Place plate on press with damp printing paper over the top
What is a montype?
Monotypes are not easily defined because they fall into a category somewhere between paintings and prints, the image having been painted onto a "plate" and then printed on paper. The plate can be plexiglass, mat board, or any flat, unbreakable surface from which the pigment can be transferred. The pigment can be oil-based inks, which must be printed before they dry - or the pigment can be a water soluble medium, which is allowed to dry before then reactivated by printing on damp paper.
Monotypes "happen" in the process of being made. The materials employed invoke the image, which evolves as the work progresses. Improvisation and risk taking are encouraged. Accidents and surprises occur, making the work provaocative and challenging. Artistic ingenuity is required to incorporate all the elements into a satisfying whole.
The advantage of working on a "plate" instead of directly on paper is that the artist has infinite options for innovation, such as deleting
Place blotting paper and blankets over the plate and damp printing paper and run through the press
Pull back blankets and check print, if needed run the print through the press again
areas of pigment with a swab, splashing it with a solvant, or partially wiping it with a cloth. Lines can be inscribed with various tools. Patterns can be created by positioning textured materials or "found" objects on the plate before it is printed - and of course, after the image is printed it can be modified by printing another image over it, adding collage materials, or by enhancing it with any of a number of coloring media.
Unlike edition prints (such as etchings) monotypes do not lend themselves to duplication. They are one of a kind prints, hence the "montype". After a monotype is run through the press, very little pigment remains on the plate - just enough for a ghost image which may be as valid as the first run or can ofter serve as a starting point for a completely new creation, but cannot repeat the original image.
Closely related to the monotype is the monoprint, which has been printed from a plate on which some element of the designing is permanent - such as an incised line or a stenciled pattern. An example might be a collograph where the raise or incised patterns of the plate remain the same but different colors are used in each of the prints.