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Mono Printing- my favorite!

 

Age: 3+ with adult guidance and supervision
Time: 10 minutes of prep and then it’s up to you how much time you wish to spend…if you enjoy this as much as I do, it could be hours!
Materials: finger paint/tempera or acrylic paint, sponge brush, paper (various sizes), q-tips/old crayons or other mark-making tools, surface to spread out paint (I used a scrap of aluminum foil masking taped to the table) 
Inspiration: I wanted to share one of my favorite techniques!

Mono printing is a simple technique that is very easy to get into and very hard to step away from!  The following is a short tutorial on how to set things up and get started with a few suggestions on variations and ways of further exploration.  This is just downright fun, so clear some space off the table and get your creative juices flowing!

 

Let’s Get Started

 

1. The first thing you will need to do is create a surface on which to spread paint.  For this particular project, I used a piece of saved aluminum foil and taped it to the table.  You can spread the paint on an old cookie sheet, storage tub lid, plastic plate or if you are very daring just spread it directly on the table.  Obviously IF you want to contain the mess, spreading the paint inside something is best.  Just remember that the surface where you spread the paint should be about the same size as the paper you will use to print.

2. Using the foam brush and a little bit of paint, spread the paint evenly over the entire surface.  This is going to take a little practice to make sure you have just the right amount of paint.  Too much paint will cause your prints to loose their details and too little paint will make them too light.  A good rule of thumb is to just have a thin coat that is evenly spread over the whole surface.  Little ones can help spread the paint either using the sponge brush, or if using finger paint, they can use their fingers.  If they choose a secondary color, practice pouring the two primary color ingredients onto the surface so they can mix and spread at the same time…and the secondary color will appear like magic. 

3. Now it is time to draw in your paint.  I used q-tips to make my marks, but you can use your fingers, old crayons, backs of paintbrushes or anything you can find and don’t mind getting messy.  If you are having difficulty making your marks clearly, you may have too much paint on the surface.  Have fun with this part!  If you feel like you messed up, just respread the paint and you are back in business.  I told you this is a fun technique!!

4. When you have your image drawn into the paint, press your paper onto the surface and press, press, press!  If you feel like you have too much paint, your little one can be encouraged to use just two fingers to gently press the paper over the paint.  If you think you may not have enough paint, they will definitely need to use their muscles to press the paper down into the paint.

If you are anything like me, one of these prints is never enough.  As soon as I complete one, I think of ten more ideas and variations.  The more you do the more space you will need to dry your work.  One fun thing to do is hang all of your prints along the clothesline to dry.

Let the experimenting begin! Here are some ideas:
  • Spread out more than one color of paint- you can spread them in stripes or checkerboard pattern or however you’d like.
  • Lay string or yarn over the painted area to create a resist.  It will print a little differently than if you made marks with a q-tip or finger.
  • Layer your Mono Prints- meaning print on the same paper a few times.
  • Write letters or words in your paint- but remember, you will need to write them backwards since they will be printed in reverse.

This is my Andy Warhol Inspired Mono Print.

Mono Print created with white paint on black paper.

This is my TREE!

This piece was done by laying a string down in the shape of a flower and then printing on the paint and string. I then removed the string and printed what remained on paper pictured above.

I used blue and orange layers to create this Mono Print with circles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What can I do with this technique you ask?

Make wrapping paper, greeting cards, placemats, monoprint an old t-shirt or a funky shower curtain.  There are a ton of possibilities and I’m sure you can think of plenty.

 

Happy Printing!!

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