What is monoprinting?

It is a form of printmaking that has images or lines that can only be made once, unlike most printmaking, where multiples can easily be made. Monoprints may include collage, hand-painted additions, and a form of tracing by which ink is laid down on a table, paper is placed on top and is then drawn on, transferring the ink onto the paper.  

Simple monoprinting technique.

You need:

  • Newspaper
  • Acetate
  • Roller
  • Printing ink
  • Paper
  • Biro

Place newspaper on the table, and then place your acetate on top.

Put a very small amount of ink in small blobs along the acetate.



Use the roller to spread the ink thinly and evenly all over the acetate.

Blot off any excess ink by taking a sheet of scrap paper, and placing it on top of the inked acetate. Carefully rub across all of the paper using the side of your hand. Peel the paper off without touching the acetate.

You are now ready to print.

Take your final piece of paper and place it carefully on the inked acetate. Remember not to apply any pressure to the page where you do not want ink to transfer from the acetate to your paper. This means when you are drawing, do not lean your arm or hand on the page. Start drawing your image on the page with a biro. The pressure from the biro on the page will cause the ink to transfer from the acetate to the back of the paper. Tonal effects can be achieved by either shading with the biro, or by applying pressure with your fingers or other objects.

When you have finished drawing, carefully peel off the paper to reveal the print on the reverse.


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