Saturday, June 6, 2009


As I said yesterday, I spent many wonderful hours with Marilyn B. and Sharon R. yesterday, learning Marilyn's techniques for working with watercolor monotype prints. Marilyn has a lovely home and a great little studio (2 rooms side by side) in her downstairs area. We talked, laughed, had lunch together, and created art all day.

First, Marilyn took us on a tour and we got to see many of her art pieces I had never seen before, all beautifully matted and framed and displayed in her rooms. Many were watercolors, some were watercolor and collage and many newer ones were watercolor monotypes. All were beautiful and interesting.

Then Marilyn talked about what she learned about monotype printing and showed us the watercolors we'd use (you apparently can't use - or don't want to use - your expensive Daniel Smith or Winsor Newton brands). The plexiglass she had was frosted by just sanding it with 200 grit sandpaper until the shine was off - this, I was told, was so the paint would adhere better to the plexi. We also began by coating the plexi with Dawn dishwashing liquid (plain, no lotions or moisturizers in it) with a little natural sea sponge. That helped the paint release from the plexi to the paper when it was time.

I came home with 2 prints that I like. They are bold and the colors are strong and rich and I was happy with the outcome. Here they are:

1. By the Sea.............

(You put the border around it using watercolor crayons - Caran d'Ache - before you print; and the seashell was created by just putting the watercolor paint - Pentell brand - on the stamp Marilyn had made and then pressing it on the plexi.)

2. My Creative Heart

(No stamping, just dabbing watercolor on with a sponge dipped in thick pigment after putting down an initial "wash" with a large flat brush.)

Of course, the shape and size of the print is determined by the shape and size of the plexiglass piece you are using.

Sharon and I both thought Marilyn should give a demo and talk on this sometime at our watercolor society!


Myrna said...

Beautiful saturated color! Thanks for sharing. Those little extra tips about sanding and dw detergent were helpful. I shall try again next week when I return.

Barbara Sailor said...

Fascinating process...what kind of paper did you use? I love your 'heart!'

Judy S. said...

Just curious what kind of natural craft sponges you use. I have been having good results with the prime and rock island wool sponges, but would love to hear what others recommend.

RHCarpenter said...

Thanks for your comments, Myrna (glad the little tips I picked up helped), Barb, and Judy.
Barb, I used Stonehenge printmaking paper for one and BFK Rives for the other. Marilyn didn't want us to use anything other than what she had already had success using.
Judy, it was just natural sea sponges like you buy at Cheap Joe's or any other art supply store. The sponges were small so you dabbed on the color a lot.