Monoprints are one-of-a-kind pieces of art that start life on a press - either a flat-bed press or an offset proofing press. Although images in a “series” are similar, each is finished with various inks, textures and pencil renderings to set it apart from other completed works in the series.
Rives BFK Paper
The art of printmaking requires a paper that displays the true colors of the ink, yet is durable enough to accommodate the manipulation required by the artist.
Rives BFK is the paper choice of printmakers around the world. Moulded in France, it is 100% rag and watermarked. Soft, yet with enough body and substance to give good support to the print, it is balanced for good ink absorption and ink holdout. Acid free and buffered, it is used extensively for drawing and illustrative painting.
All of the originals on this website are crafted on Rives BFK white stock with four deckle edges.
While touring the Picasso Museum in Malaga, Spain several years ago, I was admiring one of his prints when I noticed the "Rives" watermark in the corner. If the paper was good enough for Picasso, who am I to argue about its quality?
The lithographic printing ink used to create the monoprints contains pigment, liquid carrier resin, solvent, modifying oil, and a pigment dispersant to improve color development. The ink used in my originals are all Art & Creative Materials Institute Certified.
Prismacolor Pencils and Markers
The originals are finished with Prismacolor pencils that have a high wax content. This enables the colors to be blended and shaded. High-quality markers from Prismacolor provide dramatic highlights and details to the images.
As a final touch, the monoprints are varnished, both to add luster to the images and as a protection to preserve the completed work of art.
Monoprints & Collagraphs
The image is drawn in pencil on textured paper then placed on a large inked Plexiglas plate and traced over with a stylus. This transfers the image to the plate and, in turn, to the drum of an offset proofing press.
The image is pressed onto high-rag-content paper which absorbs the ink and provides a crisp image. Because the drum cannot be re-inked only about 10-12 images can be transferred to paper. The initial images are dark, becoming lighter as the ink is used up.
Additional inks are mixed and stencils are created to mask off certain areas. Ink is transferred individually to each monoprint with foam-rubber rollers. Frequently, a textured material is placed between the roller and the print, producing a unique visual effect. Finally, color pencils are used to individually finish rendering the detailed areas of each monoprint.
An alternate way to approach the process is to create a series of backgrounds by inking and pressing a variety of objects and shapes onto a Plexiglas plate which has already been inked with one or more colors. Paper is placed on top of the plate, then run through a press. The result is a combination of colors and textures.
The background “suggests” what should be on it by the way in which the shapes and colors interact. Acetate is placed over the background and an image is created. This image is transferred to an inked Plexiglas plate using a stylus and, in turn, transferred to the offset proofing press.
The image is registered with the background to start to create the monoprint. Stencils and color pencils complete the process.
Jack Pachuta, Print Artist - PO Box 191, Cedarburg, WI 53012 - (262)573-1403 - firstname.lastname@example.org