How to Create a Monoprint Using Oil Based Printmaking Ink

Introduction: How to Create a Monoprint Using Oil Based Printmaking Ink

A monoprint is a single edition, original print. Unlike intaglio, relief, and Lithography where you produce multiple of the same print, monoprint utilizes printmaking processes to make one print that cannot be duplicated. It is called a print because you are transferring ink to the surface of paper. Many contemporary artist are utilizing this technique to produce dimensional art.

Items you will need:

  • Plexi Glass (must be slightly larger than your paper, I use 1/4in plexi glass)
  • Printmaking paper torn to the size of your image (any size will work)
    • Paper suggestions:
      • Stonehenge
      • Arches
      • BFK
      • These can be found at any art supply store
  • Isopropyl Alcohol
  • Blue Shop Towels (any heavy duty paper towel will work)
  • Permanent Marker
  • Paint Brush
  • Printmaking Ink (any color, oil based) Speedball makes a good printmaking ink and can be found at any art supply store
  • Brayer/Roller (see image at the top of this page)

Step 1:

Prepare your plexiglass. Make sure it is free of dirt and oil. Clean with isopropyl alcohol and shop towels.

Step 2:

Draw an outline of your paper, using a sharpie, on your plexi glass that is the same size as your paper.

Be very precise as you will use these lines to register your paper when you go to transfer your image.

If you want your image to have a border where no ink is placed, draw in the border as well.

A 1" border is standard.

Step 3:

Working on the same side of the plexi glass, write TOP backwards. 90T.

When the glass reads TOP correctly you know it is safe to clean off your ink without removing your sharpie outline.

Step 4:

If you want to use gloves put them on now.

Step 5:

Using a paint brush, roller, or any other apparatus, apply your printing ink in any fashion onto the plexi glass.

Be sure to stay within the outline you drew. Avoid large deposits of ink.

Step 6:

Once you are pleased with your design remove your gloves and get your paper ready. Using your outline, place your paper down. Start by anchoring the left edge and then carefully lower the right edge of our paper.

Step 7:

Using your brayer/roller and pressure, roll over your paper. When pressure is applied the ink will transfer to your paper. Be sure to roll in long even strokes.

Note: If your image is not transferring you can apply more ink and more pressure.

Step 8:

Once you have covered the area of your paper with the brayer/roller you can carefully remove the paper.

Step 9:

Set your paper aside to dry.

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    4 Discussions


    Question 1 year ago on Introduction

    The linseed oil will cause thr paper to yellow and bleed what paper, will work. please be clear. thanks


    Answer 4 months ago

    A very late reply, but if the paper is gessoed first it will prevent the oil bleeding.


    4 months ago on Introduction

    Actually, it is called a monoTYPE, not a monoprint. A monoprint is one OF a series of prints made by using a repeatable matrix, like linocut, woodcut, drypoint, etc. A monotype is created from a plate to which an image has been created in ink using fingers or mark-making tools. The act of printing the plate removes the ink and thus it is not possible to make another (other than a "ghost print" that is significantly different to the first).