This week I had some fun in the atelier making a 9 panel monotype. I am attracted to the format of panels and I’ve done etchings, collages and drawings that use this layout. It was a fun experiment and I enjoyed the results, so after I was done with the one above, I thought I would do another and this time document it with photos to show you how it is accomplished. So here’s a quick tutorial.

You begin by cutting out a nice plastic template to create your panels. Of course when it comes to this kind of precision work, Rick handles that for me. I know I’m lucky that way. You lay it over your paper and tape down the sides to your table. Even though the plastic floats freely above the paper, it does seem to keep the paint from going in between the panels. I think the plastic film tends to cling to the paper. A similar paper template would not work so well, I would posit. Before putting any paint onto your image, you cut out random little bits of scrap paper and place them over the various panels to protect some white spaces.

The paint I used was acrylic and I applied it with plastic wrap. Tapping it down variously around the image. That makes a nice texture.

This is repeated for as many colors as you want to apply. One on top of the other, each using simple paper masks rearranged for each layer to protect parts of the former colors. I also used a piece of tracing paper which had been covered in pastel on one side and inverted onto the whole image and I drew lines on the back which transferred pastel lines onto the paper.

Of course you have little control over the final image and at a certain point it just looks like a big mess, but once the plastic is removed, it seems to come together as a coherent and interesting whole.

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