I’ve loved a session of monoprinting this morning – it’s so quick and easy to get results! Also quite addictive!
I decided to work with some of the feathers I’ve collected over the years. I can’t resist a feather and pick them up wherever I go. I have been known to ask keepers and wardens to get special trophies for me at country parks and nature reserves if they are beyond my reach! The print above is made onto a sheet of brown parcel paper. I’ve mixed a blue acrylic paint with equal quantities of black to achieve this dark colour and applied it to a gelli plate with a foam roller. You can get the same results from a sheet of thin acetate or even a laminated pouch if you don’t have a gelli plate.
After taking the first print with the feather laid on top of the paint I remove the feather and take the second print from the paint that remains on the plate. I find I get the best results by placing the paper on top of the plate and pressing all over with my fingers rather than flipping the plate face down on the paper. When I’m working direct to a page of my sketchbook I place the plate on the right hand page and bring the left hand page down onto it. That’s easiest because you need to place the feather or whatever mask you are using – the print you can just glimpse on the right in the image below is a second print from what remained on the plate.
Inevitably, there will be lots of pages that are too wet to let me close the book. This technique does only use a thin layer of colour so the acrylic will dry fairly quickly but to make sure nothing sticks together and spoils the prints I stand the book with the pages fanned out for an hour or two. I’ll be working into these pages later and I’ll be adding all the prints I’ve made on loose sheets of paper too.
That drying time does let me finish the paint off that’s still on my roller by making a couple of prints on fabric – never know when you’ll need a fabric feather print! I’ve found that acrylic paint works just fine and doesn’t need any fixing on fabric especially as this involves such a fine veil of colour.
Hope you have as much fun as me with this technique – just let me know if I can help with any questions you might have.