What Is A Monotype In Art? Monotype vs Monoprint

What Is A Monotype In Art?

Monotype in art is a unique work of art made on a smooth, non-spongy surface. The surface, or grid, has a copper carving plate, however, in contemporary work, it can shift from zinc or acrylic glass.

The picture is then moved onto a sheet of paper by squeezing the two together, utilizing a print machine. 


The Meaning Of Monotype And Monoprint?

The terms monotype and monoprint are interchangeably used. However, both are different types of printmaking techniques. Both include the exchange of ink from a plate to the paper, canvas, or different surfaces.

The term monotype is utilized for a picture made by inking a non-retentive surface with strong shading, laying over it a bit of paper, and moving onto the back of the paper.




What Is Monoprinting In Art?

Monoprinting in the art world can be created by inking a whole surface of the plate and after producing the print, utilizing brushes or clothes, to remove the ink of the print to make a subtractive art.

The inks utilized might be oil-based or water-based. With oil-based inks, the paper might be dry, in which case the picture has more complexity, with water base the paper might be soggy depending on the volume used.

Monotyping produces one of a kind print or monotype; a large portion of the ink is applied during the underlying squeeze.


Monotype And A Monoprint Similarities

Both a monotype and a monoprint include the exchange of ink from a smooth non-non-spongy surface made of metal, glass or polycarbonate, to paper, canvas, or some other artist-chose surface.

Both include the utilization of a press with a metal roller applying the strain to the back of the paper which moves the ink from the plate to the paper or canvas.


The difference between a monotype and a monoprint?

A monotype is an exceptional unique print that will exist on its own, it's a one of a kind state print. A monoprint is a print that is part of an arrangement or a collection.



The monoprint starts with a scratched plate, in contrast to the smooth plate of the monotype. The artist includes various shades for each print that is pulled. Monoprints are thought of as minor applications from one subject to another.

The arrangement of monoprints has a predetermined number of prints and each is numbered.


Monotype Methods:

  1. The added substance or light-field technique, whereby the artist paints/inks the picture onto the plate with brushes and rollers.
  2. The subtractive or dim field technique, whereby the artist covers the whole plate with ink and afterward removes a portion of the color with brushes, cloths, sticks, or different apparatuses to make the picture.
  3. And a mix of the two systems.


Short History of Monoprinting

Hercules Seghers

Hercules Seghers

Hercules Seghers was a Dutch painter who lived from around 1589 to 1638. Seghers is one of the pioneer artists to utilize a procedure similar to monoprinting.

Consolidating line work with various hue inks and colored papers to make print scenes.


Edgar Degas

Edgar Degas

One of the most celebrated artists to utilize monoprinting, Edgar Degas brought the procedure to light during the 1860s.


Monotype And Monoprint Materials

The materials used to make monotypes and monoprints are constantly changing from paintbrushes to seashore grass, from q-tips to fingertips, from palette blades to wooden spoons.

Stencils are utilized, made from things as leaves, texture, or desired shapes and surfaces.


Contemporary monotype artists and their artworks

Green Landscape (Paysage vert) by Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas

Green Landscape (Paysage vert) by Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas

Impressionist painter and designer Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas was one of the superior peintres-graveurs (painter-printmakers) of his time.

The term alludes to nineteenth-century painters who made their own printed stencils.

Artist: Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas

Medium: Monotype on paper

Completion: 1890

Dimensions: plate: 11 3/4 x 15 5/8" (29.9 x 39.7 cm); sheet: 12 3/8 x 15 7/8" (31.4 x 40.4 cm)


Orange Market by Maurice Prendergast

Orange Market by Maurice Prendergast 

Prendergast advanced the art of shading in printmaking to the overall population. Prendergast is thought to have made roughly 200 monotypes somewhere in the range of 1891 and 1902.

Artist: Maurice Prendergast

Medium: Monotype with pencil additions

Completion: 1899

Dimensions: Composition: 12 7/16 x 9 1/8" (31.6 x 23.1 cm); sheet: 15 11/16 x 11" (39.9 x 28.0 cm)

Clown with Monkey by 
Georges Rouault

Clown with Monkey by Georges Rouault

Georges Rouault was a French artist whose work combined Fauvism and Expressionism with its gem-like tones and striking realistic lines.

Artist: Georges Rouault

Medium: Monotype

Completion: 1910

Dimensions: Plate: 22 5/8 x 15 1/4" (57.5 x 38.7 cm); sheet: 24 13/16 x 17 3/8" (63 x 44.2 cm)

Standing Nude, Arms Folded (Nu debout, les bras croisés) by 
Henri Matisse

Standing Nude, Arms Folded (Nu debout, les bras croisés) by Henri Matisse 

Henri Matisse was a French artist, known for his utilization of shading and his and unique paintings. He was an artist, printmaker, and sculptor.

Matisse is respected, alongside Picasso and Marcel Duchamp, as one of the three artists who characterized the progressive advancements in the open expressions of art.

Artist: Henri Matisse

Medium: Monotype with chine collé

Completion: 1915

Dimensions: Plate: 6 15/16 x 5 1/16" (17.6 x 12.8 cm); sheet: 14 3/4 x 11" (37.5 x 27.9 cm)

Reflections by 
Milton Avery

 Reflections by Milton Avery 

Milton Avery was an American painter celebrated for his pictures, still lifes, and scenes.

Artist: Milton Avery

Medium: Monotype

Completion: 1954

Dimensions: Sheet (irreg.): 17 11/16 x 23 15/16" (44.9 x 60.8 cm)


Untitled by 
Alina Szapocznikow

Untitled by Alina Szapocznikow

Szapocznikow inked or shaded with an oily dark pastel onto a smooth sheet of paper, a procedure that gave quick outcomes and enabled her to work at times without partners or a print machine.

Artist: Alina Szapocznikow

Medium: Monotype


Dimensions: Composition (irreg.): 18 9/16 x 11 7/16" (47.2 x 29 cm); sheet: 18 11/16 x 12 5/16" (47.5 x 31.2 cm)

Untitled (for Parkett no. 91) by 
Nicole Eisenman

 Untitled (for Parkett no. 91) by Nicole Eisenman

Nicole Eisenman investigates the human condition in her widely praised, wide-going prints, paintings, drawings, and blended media works.

Eisenman populates her works with childlike drawings. Brimming with humor, they are expressionistic pictures of herself and her companions or envisioned characters.

Artist: Nicole Eisenman

Medium: Monotype

Completion: 2012

Dimensions: 24 x 17 15/16" (61 x 45.5 cm); sheet: 29 15/16 x 22 5/16" (76 x 56.7 cm)


Monoprinting Technique


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Excellent writing. Some more simple examples and illustrations added at each step could enhance the understanding and interest in the topic. Thanks.
Vishnu Somasundaran
Excellent writing. Some more simple examples and illustrations added at each step could enhance the understanding and interest in the topic. Thanks.
Vishnu Somasundaran

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