Your Source for Creative Plastic Films.

Impressionistic Monotypes

Project Description: Learn how to make an impressionistic monotypes.

Designed by: Robert Hackbarth

Difficulty: Challenging


  • Grafix® Clear Acetate, 20″ x 50″ sheets, .010″ thick
  • Grafix® Low Tack Frisket Film, pkg. of 12, 9″ x 12″
  • Speedball® 4″ Pop-InTM Rubber Brayers
  • Speedball® Akua IntaglioTM Ink
  • Speedball® Akua IntaglioTM Ink
  • Speedball® Akua Release Agent, 8 oz.
  • Speedball® Akua Printmaking Plates, pkg. of 3, 8″ x 12″
  • Speedball® Akua PinPress, 20″
  • Speedball® PrintmastersTM Paper, pkg. of 100, 9″ x 12″
  • Princeton Catalyst TM 15 mm Blades, shape 1 and 2
  • Princeton Catalyst TM Wedges, no. 1 and 2
  • Royal Brush® Firm Burgundy Taklon Brushes set of 12
  • Sharpie® Black Fine-Point Marker
  • Nasco No. 1 Knife with No. 11 Blade
  • Nasco Sketchbook Assortment, pkg. of 24, 81⁄2″ x 11″, 80 sheets, 65 lb.
  • Nasco No. 2 Pencils, unsharpened with eraser, pkg. of 12
    Craft Sticks, box of 1,000, 41⁄2″ x 3⁄8″
  • Arnold Grummer’sTM Couch Sheets for Papermaking, pkg. of 100, 91⁄4″ x 113⁄4″
  • Assorted objects for adding or subtracting color and texture such as cardboard, burlap, ribbon, lace, raffia, tissue paper, etc.

Steps to Make This:

  1. Create an original sketch and composition from direct observation or student photographs, using subject matter to be decided by instructor and student(s). Some suggestions include animals, landscapes, natural objects, figurative studies, portraits, architecture, man-made objects, machines, geometric or organic shapes, abstractions, etc.
  2. Finalize the sketch to fit the exact size of the Speedball® Akua printmaking plate. Trace the sketch onto the Speedball® Akua printmaking plate using a black Sharpie®
  3. Prior to the inking process, make a registration board by tracing around the Speedball® PrintmastersTM paper onto a piece of mat board. Position the Speedball® Akua printmaking plate in the center of the registration board and trace around the outside edge. You will have two shapes that are centered on the mat board.

Additive and Subtractive Inking Processes:

  1. Arrange the work space so a 12″ x 18″ sheet of Grafix® clear acetate is easily accessible as the mixing palette. Using the Speedball® Akua Intaglio TM inks in primary colors, place the color(s) on the acetate and mix with a wooden craft stick, brayer, or brush to achieve the desired hue(s). (Uneven mixing can create color blends that add depth and interest to areas of the design.)
  2. Flip over the Akua printmaking plate (the Sharpie® marker drawing should be facing down) and block out any areas with Grafix® low tack frisket film or paper stencils to retain white areas on the final print.
  3. Using a brayer, roll out a thin layer of ink on the palette and transfer the ink to the BACK of the Speedball® Akua printmaking plate. Multiple thin layers of color can be added and blended together to create unique backgrounds. Colors can be rolled over the entire surface of the plate and wiped away later or selectively inked.
  4. Once the background has been established, add middle ground colors using a brayer, paintbrush, fingertip, cotton swab, crushed paper, painted textural surfaces, etc. The same tools can be used to subtract colors from the printing plate. (Water can be used with the wiping tools.) A light table can be used to aid the additive and subtractive ink processes. By wiping or drawing into the wet ink, color is removed and clear areas will remain. Remember to keep the color thin. Thick areas of ink will smear when printing the final image.
  5. Add selective colors into the wiped areas using a paintbrush, brayer, cotton swab, pencil eraser, textural surfaces, or any other tools. Experiment with a variety of tools and materials. Thin cardboard stencils can also be created to block out ink from certain areas of the design. (Some of the ink may transfer to the back of the cardboard.)
  6. Continue to add and subtract color until the desired result is achieved. Spontaneous decision-making challenges the artist and leads to accidental effects that can be unique and quite interesting.
  7. As students gain confidence with the materials, experimentation is encouraged.
  8. Speedball® Akua Intaglio InksTM will not dry on the palette. However, Speedball® Akua Extender can be used to regain the desired ink consistency.
  • Grafix
  • Your Source for Creative Plastic Films
  • 5800 Pennsylvania Ave.
    Maple HeightsOhio 44137
  • Phone: 216-581-9050
  • Fax: 216-581-9041
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