Project 4 – Combination Monoprints – Klee Homage

My objective for this combination monoprint was an homage to Klee’s back drawn works combining printed subjects on watercolour backgrounds:

  • colourful background with a combination of colours and soft shapes
  • back drawn subject on the theme of weightlessness or floating
  • a back drawn edge decoration
  • simplicity.

To get a soft, subtle coloured background on thin paper which I could draw sharp lines through, I decided to monoprint the background using transparent acrylic paint. I combined three layers printing through several stencils of wave shapes to suggest air currents or water. I tries to keep these pale so used very thin layers and in one added transparent white. I printed these through a mask. I transferred my design from the sketchbook to a thin sheet of paper and taped this to the back of my print using low tack masking tape. I rolled black oil based ink onto a plate and drew my design in the back, lifting an edge of the paper to check the tone. I removed the drawing on the back so that I could see the edge of my print clearly and drew my boarder on the back of the print. I would have preferred not to do this but a trial showed how difficult it was to do this accurately through two sheets of paper. I didn’t want to use a ruler; I wanted my edges to retain spontaneity. I found controlling the edge really difficult free hand, even using a maul stick.

I my first attempt, my subject was too small and badly drawn and the background too dark.


In the second attempt, the waves show better but I don’t like how the edges coincide at the top right. The subject is bigger and better but not intricate or interesting enough. The transparent white is too heavy, not delicate. The edge is badly drawn.


I think these are poorly conceived and executed. The acrylic background is not delicate enough. I wanted the drawing to be simple and naive but this is childish and uninteresting. Perhaps this is because I have tried to reinterpret someone else’s idea rather than develop my own. It certainly gives me an appreciation of how subtle and complex Klee’s originals are.

If I were to persevere with this, I would print a watercolour background but I don’t knw how a thin paper would stand up to that. The drawn element would have to be stronger and the edge developed more.



About starrybird

I am mature student studying art with The Open College of the Arts. My passion is printmaking.
This entry was posted in Part 1 Monoprints, Printmaking 1, Project 4 - Combination and Textured Monoprints and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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