I love to cook, so my art is often inspired by what I find in the kitchen. Monoprinting is a fun process with a bit of serendipity. You think you know what the results will be, but there is always an element of surprise. I used dried beans (kidney beans to be exact) to create this texture study, but dried pasta also works well. Linguine makes lovely broken straight lines!
To get started you will need:
- dried beans
- cardboard (I used an old box.)
- liquid glue (such as Elmer’s)
- water-soluble printing ink (2-3)
- printing brayer (2-3, or be prepared to wash and dry)
- old plastic tray (2-3)
- paper for printing
- paper (brown paper, newspaper) to cover work table
1. Prepare your work surface.
Cover your table with newspaper or brown paper to protect it. This process is slightly messy, so it’s always better to err on the side of caution. Don’t forget to put on your apron!
Cut out a piece of cardboard from an old box. The size will be determined by the size of your printing paper. Arrange your beans on the plate in a pattern of your choice. Glue them into place.
Squeeze a small amount of ink onto the center of the plastic tray. Smooth out the ink with a brayer. Don’t have too much fun squishing it around! The ink dries quickly.
Place your art aside to dry. Use warm, sudsy water to wash your tray and brayer. Allow to air dry. Recycle the newsprint.
Use your print as the base for a mixed media artwork or use it in a collage. This project is suitable for ages 5 on up, though only adults should cut the cardboard base from a box.