Monoprinting with gouache and watercolour

since doing a days monoprinting workshop at our lovely local Brighton Independent Printing co-operative, where our tutor casually mentioned you can print with watercolour if you add a few drops of washing up liquid or gum arabic to your mixed paint, (makes the paint adhere to the surface, and another tip, picked up from one of my lovely students, was that you can rough up the surface of your piece of acrylic with sandpaper which also helps the paint to adhere to where it’s put and to not drift off into globules) I got all enthusiastic at the prospect of another way of using the medium, bought a few sheets of acrylic in the local DIY shop and went for it (another tip, keep some of the plastic packaging that comes round electical goods etc and cut it to size; its cheaper). A lot of the more recent bees and flower pieces ( on the website are started off as monoprints, then worked back into with watercolour in the more usual way, also with Daniel Smith watercolour sticks, lovely pigment rich and sticky stuff that adds great texture. The bees are added at the end, painted not printed, as I thought they needed a more delicate approach, though come to think of it, maybe not, and may add them at the print stage next time. 

This is the image painted onto the glass. This one is very simple, more complex images can be made and scraped back into with a piece of card or similar, you can print onto the glass with found objects and materials (string, card, bottle tops, whatever comes to hand) Part of the beauty of this process is that you can re paint your picture very easily and take another print from it. No two end up the same, though strictly, if you’re calling it a monoprint, I guess there should only be one of them. Seems a bit wasteful of an opportunity!

This is the first print onto a piece of off white Fabriano Rosapina paper; I then turned the glass over and repeated the image on the back, and took another print, adding the fine lines with a sword brush, then adding the bees.


7 thoughts on “Monoprinting with gouache and watercolour

  1. The prints are lovely, what an interesting technique to add gum arabic….never heard of that before. Beautiful work….I wish I could go to a workshop like that!

  2. Hi Kate! Is there a way to follow your blog by email? Can’t see it on your site. Since I seldom seem to have the time to open my reader, I find I’ve missed several posts…

  3. Hi M L, there is a follow the blog by email option at the bottom left of the first page, or should be! Apologies for delay, had health issues, just getting round to answering a rather large mountain of email!

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