Mercy AP Art Monoprints

Mercy’s art department is tucked away in the school’s basement, and because of this is sometimes forgotten about. Every time I walk through the basement, there are new and exciting projects in the hallways to be inspired by.

Most recently, I’ve seen a lot of prints throughout the art rooms. This is because the AP and senior art students have spent the majority of November doing printmaking projects, a form of art that not many people really understand. As a novice artist myself, I didn’t really “get” how printmaking worked, and decided to chronicle my most recent monoprint project as I worked so I could share what I’ve been learning!

The first thing I did was choose this reference photo for my piece and print it out;


This colorful photo was taken by my sister, Clare, a few summers ago.

Then, Mrs. Murphy helped me set up my block. She helped me tape my reference photo under a piece of glass, and then tape one side a piece of paper to the glass block as well, creating a flap. When we were done, it looked like this:

With some help from Mrs. Murphy, my block is all set up and ready to go!

With some help from Mrs. Murphy, my block is all set up and ready to go!

From here, I found out what a “monoprint” really was. It’s called that because unlike other forms of printmaking, only one print can be made using this technique. With my block ready, I was instructed to start painting my reference photo onto the glass block. I used acrylic paint with the help of some magic matte medium given to me by Mrs. Murphy that kept the paint from drying too fast. I mixed my colors and painted the first sections of my photo. I then transferred the paint onto the paper by moving the flap over the glass block and pressing down the section where there was paint, so I knew it would stick. My initial print looked like this:

photo (6)These random blotches of color don’t really look like much, but are actually the beginning of the trees and sky behind the houses. Fast forwarding, a week of class later, my print looks like this:photo (9)

Though still pretty messy, the piece is starting to take shape and look a bit like the photograph. As I continue working on it, I will clean up the edges, print the sidewalk, trim on the houses, and windows. After I’m finished printing, I’ll work into the piece with colored pencil to add the final details.

photoAfter hours of work, a lot of paint, and some colored pencil work to fill in the details, this is the finished product of my print!

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