In this workshop, Mou walks you through the supplies she uses for monoprinting, and guides you through her process for creating a monoprinted page.


NOTE: You can find a downloadable materials list in your Season Sidekick. 


(this transcript is automatically generated and is sure to contain errors. It is provided here for your convenience)

Let’s start by looking at the supplies that we are going to need. And these are just supplies I have handy. You could totally use whatever you have. So I have some acrylic paints here and I have a glue and I’m going to note all the colors and brands and everything in my supply list. I have a pencil eraser, some fins and here’s a stamp in the, you know, you can have any stamp. My, I like background stamps if I use them. They just add a visual texture. I have some leftover papers from other things. I don’t know if I’m going to use them, but you never know. So I’m just going to have that handy. I also have some gelatos now gelatos are water soluble pigment sticks. If you do not have this grind, you may have a different variety and you know, use what you have.

Anything that is water soluble, water color, like woodwork. And honestly when I sit down to create, I don’t always know exactly what I am going to create this as very much as it comes. I allow it to come and having a few standard things around me just helps me not break the flow for having to get up and then go look for stuff. So that is the only purpose of having all this stuff. And if you don’t have this many stuff, you really don’t need it. Whatever you have is usually sufficient. And I have that, I have a gelli plate this is like gel printing plate. That is one of the techniques and you may already be familiar with this technique or not, but sometimes I revisit techniques that I have not tried in a long time. So I think the last time I used a gelli plate was probably at least 10 years ago.

So I think sometimes it’s good to bring those old supplies and borrowed you what you don’t need and see if you still love it. Just use it and see what to do. After that. I have a stencil. Again, all the products are going to be listed by brand, by product, as much detail as I can possibly find for you to refer to that. But always know whatever you have is good. I also have some printer quality paper. This is a copy paper, very lightweight and I also have some card stock. We just slightly heavier than that copy paper but thick as a watercolor paper or even mixed media paper. I don’t necessarily always journal inside of a journal. I have loose papers that I just stack up when I have a bunch of them, I just stack them up and then I make a container for them, be the books, be eat a bag of the day.

So something I, I just do not like the feeling of being bound to a book. Sometimes I use books, but I prefer to have that freedom of going wherever I need to go without having to worry about ruining what’s on the next page. So that is something, again, if you like to work in an art journal, by all means do so. And I also have a water cup. I’m not sure if I mentioned, if I mentioned the scissors. Yes. Scissors an offensive eraser. Bence yes. I believe I mentioned all of those. And I also have some paper napkins handy because, well, things get messy. And as you can see, I have put she does newsprint down to cover my work surface. And because I am planning to do some monoprinting, which are so fun and very messy. So let’s just get started and see how this goes.



(this transcript is automatically generated and is sure to contain errors. It is provided here for your convenience)

It’s a busy bustling day here. Anytime the sun comes out during the winter months here in New Jersey, everybody on the street has something going on. So there are always some external noise that are beyond my control. 

Let’s put some paint on here… before I do that…. How about I do this, like for this I’m using and ink, any color really does not matter because you know, this is all about layers and that’s all is needed. You don’t really have to be precise or anything like that. Go any which direction you feel like even if it doesn’t translate, that’s fine. Like I said, I’m a, no rules are journaler so it’s all fun for me and if something gets me and it’s okay, I just like to use some kind of ink that is gonna hold and not start to blend in with the paint. As soon as I do that and I just squeezed out a little bit directly from the tube into my spatula, which is dirty, but that’s okay. We all know how that goes. I would rather spend time doing fun stuff than worry about keeping my tool spic and span all the time, which is not to say that that is not ideal. It is. But I do not live in an ideal world and I’m not an ideal artist. So there we are.

And I’m just creating like batchy little blocks off bean. You could use a brush. I just find spatulas are a little more resilient to acrylic paints. Then my paint brushes, which are, which you get beat up much faster. I am just gonna know I’m the cap, the top take one of my very beat up, well loved brushes.

I didn’t look at color. Maybe use a little dryer brush next time rather than dipping it in water because that just made it a little more diluted than I would like. But that’s okay. And whatever stroke, let’s see how it goes when I’m monoprinting I rarely know what to expect and that kind of is the fun for me too. So now this is like a seven inches by five inches, a gel plate and my paper is eight and a half by 11 inches. So it’s not going to cover the entire thing in one go. And I don’t always care to like cover it from one corner to the next. I, I just let things be. Whatever comes out comes out. I’m not freezing extremely hard because this is the first layer of paint. I know I’m going to get some, Oh, interesting. I had a drawing going on there, didn’t realize I had looked at the paper from the other sides. So nice. I got some built in pattern. You never know what you’re going to find when you are journal. And sometimes I started doing something and then I completely forgot and then it shows up somewhere else. Like right now I didn’t remember that flower was there. I could have used the other side of the paper. But you know what, that’s a nice little surprise and I love that.

Hmm. So this is what my paper looks like. I think I love it and I’m just going to let this dry and continued to work with the copy paper. This was the card stock I just used. And this time I am going in with the what’d you call it? Ah, the Gabi paper. I had to go get a black bean because I really wanted to have a nice contrast with the paper that I just created because it’s all about layers. I do want a certain amount of contrast between my, between the elements of my page. So I let dries, I already finished the stamping and I’m going to bring in a little bit of black beans. I remember going a ride on top of my older paint and of course I’m going to use some other colors, just a one solid black is not going to cut it for me.

Kind of softens the black a little bit. There is a little bit of blending

Let’s just see, like I said, I never know what’s gonna come out and I embrace that uncertainty and I, I kind of like that it is, it does not disappoint me. And if it does disappoint me, well I have learned something when I do brushes, it leaves a little bit of brush Mark, which is also quite interesting. Texturally my black simply does not want to come out today. I added a little water to my black because I couldn’t move it. Otherwise it was kind of hard to move with the spatular and I don’t know if that is a good idea or not, but, well let’s find out

At this moment. This does not look very pretty, but that’s okay. Let’s close off being twos. That’s one thing I would always give you as a tip. You know, remember to gap off your beans and your mediums, whatever it is you’re working with and that would save you a lot of trouble down the line because I tend to forgive them sometimes. I’ve gotten better over the years, but I still forget and it does keep my project safe from spills. It keeps my pains from drying out my mediums from mediums, from drying out. But you know, standard stuff that we don’t always remember when we are creating,

Ooh, this looks a little angsty compared to that. That’s more Parky and this is more angsty. Yeah, he’s angsty award. I don’t know. Okay. Now I want to do something else, like a little bit of a layering on the monoprinting. So I have this blocky thing and now I wanna bring my stencil in and see how maybe this color, let’s, that’s a fairly grungy background. So I’m going to bring it in something a little brighter to park it up and then we will see what else to do. This is a paper, I love them because once they are unusable and I reuse them quite a few times, countless times, let’s just be honest here. And then when they are really not holding up, no longer usable as a stunt. So I got them up or tear them up and then added to my project, my mixed media project. And yeah. Well I also use a lot of the plastic stencils, but I love the pattern on this one. I have a thing for Mandelas and lessors and stuff. I don’t do them quite often, but I just love looking at them very calming. That’s the whole point of Amanda life. I am not wrong.

Again, I’m not going to cover the whole thing like in a premium proper way, so I’m going to come in, let’s see what we are getting here. It’s very important. Do gum, do our journaling with an open mind and you know you are watching me do this and it, it’s, if it feels like it’s too messy and I don’t want to do that, you know, don’t do it. Do it. Do something that makes you happy. This is just a way of teaching and something I’m enjoying and if this is not your thing, it’s okay. Do your thing.

All I’m trying to do is create collage papers. Really. I think I’m good based on this end. This I think, you know I did not quite planned this, but now that I look at it, I feel that it kind of fits in with the theme of belonging quite a bit because their belonging is not just one thing. It’s a lot of different things and for me it has been a belonging to different people, places, situations, and speaking out what I liked. It does add a richness of texture to my life and I feel I see that happening on the papers as well and it’s not always pretty when you, especially when you, there’s a lot of influx of input and you don’t know what to do with it. It sits there and then it starts to sip in and assimilate and then you know how to integrate that into your life and I think that goes for anything in life really. Any, anybody who’s open to learning I believe goes through this process in one way, shape, or form in some way, shape, or form.

Okay, so this is I would say fairly dry and at why this dries. I want to add some doodles to this one. This is becoming, the cardstock is becoming my background and I am going to use a bit Ben. These again are permanent pens and I absolutely love them. Anybody who has taken any class from me that requires any kind of writing, drawing or something, my must have hard how much I love my beat pens and I absolutely, absolutely love that. And it has been a love growing in my life for a long time, long, long time. And you know, favorite bends are something very personal. What is my favorite may not be yours and that is okay. You don’t have to like all the things. I like, okay, so I’m going to show you the technique here and I am coming in just kind of holding the pen and a lose. We’re not trying to really, really, really control anything because things can get tight if I do that way. I don’t know about you, but I have to be conscious to make sure that I stay lose. Isn’t that kind of a contrasting thing to say I have to stay conscious to stay use, but well that’s me. There are lots of very fun contrasts in my life. Like I said, I’m a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll, and that really is true for almost all area of my life.

Typically, my art journals are where I unwind and process, integrate, assimilate. I hardly pay attention. Do what’s going on with the page, with the techniques or whatever. Now I’m going to stop there because I have a lot more to do on this page.

Action Steps


try out monoprinting following Mou’s tutorial. 

share your pages in the Gallery and your thoughts in the Forum. Connect with and be kind to others.

share on Instagram with the hashtags: #getmessyartjournal, #getmessyart, and #gmseasonofbelonging. Tag and @getmessyartjournal if you’d like too (especially in stories so that we can reshare). Go through these hashtags to cheer others on.