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How To Learn Printmaking Techniques

How To Learn Printmaking Techniques

This video shows another monoprinting technique called the reduction method. Printmaking is such a unique and intricate way of art. Watch and learn.

To make a monoprint using reduction method, you're going to put a lot of ink on a glass plate. You could use anything that's got a hard shiny even surface. It could be a piece of Formica or a piece of glass and once you've put your ink down, remove some of the ink to make the image of a man you want to reproduce.

So, with an inking roller, spread some ink into a tray just so that it can evenly cover the roller with ink. The point is to get a good cover of ink all the way the roller. Ink up the part of the glass you're going to work on which is the top part, go back for some more ink each time you need to.

Now, to remove the ink, you can use various things. Where the features are darker, under the eyebrows, around the left side of his face, under the nose for example and under the chin and probably around the whole of the head, leave the ink. But you can remove ink in various ways.

You can use a rag, either a wet rag or use a dry rag. You can use a stick to take a lot of the ink off. Use a little stick that has several different lengths to give you a streaky effect which is great for certain parts of the face.

Try and remove the ink as blocks of ink from wherever you want to remove it. Imagine where the outline of the image is. So, if you start with the rag because you're going to remove a fair amount of ink to start with, take the ink from the top first.

The more you press on, the more you remove. Go down the ridge of the nose, the sides and get the shape of the nose. The hairline goes around and put some streaks in actually with the cloth just to get a hair effect there.

Leave the eyes because the eyes are quite dark. Go around the ear there. The middle of the ear is quite dark so leave some bits in there which are quite dark.

Obviously, this is not a precise way of making a print. We're not going to get any really sharp edges. We're just going to get an impression of a head or face.

Leave the center of the mouth which is quite dark and use a stick now to get a sharp edge for the upper lip because there is quite a sharp difference in tone between the lip and the center of the mouth. You can also use it for the bottom of the ear and around the eye so you can start with a little bit of detail, getting slightly harder now on the face, very prominent highlight on the tip of the nose. Removing some more with the rag around the side of the face and get some more lines coming in down and bring that across, at the side, and then go back to the hair.

Move the ink around. Brush off with an old toothbrush which comes in handy to get the shape of the beard. Building it up as you go on, go to the neckline.

You can alter the mouth, under the nose and maybe with the end of the stick, get the line of the nostril a little bit more believable around there. It won't be a precise likeness, it's just not a really detailed print but it's quite an expressive print. So, if you put your paper over the top, press it down, feel that you've got every bit of the print paper adhering to the ink and you pick it off, you have a monoprint of a portrait of a man.