the ink at the edges of the mask. I used the handle of a brush to define the edges. You can see some faint marks radiating from the wings where I have rubbed between the feathers. The blue ink was slightly unevenly rolled, but the contrast in textures was interesting. I am not sure if this would have worked better with more contrast between the colours used.

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The ghost printsworked nicely as the slight shift between the images added again to the featheriness.

 

 

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I had a quick go at back drawing with my remaining ink. I have learnt to use a thinner layer of ink next time, and pay extra care not to put any pressure on the back of the paper apart from the drawn marks.

 

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Overall, I actually preferred the back of this piece, which isn’t exactly how I planned it. I had lightly painted around the mask on the reverse of the print to guide my drawing. I had used a rejected print from the last run, hence the yellow.

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