I have been researching ways of creating depth in the picture frame and negating the support surface. One way has been to use an intense matt black, but another might be to use a contrast of materials for subject and background and exploit the translucent nature of delicate paper.
To create several layers of translucent colours, I used Inktense pigments. These are water-soluble but become permanent. Subsequent layers will not effect earlier ones. They also have the effect of interacting in a granular way when suspended in water. In order to apply multiple layers without over-soaking the paper, I experimented using a gelatine plate and monoprinted successive layers. The gelatine plate has an intrinsic water content which stops media drying out too quickly and also helps release them from the surface. I was keen to see if it would work with water-based media rather than the more normally used acrylic paints. The cloud-like shapes in my samples persuaded me to revisit the subject of a falling figure.
In the small sample below, there are several layers of Inktense monoprint layers with the figure monoprinted using Indian ink. The ink transferred very well, retaining brush strokes. A similar experiment with acryl gouache failed.
The transparency of the background makes the figure appear to float. I monoprinted a number of A3 sized supports and then added a figure, monoprinted using Indian ink.
I have struggled to find a balance between obvious brush strokes in the background and a sense of cloud-like structure or volume. The ink dries in about 90 seconds, so there is little time to paint the figure accurately. However, the way the brush marks have been picked up give the figure movement. The imperfection of the edges and extremities makes the figure more abstract and more intriguing.
This figure appears to be sinking into a mist or being swept by waves, a result of leaving obvious brush strokes.
This is the most successful figure, with the brush strokes giving volume and structure but the lost and found edges adding mystery. The character of these marks could only have been achieved by monoprinting. The translucent, almost luscious, background is hopeful rather than ominous.