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What is a Monotype?


A monotype is a print, but with one major difference from other printmaking processes: the artist creates exactly one print, instead of multiples (called editions). This is due to the way a monotype is made.


To make a monotype, the artist applies paint or ink directly onto a plate — which can be metal, glass, or plexiglas. The plate is pressed against the paper to transfer the ink. (So the finished print is a mirror image of what’s on the plate.) The printing can be done with a printing press or sometimes by hand.


The monotype is a single, unique image. A second image can occasionally be achieved if there is remaining paint or ink left behind on the plate.  This second print is referred to as a “ghost”.

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