Monotype is a hybrid process between painting, drawing and engraving. It comes close to the gesture of painting and the tracing of the drawing. At the same time, it has its own characteristics, such as the inversion of the image and the reproduction of a drawing in a single proof.

The inks used may be oil based or water based.

Oil paint

Sumi-e paper

Washi paper (Kozo fiber)

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 it can vary from zinc or glass to acrylic glass. The image is then transferred onto a sheet of paper by pressing the two together, usually using a paint roller.

Glass table


Monotype is a unique print because most of the ink is removed during the initial pressing. This type of print is usually the most sought after by collectors, as it is understood that the artist performed the entire technical process for a single work. Stencils, watercolor, solvents, brushes, and other tools are often used to embellish a monotype print. Monotypes can be spontaneously executed and with no previous sketch.


1 comment

  • It was quite interesting when you mentioned how monotype is a combination of processes between painting, drawing, and engraving. I’ve been wanting to add art works to my walls at home, and monotypes seem like a good choice. I’ll have to look for an art dealer that does Taos monotype printmaking.

    Anna Collins

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