First masked monoprints

A little more progress… and this time using positive and negative masks. My subject is based on a sketch of some poppies in my Mum’s garden a few months ago:

Here are two of the positive and negative masks, cut from A4 paper (cutting them out wasn’t much fun I have to say!)

And here are two of my resulting main images, using the negative and positive masks. What I found was that the thickness of the mask paper (and probably the printing paper too) meant that it was hard to print all of the detail of the design -it was just cartridge sketching paper, but I’ll need to try with thinner paper next time. In the case of the green print, I used my fingernailand my thinnest roller to press through the more precise shapes, which helped somewhat.

Prints from negative and positive masks

The fact that the edges of the design weren’t all printed led to someĀ  lovely interesting effects with the ghost images (those printed from the remaining ink on the plate after removing the masks), giving a lovely range of tones that remind me of map contours. The range of tones reflects the varying amounts of ink transferred in the previous print.

Ghost image, after print with negative mask

I enjoyed every part of this process, apart from cutting the masks. Creating the design – simplifying the image to create a single, flowing shape – was something I’ve probably not tried for years (since school?) but it was great. I used my new acrylic medium with the inks and that seemed to work better than diluting them with water. And creating the prints was fun too, and I’m quite pleased with the results – looking foward to trying the next project to combine the negative and positive masks.