‘USE’d for monoprinting #Monoprinting #Watercolor #Zentangle

I’ve been playing around with the technique of watercolor monoprinting–that’s where you paint a watercolor picture on acrylic plexiglass (or glass or any smooth glossy surface) and let it dry, then press a wet sheet of paper over top of the painting.  In essence, you ‘print’ the watercolor onto the sheet of paper.  Why? Well, the texture of the ‘printed’ piece is different, varying considerably according to the paper used, and the way you painted onto the plexiglass.

This was the print I pulled using a piece of Canson Montval watercolor paper.  It’s interesting, but the cold-press paper is a bit toothy, and I don’t think I had the paper wet enough.  That’s why I’m playing around, so I can better predict what I might get.  And what does Zentangle have to do with this?

Those of you who saw my USE painting a few weeks ago, will recognize my non-traditional tangle pattern, the Use (ewes) for drawing my sheep.  And, yep, this one is just as ba-a-a-ad. (Sorry, a good pun is ba-a-a-a-d thing to waste).
The process goes like this.  I draw the outline of my painting, and place it under the plexiglass.  The plexiglass has been lightly sanded so the paint will stick better.
Then I paint my picture just as I would on paper.  Because the plexiglass is slick, you can’t glaze and if the paint is too wet it beads up.  Sometimes, you like the beading for effect on your prints, but to avoid it, the sanding helps, and you use a thicker paint than is normal for watercolor.
And…yeah. I like the original painting more than I like the print.  But this was a pretty easy painting, and I’ll just redo it on watercolor paper later.

There was enough color left on the plexiglass so that I was able to pull a second print.  It isn’t good enough to stand on it’s own, but it will be good for a mixed media or art journal piece in the future.

For those familiar with GelliArts printing plates, these technique would work, but they are coated with mineral oil, and you’ll get a different result because of that.  If using one of these I’d recommend using different brushes, so you don’t get the oil on your good watercolor brushes.

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