Friday, February 24, 2012

Watercolor Montoypes

"Anticipating Death"
watercolor monotype, ©2012 Elana Goren

"Shooting Victim"
ink and pastel on paper, ©2012, Elana Goren


I have been experimenting using different types of water-based media with the new-to-me process of creating watercolor monotypes. There's been a lot of trial and error and really just seeing what effects I can get with this way of working. It is very different from using oil-based inks to produce monotypes and I'm pretty thrilled with the unique effects and vibrancy that I can get with this process.

As I was taught by a fellow artist at the Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop this past winter, I start by coating the plexiglass plate with gum arabic and then I buff it in with a dry cheesecloth. I believe that this helps the media release from the plate onto the paper when it goes through the press (but that's just conjecture on my part). I let the gum arabic dry and then begin applying the media (watercolor paint, non-waterproof ink, water-soluble dyes, pigment, etc) to the plate in various ways. Once the media is dry, I run the plate through the press with dampened printmaking or watercolor paper. The damp paper reconstitutes the dried media and allows it to transfer.

The first print above was created using watercolor paints and Dr. Martin's Hydrus liquid watercolor which has some pretty intense colors. The second print was created with Higgins non-waterproof ink (which may be fugitive--I'm not sure) and pastel pigments applied both directly and with a wet brush.

I hope to post more of these as I become a little more comfortable with the process.

UPDATE: Gum arabic definitely needs to be buffed into the plexiglass plate before you apply watercolor. An accident experiment proved how watercolor will not release well when printing if gum arabic is not applied.

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