Technical Info‎ > ‎

1. Monotypes

The distinguishing feature of monotype technique is a homogenous, flat plate to receive the ink or paint, as opposed to intaglio where the ink or paint lies in the grooves of the plate and where the surface of the plate is wiped clean. In Relief printing, the image is created by cutting into the plate and the ink or paint is applied to the uncut surface of the plate.  

See James Mah's Monotypes

Oil Monotype, 22" x 30"

Any non-absorbent surface can be used as a monotype plate, and I have used acrylic and polycarbonate sheets, metal sheets, even glass and prepared matboard. Watercolour monotypes require that the plate be sanded and prepared with a solution of Gum Arabic. The most direct way to work is to paint an image directly onto a plate with watercolour, oil paints or printing inks. Another way is to work by a subtractive method, where a plate is covered with ink or oil paint and the image is then formed by removing portions of the ink or oil paint. Almost all of my Greek Tragedy series of monotypes are made in this way. The painted image is transferred to pre-moistened paper by means of an etching press or by hand-applied pressure.  Because of the nature of the process, only one print (or at most a print and a cognate) is produced and no editions are possible. I enjoy the monotype’s spontaneity and the painterly look of its images.