Monoprinting and the need for color

I don’t know if it is just being deep into our Canadian winter, or the fact that a lot of my artwork is created in black-and-white, but sometimes I crave color like one craves sugar.

LINDA COTE-Ink ColorSo, at the beginning of the year, I took out my colored inks and mucked about. One of my favorite colors is blue. I love any shade of it. So, this day, without really knowing what I was going to make, I decided to do some monoprinting on cards.

Monoprinting — if you’ve not heard of it — is simply applying ink to a flat surface, then making marks in the ink with brushes, q-tips, pencils, your fingers….really anything will work. Then, you lay the paper on the surface and pull one print (thus ‘mono’). This print is truly one-of-a-kind because the marks made are unique and cannot be reproduced by hand again.


This day, I used both my brayer (roller) to leave geometrical patterns on the block, as well as a stiff bristle brush to make designs.

LINDA COTE-Blue Inked Cards

The designs started to look like mountains (where did that come from? LOL). I just kept applying ink and pulling prints.

LINDA COTE-Blue Ink Cards drying

The best thing about this was that it was colorful free-play. I love having no agenda! If they didn’t turn out, no matter. Soon, I had a satisfying row of cards hanging to dry.


After about a week, and sitting with the funky designs in blue, I thought it would be cool to add a silhouette of trees in the foreground. The ‘mountain shape’ was really hinted at, but I liked the strong outline of the forest over the blue sky. Using a small roller to ink the trees, I line the block up by hand and over-print the blue cards.

LINDA COTE-Mystical Forest Card-FBWeb

LINDA COTE-Mystical ForestVoila! Monoprinted greeting cards. I’ve called this one “Mystical Forest” because of the swirly sky and the shards of light that could be sun coming through a cloud or the shape of the mountains. What do you see?

Previously, I have made monoprinted cards of both fish swimming in the Bow River, and one of my best sellers: my Midnight Mountains card.


LINDA COTE-Midnight MountainsAnd, if you wish, come into the studio to see the process! My YouTube video shows me hand-printing the ‘Midnight Mountains’ greeting cards:

19 responses to “Monoprinting and the need for color

  1. Linda your pieces are so much fun, I have done a bit with my adults with special needs and they are making cards to sell,so the soft block would be a nice edition to the mono print. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Pingback: Gelli printing and playing with color | Musings From The Studio·

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s