Get started with monotype printing

Monotype print portrait of a woman

Sometimes you need to shake things up with your pencil drawings, and let go of the impulse to do too much. One of my favourite ways to do this is by creating transfer drawings, also known as trace monotypes. With this printmaking technique, you can transform an ordinary sketch into something almost nostalgic, with a gritty texture and bold contrast.

The monotype process creates one print, with the potential for a second variation of that print, but no more. So, in many respects it is similar to a singular drawing, and could be used to make one-off prints such as vintage posters, for example. 

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Steven Hughes
Steven is associate professor of illustration at Northern Michigan University. His art has been featured in many exhibitions and publications, including The New York Times.