Monoprint Backgrounds

Techniques by Freyja - based on a Class given at Blade Rubber

Monoprint Card gallery

This is an easy but tricky technique; with a little practice and creativity the results are stunning - even spectacular. There are several methods but one with re-inkers and dye inks and another using dye ink pads are the easiest and best.

Materials:

  • Permanent dye ink re-inkers - Ancient Page - are easiest to use, 'Posh' rainbow inks, drawing and other inks.
  • 2 x pieces of A5 Acetate. This is for A6 card.
  • Gloss card, white, cream, black are most effective.
  • Small pieces of sponge and kitchen roll.
  • Disposable gloves – essential and lots of paper and magazines – turn a new page for each print - to protect the working surface.

Method:

  1. Drop four or five drops of ink from three colours onto one sheet of acetate to cover the area of card used.
  2. Place second sheet over and press with fingers or use a brayer to spread and /or twist pieces to blend colours. Don't worry about a few bubbles they add character.
  3. Open acetate and place two pieces of glossy card back-to-back, gloss side out between and press all over.
  4. Remove card and mop up any spare ink on acetate with a sponge to colour missed spots, or put a drop of ink on the acetate and sponge or stylus for 'repairs'. For another effect use a matching inkpad direct to surface. All colours lighten when completely dry.

Using a mixture of dye and metallic pigment ink:

  1. Use black and terracotta, (or colours of choice), dye inks, sparingly, plus Brilliance Galaxy Gold/silver/copper.
  2. Be patient, let dry over night then mop up any spare ink on surface.
  3. Beautiful when over embossed or glazed.
  4. Drop a small dusting of gold powder or PearlEx while wet, sponge, stipple swirl etc for different effects and patterns.
  5. Try on white gloss for a softer, pewter coloured result.
  6. Try with permanent pigment inks only – Brilliance is perfect – on encaustic card for ancient stone/fresco effects.

Using dye ink palettes:
Ancient Page permanent dye inkpads are the best for this technique.
There are several different effects possible from fossil stone to Impressionist styles and using one or more colours each print. Glossy card is used but it is worth experimenting with other surfaces for surprising and unusual results.
The inkpads must be very well inked ,the perfect excuse for buying a refill with each pad; also saves buying new pads, great value and convenience.
'Monoprinting techniques' by Toybox is a very useful book on this subject.

Using Paint:
This is a very exciting technique offering an endless range of dramatic, stunning results depending on the materials used and your imagination. Most acrylic paint transfers well but Stewart Gill Alchemy and Byzantia are wonderful with dramatic and luminous results.

  1. Use acetate and card as for inks.
  2. Randomly paint one piece of acetate with one-three colours quite generously all over and press onto the second piece of acetate.
  3. Leave for 10-30 seconds before gently pulling apart.
  4. Press each piece onto a piece of card, transferring the paint.
  5. Press all over firmly and pull apart leaving two decorative backgrounds.
  6. Soak/wash the acetate immediately to use again as dry acrylic is very hard to remove.

Alternatives and tips:

  • Twist the pieces of joined acetate before separating
  • Use two pieces of card without acetate.
  • Add PearlEx, gold powder etc before or after joining.
  • Add embossing powder to wet surfaces of card and heat to dry/melt.
  • Heat to dry and for a 'bubble' finish.

Using monoprints:

  • After thorough drying over stamping is easy and affective, sometimes all that is needed.
  • Stamp and emboss for dramatic effects.
  • Layer prints and plains for extra impact.
  • Add stamped, stencilled or embossed panels, frames or tiles for dimensional interest.
  • A perfect technique for book covers, picture frames and makes beautiful boxes.
  • Add a crackle background over-stamp for a perfect 'ancient' background.

Experiment if results are not perfect, this can become quite addictive - just one more sample!

©Freyja Lee for Blade Rubber Stamps 2009
Freyja is a regular teacher of popular Classes at Blade Rubber


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