Painted monoprint from life

Last night I tackled the next exercise in the Monoprint project – painting a monoprint from a still life comprising two objects.

Here’re the subjects I chose – a Sansevieria (apparantly) and a little watering can. (Thought it was time the two things were introduced – this is the only house plant I own, and how it’s survived 5 years with at best annual watering is beyond me).

A bit of sketching…:

..then into painting, first the negative space in creamy yellow, then the rest of the colours.

Now, a few things went wrong at this point.

I was worried about the ink drying out, so felt I had to work fast… and for a similar reason also used far too much ink. Far too much! The upshot was that

  • Working too fast, without thinking, I dived straight in without enough care, and immediately got the proportions all wrong – so we have half a pot plant instead of a pot plant and a watering can and..
  • Too much ink!

Below on the left is the glass plate, inked up and ready to print (notice the white pattern which is on the underside of the glass placemat!). On the right is the first print from the plate. Not what I was hoping for – looks more like an underwater vision of seaweed –  but looking for positives I guess the shapes and colours aren’t too bad, and there’s the odd bit of shading that does give some of the form I was after – although most of that was lost in the print.

glass plate (left) and print (right)

glass plate (left) and print (right)

I also took a second print from the plate, which was a little better, but still too inky.

Unfortunately I didn’t have time to do it again last night, but I think what this says is that I need to go back and do some more test plates with a bit more of a purpose in mind, to get a better feeling for how to mix ink to the right consistency so that it stays dry for long enough to finish a painting.  Then i’ll try this exercise again.

Hmmm. I’m off to water my Sansevieria.


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