Monotypes and the World of Colour


It won’t have escaped your notice that I am happiest working in black and white. However sometimes the need to break out overwhelms me. That is when I start playing with colour.

I don’t really know anything about colour, and I work at the basis of marvelling when, after a couple of hours of overlaying inks on top of each other, I find I have a series of gloriously happy accidents.

While my linocuts and photos take lots of consideration and time, I find the process of printing monotypes completely freeing – like being in primary school while being old enough to appreciate it.

I use the three process colours (Cyan, Yellow and Magenta) which on their own are very harsh. However as they overlay each other, some kind of magic happens and the colours take on a vibrancy and warmth which is really exciting.

I use old damaged rollers from the print workshop which have graced a thousand classes. The ones which are gummed up with glue, old paint, bits gouged out of them. The more damaged the better. This allows for a randomness in colour and texture which I love. The other thing I have learnt is to clean the rollers after each application, to prevent the colours very quickly turning to a muddy brown

I have been folding and tearing the prints to their final size rather than using a craft knife to continue the instant feel of the work.

So far, so much fun! However I have taken the prints one stage further by putting them onto brown craft card and selling them in the Cardiff Print Workshop. I sell my cards for £3 each (not bad for an original mono print). Two-thirds goes to me to cover my printing costs, and a third to the Workshop to help keep it going.


One of the things exercising me has been the use of single plastic sleeves to keep them clean. I have decided to try and encourage customers to leave them in the shop so that I can re-use them. I’m not sure how it will go down, and doubt it will save the world, but every little helps!

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