Southbank Show Masterclass: Tracey Emin on how to make a monoprint


With the Sky Academy Arts Scholarships open for applications on the site, we are also offering a series of Southbank Show Masterclass videos, in which several high profile artists give an introduction to their creative processes. Here, Tracey Emin teaches you how to make a simple, inexpensive monoprint...

Tracey Emin is one of Britain's most recogniseable, successful visual artists. After breaking into public consciousness as part of the Young British Artists movement, she has gone on to have hugely successful solo shows and is now the professor of drawing at the Royal Academy.

In this video Tracey explains how to make a simple, relatively cheap, one-off monoprint - a medium that sits between traditional drawing and printing.


Tracey's advice

To make a monoprint, you will need:

  • Water-based ink
  • A sheet of plain, clean glass
  • A cheap roller (you can get these from any art supply shops)
  • A biro
  • A piece of fairly thin paper

First, use a roller to spread the ink out across the glass as evenly as you can. Don't roll it on too thick, as the paper will come out completely black. But try not to make it too thin either, as it will be harder to make your image come out.

To try and make the paper square over the glass, maybe lay out some guide strips or even another piece of paper under the glass.

Remember: whatever you draw on the paper will come out back-to-front on your print. So, you will need to write in reverse, as if in a mirror.

Don't touch the paper with anything but your pen - any hand or finger prints will come through.

However, if you want to create a bit of shading, you can run your finger across the paper to create an area of black.


Monoprints are alchemic, says Tracey. You can never be quite sure how it's going to come out until you've finished.


To apply for the Sky Academy Arts Scholarships visit the brief page.

For more articles, jobs and opportunities, visit our design and visual arts hub page.

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