This afternoon I dug out the Japanese rice paper I had squirreled away. Located the brayer, grabbed a tube of burnt umber oil paint, a generous pile of cotton swabs (Q-Tips), a bristle brush, and a clean cotton rag.
Then I taped a piece of acetate to a scrap of white matboard to serve as the "printing plate" for a session of experimenting with subtractive technique making several monotypes (or monoprints, which is what I believe they technically are called -- I'll delve more into that in another post later.)
This small print (Left) is the second one I pulled. The first one was too light. I decided it was not enough paint on the plate, so I really gobbed it on for this one. I think the thicker layer of paint is good up to a point. Too thick and it will "squish" under the press and all the linear marks and texture would be lost.
Print size is about 7 x 5 3/4 inches.
I used the cotton swabs in the dark passages. It didn't take much of a pass through the paint to completely filled a swab, so I used a lot more of them than I thought I would. In the detail photo (Below), you can see the cotton swab strokes cutting across the brushstrokes. I like the way that looks; it reminds me of some passages in the monotypes done by William Blake (1757-1827).
This next print (Above) scanned as if it were brownish -- which it should be, as I used burnt umber. Print size is about 4 x 8 inches.
I should mention here that the clean edges around the first two prints are the result of taping off the image area before rolling out the paint and creating the image. The tape has to be peeled off before running the plate under the press and it was sorta messy, so I decided not to continue taping the plate off for each print.
The detail (Right) shows the amount of detail I was able to achieve on such a small format using just the swabs and rag.
Print size is about 5 1/2 by 7 1/2 inches.
The detail (Right) shows areas where the paint itself is suggestive of form with no real "help" from me. I like that!
And what's a studio without a fruit still-life? So here's mine for the day -- an invented pear.
Print size is about 9 x 6 inches.
This (Below) is the last print of the session. I don't think it is necessarily the best of the session. Just the last. By this time I was becoming more comfortable with the speed at which I needed to be creating the images so that the paint would be fluid enough to transfer with the printing press.
All in all, the printing session was productive, not only in numbers of monotypes printed, but also in what I discovered in the process.