"Historically, the terms Monotype and Monoprint were often used interchangeably. More recently, however, these are now used to refer to very similar types of printmaking which are somewhat different. Both involve the transfer of ink from a plate to the paper, canvas, or other surface that will ultimately hold the work of art. In the case of monotypes, the plate is a featureless plate. It contains no features that will impart any definition to successive prints. . . . In the absence of any permanent features on the surface of the plate, all articulation of imagery is dependent on one unique inking, resulting in one unique print.
Monoprints, on the other hand, now refers to the results of plates that have permanent features on them. Monoprints can be thought of as variations on a theme, with the theme resulting from some permanent features being found on the plate—lines, textures—that persist from print to print. Variations are confined to those resulting from how the plate is inked prior to each print. The variations are endless, but certain permanent features on the plate will tend to persist from one print to the next."
Rose Davies (the instructor of our monotype workshop) explained it more simply as a monotype starts with a empty surface (plate), whereas the monoprint starts with an existing printing plate (i.e. a carved woodblock).
I have been back to Wingtip Press to work on a few more three color reduction monotypes like we did in the workshop. I was working with an image of italian prune plums. Here is the resulting print and the ghost print.
I liked the ghost better and will see if I can work into it with some oil pastel or pencils. The first print is just a little too strong graphically for what I was envisioning and the texture is also a little harsh.
It was bothering me so much that I had to go back another day to try again. I thought I knew what to do to make it better (for me). Here is the second attempt and the ghost print.
I am much happier with the second attempt. It has a softer look to it. Although now that I have "fixed" it, the first one is starting to grow on me. They are just two different looks of the same image.
Which one do you like better?