Friday, 12 August 2011

Sketchbook Day 28 – monoprinting

The method of monoprinting is used by well-known artists of this century including Paul Klee. It creates an attractive furry line and gentle tone between the lines. The monoprints on black paper below are drawings of the cylindrical shapes of reels of machine threads.These can be glued into my sketchbook when dry.
Paint from a tube (rather than a liquid) is rolled onto a smooth surface such as glass, Plexiglas/Perspex or a sheet of flexible plastic as used by Ruth Issett in last year’s Summer School workshop.Your paper is placed onto this painted surface and lines drawn on the paper surface to pick up the paint below. If working in your sketchbook, check that the painted surface can be slipped under a page.  Take a look at the two short videos to demonstrate monoprinting. You can also see them on the Distant Stitch website .

TODAY’S TASK – Find some cylindrical objects such as crockery, cotton reels, tins. You will be looking at the elliptical shapes that circles form when viewed from an angle. To draw these with any sense of ‘flow’ you’ll need to practice drawing these shapes, noting how the more distant circles show more compressed ellipses and the closer circles show more open ellipses.
mono2 mono3
The ‘missing’ elliptical top in the drawing below was drawn with a old biro and the rest was drawn with a pencil – much easier to see what you’ve drawn!
mono3  mono1 
TODAY’S TIPS - Thinner papers work best so you might like to choose papers like repair tissue (Tissutex) and then attach to your sketchbook afterwards. I used the actual pages of my sketchbook to see how the thicker paper would work. It tends to pick up more of the paint underneath which I also found gave interest to the linear drawing.
A a couple of drops of washing up liquid mix well into your paint to encourage it to roll out smoothly and to stay wet longer.
To draw elliptical shapes, don’t grip your drawing implement near the point and don’t let your hand touch the paper to rest on it. Let the flowing line be made from your whole arm and not just your wrist. Practice this until you can draw them without any awkward angles. Don’t worry if the first swirl isn’t right – keep going round and round until you find the right shape. Your eye and arm will be ‘learning their lines’ so that the marks you make in the monoprinting process can look good.The monoprint drawing below was a practice one to try making the different sizes of elliptical shapes.
Tomorrow – more monoprinting variations, so wash your equipment thoroughly and keep it at the ready!

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