Monday, November 2, 2015

Ottawa Art School Fair - Print Addiction With Golden Acrylics

Art School Fair (ASF) was held October 31 to November 1, 2015, in Ottawa.

ASF is eastern Canada's first and only ART MATERIAL TRADE FAIR + ART CLASSES. Organizers brought together the biggest and best names and brands in the industry. Attendees were able to see, buy and try the latest products, take a workshop, demo or lecture.

This is the last of four reports on the demonstrations, lectures and workshops that I attended. On Sunday, November 1st (12:30 pm-2:30 pm), I attended the demonstration: Print Addiction with Golden Acrylics by Andrea Warren of Golden Paints

Our Instructor: Andrea Warren
I had met Andrea Warren previously at the Davis Art School (see my blog post: "A Golden Night Exploring Golden Acrylics")

Andrea is an Ottawa-based artist. Her website is:

Her  About Page" says,
"Andrea Warren is an acrylic painter and mixed media artist based out of her hometown of Ottawa, Ontario. Since 2008, she has been the Ottawa Working Artist for Golden Artist Colors, giving lectures and hands-on workshops at universities, colleges, galleries and art associations across central and eastern Canada. Andrea received her degree in visual arts and philosophy from Trinity Western University, in Langley, BC, and has been exhibiting her work in both solo and group shows for the last 10 years. She has also been involved in the field of arts and healthcare for the last five years, and currently works with Artswell, a non-profit group which provides therapeutic arts programs for marginalized communities."
Below are some of the samples Andres brought of her monoprints on rice paper. Incredibly beautiful and inspiring to see at the beginning of our class.

Samples of Andrea Warren's monoprints on rice paper

Our hands-on workshop was about mono printing using Gelli Plates and Golden acrylics and a variety of other materials (i.e. palette knives and painting tools, homemade stencils, string, and more.)

Prior to class we were asked to bring three items:

Golden supplied all of the other materials that we required. (More on that later.)

Here are my art supplies all set up and ready to go at the workshop
For our mono printing workshop, we used Golden OPEN acrylic paints. Why OPEN acrylics?

  •  OPEN Acrylics are a slow-drying paint with a slightly softer consistency than Golden Heavy Body paints. 
  •  The slow-drying capability of OPEN Acrylics also makes the suitable for some printmaking techniques. 
  • Because OPEN Acrylics dry slowly, painters who cover their palettes or use sealed containers have been able to use the same colors for weeks, reducing the amount of paint wasted and preserving color mixtures for future use.
  •  Thick applications can dry extremely slowly, so Golden recommends artists only use OPEN Colors thinly (< 1 mm). 
  • Drying time can also be accelerated by mixing OPEN with faster-drying acrylics like our Fluid and Heavy Body colors.
Click here for detailed product information, click here for pigment information and download the Color Material Safety Data Sheet for health and safety information.

Golden OPEN acrylic paints
What we learned from Andrea Warren - the workshop basics:

Why is it called "monoprinting"? A monoprint is essentially a ONE of a kind print.
"Also known as the most painterly method among the printmaking techniques , a monoprint is essentially a printed painting. The characteristic of this method is that no two prints are alike; although images can be similar, editioning is not possible." (Source:
Subtractive or Additive monoprinting

Source: Opus Art Supplies: Introduction to Monoprinting

What is a gelliplate? 

Gel Printing Plate ( looks and feels like gelatin, but is durable, reusable and stores at room temperature. It's easy to clean and always ready for printing. (FYI for vegans - There is no gelatin in a Gelli plate.) (Andrea's tips: hold on to the case it comes in for storage; store flat with nothing on top; clean with baby wipes)

What about Paper?

We used Strathmore Printmaking paper, (see: but Andrea also uses rice paper for her printmaking (see:
(Andrea's tips: she also like using Rives BFK and Arches 88)

Note that Canson has an excellent resource "Printmaking Chose Your Paper" which can be found at:

Andrea demonstrating setting up your register

For our workshop we did subtractive monoprinting:
Step 1: Lay your gelliplate on a piece of palette paper and mark it
Step 2: Register your paper by taping one piece to each side of your gelli plate
Step 3: Apply colour using brayers or q tips and be very aware of transparent vs opaque colours
Step 4: Using stencils, scrapers, string, etc texturize the plate
Step 5: "Pull" your print: apply the paper rubbing with your hand and lift

Get 3 prints? But I thought monoprinting meant 1 print?
"As their names imply, monotypes and monoprints (the words are often used interchangeably but shouldn’t be) are prints that have an edition of one, though sometimes a second, weaker impression can be taken from the matrix.  A monotype is made by drawing a design in printing ink on any smooth surface, then covering that matrix with a sheet of paper and passing it through a press.  The resulting image will be an exact reverse of the original drawing, but relatively flatter because of the pressure of the press." (Source:

My VERY FIRST monoprint- I LOVED the colours!

The workshop promised that we would "Learn the basics, experiment with different techniques and materials, make a pile of fun prints, and go home with all the tools you need to start printmaking at home!" and it did indeed. Within an hour, the tables were filling with prints to dry.

One of the many areas where workshop participants piled placed their prints to dry while starting another one
Andrea highly recommended the following two books for folks who wanted to experiment and get inspiration:
Two books recommended by Andrea

I am really excited about this new technique and while I was in the class I wondered about using the monoprints to create other things - like using the print as a background and drawing or painting on top it or tearing up or cutting the prints for use in collages.....or acrylic, collage, drawing, assemblage on wood ?! The possibilities are endless!

Combination of techniques
The monotype is a technique used by many artists only as a transition for other work, such as Degas used to do. He first printed a monotype, then developed the image by drawing and painting over it with pastels, pencils, oil paint, watercolors or printing ink. When an image printed too heavily, Degas made a second impression of that same print by placing a new sheet of dampened paper over the just printed monotype. This would take away some of the color and a second lighter impression was the result which was also used to work on with inks, pastels or oils.

Collaging Monoprints
Andrea suggested for collage artists to use soft gel gloss for the glue because it's archival (goes on white but dries clear)

This was an incredibly brief summary of some interesting points that I took away from Andrea Warren's excellent presentation yesterday. I am thankful for this opportunity today at the Art School Fair.
More Links to Explore

Altogether, I made 9 prints at the workshop. Here are few of my favourites:

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