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Would You Call this Cheating?

February 26, 2017

The good new is that… after a long gap I’m back at my so called studio! I’ve already had a few attempts this year, but these resulted in loads of stuff and probably good ideas IN – THE – BIN.

Somehow nothing worked, I got upset and took my time before returning back to where I’ve started. It seems this was a good decision. Quoting American writer Anne Lamott “almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes… including you”. Well, minutes turned into weeks, but I’m really glad there’s finally something to show you. Monotypes.

Yes, it’s monotypes once again… One might find this technique boring, especially as the images you receive aren’t colourful and might appear smudged, yet I keep returning to this form of simple art. The process is a bit messy, but once you know what you’re doing you can easily get carried away. But lets move on to my main question – would you call this cheating?


What I have in mind is the whole printing process. Printing monotyes you’re supposed to end up with one unique image (mono stands for one). You place a sheet of paper on the even surface that’s been covered in paint and draw on the backside with a pencil or a pen. Once you’re finished you lift the paper and can enjoy a mirror drawing of your sketch. Simple, right? And here’s the problem with my printing process – I’ve become lazy and developed a method that allows me to create more than one very similar monotypes.


I start with quite a few sketches. I like to build up a set of images I am going to print that day before I applying paint onto the glass sheet I use for creating my monotypes. Usually I take ordinary white paper and draw whatever comes to my mind. Sometimes I develop a theme for the day – as you can see I’ve been playing with ships lately. Once I’m ready, i.e. have a few drawings that so to say light my fire, I start printing. I use watercolour paper and place my sketch on top of it so that I could trace the lines. I can repeat this a few times using different coloured pencils.


There’s no spontaneity and no accidental mistakes that could sometimes result in interesting effects, but this way I end up with two or three versions of the same drawing and then I can choose whathever looks best.

So would you call this cheating?


Even if it is I’m afraid I’m not going to give up this method soon. I like to be in control and I am scared of accidental mistakes. There’s also the fear of white sheet of paper, tracing lines is much easier. So many complexes…

I guess I will have to try creating REAL monotypes if only for a laugh, meanwhile I’m off to choose the most successful copies.

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. February 27, 2017 1:21 pm

    Cheating? What are we, the art police? 😉

  2. Kay Rodriques permalink
    February 28, 2017 2:38 am

    I wouldn’t call it cheating but if it’s more than one it’s not “mono!” And i do the same thing — i’ll have maybe three versions and a ghost to boot!

    • February 28, 2017 7:16 am

      Thank you, Kay. I’m glad that in your opinion my method can’t be called cheating; I also agree that the outcome is no longer “mono”, but it got me thinking – what is it then…? K.

  3. Kay Rodriques permalink
    February 28, 2017 7:18 am

    We can make up our own category! “Three prints and a ghost!” Ha ha.

    • February 28, 2017 7:24 am

      A brilliant name! It doesn’t give much away and also will keep everyone wondering what we are taliking about. K.

  4. March 4, 2017 2:22 pm

    I call it fun! And if you aren’t making something for the “circular file” once in a while, you aren’t really stretching yourself. That was hard for me to learn and really accept. Everything you do doesn’t have to turn out perfectly. Just keep at it.

    (PS, I love Anne Lamont)

    • March 5, 2017 6:11 pm

      Thank you, Ruth. I’m afraid I’m just like you – a bit of a perfectionist… Sometimes it’s even hard to start working on something if my studio is untidy. I think I’ve wasted so much of my precious time clearing things up! I’m trying to learn to relax a bit, but the dutiful self keeps taking over. K.

      P.S. I haven’t read anything by Anne Lamont yet. Any recommendations?

      • March 5, 2017 9:11 pm

        She has a lot of spiritual living books, but I have mainly read her novels. There is a series starting with “Rosie” which I liked, as well as “Blue Shoe” and “All New People”

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