How to Create a Monotype Print

Rob Newton Explains How to Create a Monotype Print

There are many ways to make an image and one of my favourite methods is the monotype print. Here I’ll offer a brief description of the process for those who are not so familiar with the method. It basically involves making a painting in reverse and printing it onto dry or dampened paper to produce a one off image, hence the name – monotype.

Beginning with some ideas sketched out, I prepare, in this case, a sheet of 2 mm thick perspex sheet and my paper (Rives BFK) all cut to size so I have a border around the print.

Above you can see my sketch on top of the paper and how I have rolled out ink onto the sheet for the first of four printing stages. It is important to ensure the ink is not too thick or thin, a process of trial and error and experience reveal the best results.


Now the inked sheet is placed onto my printing board (some artists use an etching press) within a pencil registration mark to ensure each stage of the printing is in line with the previous.

The paper is carefully placed over the inked plate and then secured in place. I then use a roller to put even pressure onto the paper so it picks up ink from the plate. I also use a wooden spoon/baren and hand pressure to make selective modifications to the image where the ink may be thin or I want to emphasise a mark on the plate. Everything is subjective and the outcome often surprises me.

A tense moment of anticipation. Now I reveal the first stage of the print. Next, I add more layers of ink in a painterly manner and make another print from the plate.

The paper remains fixed in place so each layer registers with the previous. I may work another three or four layers of ink before I am completely satisfied with the print.

The illustrated print – ‘Last Few Leaves’ Monotype Print by Rob Newton, 48 x 46 cm (5 Layers)

‘Embleton Terrace’ Monotype Print, 48 x 46 cm (4 Layers)

Above, one I made a few days previous. Now the prints will take a week or two to dry properly, before being mounted and framed for exhibition or sale.

Follow this link to buy Monotype Prints by Rob Newton Prices start at £100 for these original, affordable prints. More work can be seen here

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