Back to overview

Monotype & Monoprint

Monotype prints cannot be repeated. What differentiates monotypes from all other printmaking techniques is the fact that the artist does not leave permanent marks on the printing plate.

The colour is directly applied to a featureless plate’s even surface, which thus serves as a vehicle to transfer the artist’s painting or drawing onto paper. Although monotype cannot be repeated, because most of the colour transfers to the paper when it is run through the press, a residue of the image, called a “ghost”, remains on the plate. The ghost can be used for another, weaker impression or left and added to for a different variation of the image.

A monoprint differs from a monotype by being made from a plate that already has a printable image on it rather than from a blank plate. It is often part of a series, where the image already on the plate is varied by adding new impermanent marks to the plate before each print is pulled making each print unique, but still related to the other prints in the series.