Life drawing: mono-prints

Having practised some mono-printing in my sketchbook I thought I would try out a few life images.  Having found that watercolour was not successful I dug out some old printing ink and worked with them.  I understand that you can also use oil paints but I didn’t have any of those.  Basically, you can use anything that doesn’t dry out quickly.

I started by using a half-drawn sketch of a life model that I had to abandoned Fig.1.).

Drawing for print
Fig. 1. A2 pencil on sugar paper

This was a 30 minute drawing that I had got wrong so many times (you can see the rubbed out lines right to the top of the page!) that I had to give up on it as we moved to another pose.  However, I liked some of the lines in the middle section.  So I took a photo and cropped it to A4 and used that for a mono-print (Fig. 2.).

Print from drawing
Fig. 2. Mono-print A4.

This was a fully inked glass plate; plain white paper placed on and image drawn on reverse.  The cropping shows some interesting negative space and the mono-print lines add interest.  I could do more work on this but decided to try some other mono-prints.

Plate running 1
Fig. 3.
Plate running 2
Fig. 4.

Sticking with ink I tried drawing into the glass plate again (Figs 3. and 4. ) to see if that would work.  I wanted the figures to indicate movement (walking around a room).  Fig. 3. I took out some ink with a cloth and then wetted the plate with dropped of water.  For Fig. 4. I used a paper towel and the end of a brush to make some marks.  Again, I quite like both these temporary drawings, which I am glad I recorded.  Because the results on paper again were a bit of a disaster (Fig. 5.).

Fig. 5.

The watery one (left) gives some interesting blobs but the main image didn’t come across at all.  Perhaps the ink wasn’t thick enough or I didn’t press hard enough.  Same for the right hand print.  I will have to research this method further as I think it has potential.

Then I decided to go back to the method of mono-printing I knew did work.

Print after Durer
Fig. 6. Print after Durer

This very rough copy of Albrecht Durer’s Study of Eve was done directly on to a black printing ink ground on glass.  The composition is interesting and shows the balance of the figure, but I have put the feet too near the bottom of the paper again.  I must learn to consider the length of the figure better, even when doing a sketch.  I do like using coloured paper for images/prints as it adds another dimension to the drawing.  Must try different colour inks too and drawing on the mono-print.

In Fig. 7. I did just that.

Print and tombow
Fig. 7. Mono-print and Tombow

I drew a mono-print from a photo of a nude reading a book.  Then I added some dark lines and detail with a black Tombow pen.  I started with a life-like drawing but stylised it with the marks so I think it now looks Oriental.  The Tombow marks show up grey-ish in some areas of the photo but this less or not apparent in the actual drawing.  Though I have noted that if I am adding to a print that I need to consider if the ink matches or if I want a contrast.

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