Monotype #3 and ghost: water based Speedball relief ink on copper, printed on what I believe is Rives BFK paper. The previous two monotypes have used additive processes, where the image is made from painting onto the support plate. This print uses a subtractive technique, completely covering the plate with ink and wiping it away to make an image. It’s often said that painters like to use additive processes, while printmakers are much more responsive to subtractive work. As a printmaker who hates painting, I wholeheartedly agree with this generalization.
In addition to the 365 monotypes in 365 days challenge, my goal for the upcoming year is to refrain from purchasing new art supplies, and to try to use up the ones I already have. The Speedball water based relief ink that I used for this print was probably purchased in 2008, and certainly hasn’t been used since. I’m sticking with water based inks in the home studio until the weather warms up; I need to be able to at least crack a window open for ventilation before trying out oil based inks at home. The water based inks lifted a little too well using a brush as a tool, and I had to use a softer brush to wipe away large globs of ink from the plate. It’s particularly noticeable in the lighter ghost print how heavy the ink was in some areas. This could also be due to not loosening the ink up enough before loading the brayer, using a crappy brayer, using an imperfectly flat support to load up the brayer…or perhaps the ink might benefit from additives like ink extenders. A friend suggested adding an acrylic medium to the ink, and I’ll give that a try in tomorrow’s print.