Understanding Monoprinting ✨
Monoprinting is a widely known technique used by artists across various art forms to create one off prints. Mono means one, so the process is designed to create a completely unique design and much harder to replicate across multiple originals. A true limited edition!
A great showcase of Monoprinting by friend of Hunt The Moon, Sue Lewry ✨
In terms of Monoprinting within screen printing, it still uses the same tools and setup, such as a screen as a method for depositing the ink and a squeegee to pull the ink through the mesh. However the change is how you apply the ink (still using waterbased!).
The Process 🎨
Experimenting with Monoprinting for the first time? We recommend using paper or card to begin with. Here are 3 simple steps to get started!
Step 1: The Design
There is no right or wrong way to approach this step; the beauty of screen printing and Monoprinting is you can create whatever you think up. But some ideas we played with in-house was:
A Blank Screen
A complete blank canvas allows for a lot of creative spontaneity. Use Monoprinting as a standalone technique. Be sure to check out our range of screens here.
Create a stencil of your choosing using Freezer Paper or Yupo Paper, or, just use tape. This is a great way to create structure to your prints, allowing for a cleaner aesthetic. Why not create a flower stencil or go for a full out geometry design using tape lines.
Custom Exposed Screens
Whilst the technique of Monoprinting will never truly allow for replicated artworks, a custom exposed screen with your design is the closest you'll get. Compared to a stencil where you have limited uses (even with Yupo Paper) you can reuse the screen multiple times. Perhaps you want a line of T-shirts of the same design but all slightly unique in presentation.
Step 2: Applying the Ink 🌈
Here's where we mix it up. Traditionally with screen printing, you would apply the ink at the bottom of the screen so when pulled through, your design was fully coated. Whereas now, the world is your oyster, having already picked your design you could:
Paint onto the screen
Without applying too much pressure to flood the screen, you could pick up a brush and paint away. To achieve a true solo Monoprinting technique, this is a good option!
An example of when you apply too much pressure when painting the ink on to the screen.
Mix it up
We experimented with placing little dollops of ink across the screen in random spaces, this turned out great, especially when we used a custom exposed screen and each print was completely different.
Step 3: Squeegee Time
Pull the squeegee across the screen, with a firm pressure. This will deposit the ink through the mesh and on to whatever you are printing on to. If it's paper, one pull should do it, if it is fabric you might want to life the squeegee up and pull for a second time to clear the mesh.
You could stop there, or pull another print and see what happens. The next pull will be much lighter (as you've pulled the ink through already) and will commonly give whats called a ghost image.
It's that easy! ✨
We personally love the Monoprint technique and have managed to acquire some really rad prints. We thought to best show the process, we'd show one of our staff members, Bex experimenting with Monoprinting and the results they got.
To begin with, Bex decided to print onto our Hunt The Moon Cartridge paper, so she used a A4 Wooden Screen with an 120T mesh. She decided to paint onto the screen with a paintbrush using a total of 5 inks, our Violet, Lemon Yellow and combination of our limited edition inks.
No need for a flood. After one pull she decided to mix it up by adding splats of ink across the screen.
The result from just painting directly painting onto the screen! What was interesting was each subsequent pull with the squeegee was a completely different look, as you can see below:
Bex took an extra step and once the prints had dried, we decided to add another lay using these stencil made screens (out of tape!).
Monoprinting is super fun and easy, so give it a go! See what you can create and be sure to tag us @huntthemoon with your results ✨