Monotype printmaking an introduction | Encaustic Monotype Prints

Today is the first day of the Fifth International Encaustic Conference. This year’s conference is being held in Provincetown. Provincetown is known for its beaches, harbor, artists, tourist industry, and its status as a gay village. Commercial Street is a colourful narrow one-way street with more pedestrians, bikes, and pedicabs than cars lined with shops, restaurants and galleries. Provincetown is wonderful!

Monotype Marathon Session

Never having seen monotype in person I was thrilled to attend the Monotype Marathon — three back-to-back sessions from three encaustic monotype masters.

  1. Dorothy Furlong-Gardner who pioneered encaustic monotype thirty-five years ago, gave an inspiring introduction to wax prints
  2.  David A. Clark demonstrated monotype stenciling, and
  3. Kathleen Lemoine demonstrated adapting monotype for wood panels and objects.

The History of the Monotype with Dorothy (Dottie) Furlong-Gardner

As a printmaker, Dottie was doing monotypes in the traditional method of transferring oil-based inks on paper with the use of an etching press. She began experimenting to combine the directness and immediacy of the monotype with the richness and luminosity of encaustic painting. The result was the first “Encaustic Monotype” a process that eliminated all the toxicity of inks and solvents of printmaking in the traditional way on a press.

Dottie demonstrated

  • how to use a hot box to create a monotype print,
  • positive and negative prints,
  • ghost prints,
  • cognates (a 2nd generation print from a print on the plate),
  • prints made from multiple pulls and
  • how to register to ensure that the paper is in the same place each time it is placed on the hot box surface.

Monoprint Stencils with David A Clark

With a flamboyant style, David demonstrated stencils printmaking. He outlined four variables in monotype printmaking: heat, paint, paper and pressure. If you change one of these variables then you may need to make adjustments to others as well. If you use a different paper you may need more paint, a higher temperature, less pressure.

David cuts his stencils from Dura-Lar acetate although any heat-resistant acetate will work. David uses paints from different vendors and highlighted a number of his favourite colours, I’m going to want to head to the vendor room following the presentation.

Adapting Monotype to Wood Panels and Objects with Kathleen Lemoine

Kathleen used a wooden panel that she got from Jane’s Frames in the Vendor room. She put puddles of encaustic medium on the hotbox and pulled the panel in the medium. She works at the edge or the hot box a lot. You don’t need to fuse again as the hotbox is doing the fusing as the medium is picked up. In addition to wood panels Kathleen demonstrated printing using cubes of wood. You can work directly on untreated wood panels but Kathleen likes to treat with gesso first. She spoke about the new holy grail colored gesso‘s from Evans Encaustics.

I’m ready to start Monotype printmaking

This was a great introduction to wax printmaking. I think it would be exciting to give encaustic monotype printing a try but I don’t want to purchase a Hotbox. I’m going to have a look at an Anodized Aluminum Plate from Encaustikos which converts a pancake griddle into a printing plate.

Recommended Encaustic Monoprinting Supplies & Tools

About Ruth Maude

I enjoy experimenting with a variety of encaustic materials, techniques and tools. Everything I learn pushes my creative journey in new directions. I share what I've learned with other artists through my blog All Things Encaustic.

Visit My Website
View All Posts

2 thoughts on “Monotype printmaking an introduction | Encaustic Monotype Prints


  1. Thank you for the terrific summary, Ruth. I arrived at the conference somewhat later than I had originally planned and I missed most of the monotype presentation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *