Monoprints and Monotypes
Monoprints and monotypes are an art medium that has gained significant popularity in the last few years. It is, however, an art medium that dates practically from the inception of printing and indeed many artists such as Degas were very facile in this medium.

There are several reasons why contemporary artists are drawn to this medium. The first is that this work is often done in collaboration with a master printer so it is not solitary work as regular studio painting can be. The second is that since it is often a collaborated effort with a master printer, there can be more pieces of art produced per day than working on a painting in the studio. These facts also allow the monoprint and monotype to be more accessible to the client because it can have a lower price point.

Monotype  - A monotype is a cross between a painting and a printing process. The artist paints on a non-porous surface such as a sheet of glass or a zinc plate with lithographic ink. The lithographic ink is oil based and the consistency can be best compared to axle grease that is used in the bearings of automobiles. The image is then transferred to paper through the use of the printing press. After the paper has been printed, the surface of the plate is re-manipulated and another print can be pulled from the plate. This is called working with the ghost. The artist produces the work in series and at the same time, eash one is unique which is why they are described as monotypes, i.e. prints that are one of a kind.

Monoprint  - When the artist chooses to do a monoprint, there is a consistent image she chooses to use through a series of work. This image is drawn onto a lithographic zinc plate and is printed in a traditional lithographic manner. A series of 5 to 25 pieces of paper are printed with this image and then these sheets of paper are used in the monotype process as described above.

Chine Colle  - Literally translated, this means 'Chinese collage'. When an artist chooses to chine colle the print, they add collaged elements to the plate. These are positioned on the plate upside down so they can be laminated face up to the piece of paper as it is passed through the press. Obviously, registration becomes a significant challenge to the chine colle process.

 -- Kalani Engles

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