Monoprinting

Monoprinting is a printing technique whereby a design is drawn onto a flat non-porous surface, also referred to as a printing plate. Paper is laid on top and after pressing, the design from the plate is transferred onto the paper.
Monoprinting craft

Materials

  • Printing plate (Use any of these: plexiglass,
    Styrofoam board, old plastic placemat,
    any flat non-porous surface)
  • Sketch paper
  • Acrylic paint, tempera or poster paint
  • Paint brush or sponge
  • Scissors
  • Cotton swab (Optional)

Safety Tips

  • Wash hands properly after finger painting.

Steps

Method 1

Method 1 involves painting images onto the printing plate, laying the paper on top, and pressing to transfer the images onto the paper.

Step 1 Method 1 Monoprinting for Kids 1. Find an appropriate printing plate. Any non-porous flat material such as plexiglass, Styrofoam board, or an old plastic placemat will do. You can even use recycled materials such as shoebox lids or cereal boxes, just as long as they are non-porous (do not absorb water).
Step 2 Method 1 Monoprinting for Kids 2. Cut out your paper to the same size as your printing plate.
Step 3 Method 1 Monoprinting for Kids 3. Add just enough water to your paint to make it spreadable. Start painting on your printing plate. Use a paint brush, a cotton swab, or your fingers to paint.

You can start out with a basic shape - you don't need to paint in all the details yet. In case you want to "erase" something you can simply wipe off the paint with a wet tissue or sponge.
Step 4 Method 1 Monoprinting for Kids 4. Put the paper on top, carefully aligning the paper and the printing plate along the edges. Press firmly on the painted area.
Step 5 Method 1 Monoprinting for Kids 5. Gently lift the paper. The image that you painted on the printing plate has been transferred onto your paper!
Step 6 Method 1 Monoprinting for Kids 6. If you want to add more detail onto your picture, paint more stuff onto the printing plate.
Step 7 Method 1 Monoprinting for Kids 7. Again lay the paper on top and align its edges with those of the printing plate. Press on the painted area and then lift the paper to see the added details printed onto your picture.
Step 8a Method 1 Monoprinting for Kids 8. As you may have noticed, we gradually add the details in batches. The reason for this is we try to avoid the paint from drying prematurely on your printing plate. However, if you have a simple design or if you can paint quickly, then you can definitely paint and print everything in one go.
Step 8b Method 1 Monoprinting for Kids Once your picture dries, cut out the paper to the desired size. Your printed image will look pretty on a frame!

*Another variation of this monoprinting technique that you can apply when you accidentally end up with a prematurely dry paint on your printing plate:

(1.) Leisurely paint on your printing plate, not minding if the paint dries on it. Make your picture as elaborate as you like.
(2.) Dampen your sketch paper by brushing it over with a wet paint brush.
(3.) Put the wet paper in between 2 more sheets of paper to absorb the excess water.
(4.) Lay this wet paper on top of your painted printing plate - this should reactivate your dried-up water-based paint.
(5.) Press and carefully peel away the paper to reveal the printed image.

Method 2

Method 2 is a subtractive technique in that you cover the entire surface or a large area of the printing plate with paint. Images are created by "removing" paint from the plate using a cotton swab or your finger.

Step 1 Method 2 Monoprinting for Kids 1. Paint on an area on your printing plate that is slightly smaller than your paper.
Step 2 Method 2 Monoprinting for Kids 2. Draw designs on the painted area using a cotton swab, the end of a paintbrush, or your finger. As you draw, you are removing paint as you make those strokes. You can wipe your drawing tool when it gets overloaded with paint and continue drawing.
Step 3 Method 2 Monoprinting for Kids 3. When you're happy with your design, lay the paper on top, making sure to cover the area with paint. Press on the painted area.
Step 4 Method 2 Monoprinting for Kids 4. Gently peel the paper from the printing plate to reveal the printed image.
Step 5 Method 2 Monoprinting for Kids 5. Notice that a monoprint image is always reversed!

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