Monotyping is a type of printmaking made by drawing or painting on a smooth, non-absorbent surface. The surface, or matrix, was historically a copper etching plate, but in contemporary work acrylic glass is often used. The image is then transferred onto a sheet of paper by pressing the two together, using a printing-press. Monotypes can also be created by inking an entire surface and then, using brushes or rags, removing ink to create a subtractive image, e.g. creating lights from a field of opaque color. The inks used are oil based.
Monotyping produces a unique print, or monotype; most of the ink is removed during the initial pressing. Although subsequent reprintings are sometimes possible, they differ greatly from the first print and are generally lighter. These prints from the original plate are called "ghost prints." Monotypes can be spontaneously executed and with no previous sketch.
I draw/paint subtractively into the ink, using a variety of tools like rags, brushes, scraper bars, pallet knives, q-tips, and combs. I enjoy experimenting with unconventional drawing tools and pushing the limits of the kinds of marks that can be made with each.
When the image is complete, I run it through the press. The plate is wiped clean and I either begin the next layer of a multi-colored print or an entirely new image.