Monotype as a type of needlework

Monotype: uniqueness and simplicity

Monotyipia (from the Greek “monos” – one, single and “tupos” – imprint) is one of the simplest graphic techniques, the origins of which date back to the 17th century.

The essence of monotype is the application of paints by hand on a flat and smooth surface, followed by an imprint on another surface (on a machine) or on paper folded in half.

The resulting print is always unique, and it is impossible to create two identical works. Further, the resulting color or monochrome blots are either left in their original form, or a suitable image is thought out and the missing details are drawn.

Today, monotype is not only a tool of creativity, but also of pedagogy and psychology, since classes in such creativity develop children’s imagination and spatial thinking.

This technique will be useful for the whole family – children will really like to work with color overflows and guess what happened – well, it cannot fail to charm adults with its diversity, and at the same time it will help you get to know yourself better.

Creation technique

Monotype in terms of technology is very simple, and even preschool children can master it – the main thing here is to awaken the child’s imagination and turn drawing into an entertaining game.

In this case, you can alternate two tasks: guess what the blot looks like and finish the missing details (ears and trunk of an elephant, lightning and rain from a cloud, tree crowns, and much more), or make something predictable (for example , a sheet of two vertical spots folded in half mirrors the whole butterfly).

And the scope for activity is not limited by anything – because it is actually difficult to predict what will happen as a result: a yellow forest or a banana bunch, a rainbow or a tangled ball of multi-colored threads. In other words, everything is like in the song: “I wanted to make a thunderstorm, but I got a goat” .

For work, it is worth arming yourself with paints (what exactly – we’ll talk later) and smooth surfaces – it can be waterproof glossy paper, or glass (mirror) plus ordinary landscape paper. The drawing is applied to glass or one half of glossy paper.

Then the glass is pressed against the “easel”, or a sheet of paper is folded in half and pressed firmly to the surface.

Soon bizarre patterns will bloom on paper, which must first be allowed to dry a little (otherwise, of course, they will be smeared).

In the meantime, you can discuss with an impatient child who you will turn the blot into – into a bouquet of flowers or some kind of green goose (if the shape is similar, you can close your eyes to the color).

It is possible to control the process of creating monotypes, but rather conditionally. All that is subject to the artist here is the choice of color, the density of dilution (and type) of paint, as well as the time for creating an impression – you can press the drawing for a long time, or you can immediately remove it.

If parents decide to do it themselves – on a more serious level, they should know that professional monotype involves the effect of glazing.

The word comes from the German “glaze”, and refers to the technique of applying translucent paints on top of the base color – this allows you to get deep iridescent colors, as in the paintings of Leonardo da Vinci

What paints to use?

Watercolor – well suited for children’s creativity (easy to wash off!) If you put the paint thickly, without white spaces on watercolor paper, it turns out very curious.

Gouache is also a good option. It gives very beautiful stains and is almost opaque. But she has a peculiarity: when she dries, she becomes faded and unpresentable.

This is due to the fact that gouache is based on chalk. However, the situation can be corrected by diluting the right amount of paint in a separate container with ordinary milk. As a result, the drawings become “velvet”, without halftones.

And the fat contained in milk makes the finished drawings almost waterproof – accidental splashes of water will not spoil the “masterpiece”.

Mascara is only for skillful hands who know what they are doing. Gray-black spots with faded streaks may be of interest to the artist, but hardly to children.

Oil paints are the best option for professionals. But such an activity is clearly not for children – after all, the glass will need to be pre-lubricated with engine oil.

But these paints allow artists to make several prints at a time (they are all completely different too), and even print on canvas.

Acrylic is also an “adult” material. It dries very quickly, and when experimenting with it, you need “work” clothes.

Monotype in fine arts

The invention of the monotype technique is attributed to Giovanni Castiglione (1607-1665), an Italian painter and engraver. True, his monotypes vaguely resembled the work of the next generation of artists, but it was he who guessed to combine handicraft work with the machine.

William Blake (1757-1828) and Edgar Degas (1834-1917) are considered the most famous old masters of this trend, but today only lazy ones have not tried themselves in monotopy.

By the way, at the turn of the millennium, fractal dendritic formations were established (in other words, a pattern in the form of a tree that branches out infinitely and proportionally). This is due to self-organization in the liquid film between the surface and the paper.

Fractal monotypes belong to the class of stochastic fractals, which are obtained in a natural way – they are also called “stochastics”.

The nature of many monotopies, and in this regard, in 2000, the term “fractal monotype” was introduced. What does it mean? In fact, everything is simple: about a minute after the creation of the impression in the blot often appear