Plastic Bag Printmaking

This week I encourage you to unleash your creativity. I will be demonstrating a simple printmaking technique that will allow you to create unique prints with a common household item.

Monotypes, unlike most printmaking techniques, are unique and cannot be reproduced more than once. Monotyping is done by transferring hand-inked drawings or paintings from smooth non-absorbent surfaces to a paper or canvas.

A metal, stone, glass, or polycarbonate plate is the typical surface used to create a monotype. Any smooth surface can be used even a plastic bag as Alisa Burke mentions in her blog.

I used a paintbrush to apply paint on the surface of a plastic bag, and used a plastic spoon to remove paint from the plastic bag and create my designs.

After every print, I would reapply paint to create new designs. I even tried to create ghost prints when there was ink left over on the bag. With every print being unique, there were never-ending possibilities.

Plastic Bag

It was interesting for me to see the paint mixing together as I pulled the bag away from the paper. I was painting on a flat surface, but was still able to incorporate textures and layers that added dimensionality to the final piece.

This printmaking process was simple yet completely unpredictable. It allowed me to express myself using abstract shapes.

Monotype Print

To create your own masterpiece all you need is plastic bags, paint, paintbrushes, and paper. You can use toothpicks, napkins, or even your fingers to create designs and add texture to the paint.

Start by inking up the plastic bag any way you want. Paint your design on the bag or use a subtractive method after the bag has been covered in paint. Don’t be afraid to get messy!

Once you’re happy with your design, you’re ready to print. Place the plastic bag on a piece of paper and apply pressure on it with a roller. If you don’t have a roller, you can use your hand or even a shoe, that would create some interesting textures in the final print.

There are no rules or limitations to the art you can produce. Unleash your creativity today and make your own unique print.

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