Making a Monotype (The Simplified Explanation)
Making a monotype is relatively simple, and there is a lot of freedom to the approach. The artist can work either positively or negatively and use either oil based inks or water based inks. They can also incorporate other materials if they want to.
To make a monotype the main things an artist needs is a plate, some ink, an etching press, and heavy-weight printmaking paper. I use Plexiglass for a plate and lithography and etching inks. The paper I use varies.
To make my monotypes, I use a large rubber roller to apply a layer of ink to a sheet of plexiglass. I then use rags and cotton swabs to wipe away the areas that I want to remain white on a sheet of printmaking paper. It is like doing a painting in reverse. I do this every time I want to add a layer of color, and sometimes I add up to 8 or 9 colors. An artist could also paint directly on the plate with a paintbrush, toothbrush, sponge, or anything else they could think of if they wanted to get an interesting effect! Then, a few weeks later when the image is dry, I manipulate the image by sewing other prints (usually etchings or screen prints; sometimes handprints and footprints), paper, and other materials onto my pieces.