Chen’s Canvas: Mono-print collage


Jason Chen, JagWire reporter/illustrator

So, this past week I actually took the time to complete some new artwork, one of which is a mono-print project that I made for AP Studio Art. The requirements of the piece were to incorporate printed images — in watercolor — and collage them with other mediums to develop a new unified image.

The inspiration of this piece first came from my figure sketches — previous blog topic — and my desire to replicate the contemporary style used to capture the subjects of those sketches. However, I didn’t want to just copy that same style in another project. Instead, I wanted enhance the atmosphere by including vibrant colors into this piece.

The various colors in the piece are a result of mono-prints created through the printing of watercolor on a plastic panel and the transferring of that color onto a lightly dampened paper. The spiral patterns of watercolor are actually derived from the shape of hay barrels. A task of this project was to create mono-prints from photography that we had taken, one of which was of hay barrels.

A portrait of a friend of mine, senior Ellie Wilson, who happens to sit right next to me in AP studio art, became the theme of this project. I really had to focus in order to capture Wilson’s features and natural beauty. I wanted this portrait to look like Wilson, and not some random street girl.

Like my figure sketches, I used pen to create contour lines which outlined the form of Wilson’s face. Various thickens in lines were used in capturing her portrait, resulting in the modern style that I’ve been so obsessed with recently. I then added watercolor to the portrait to provide a further pop of color.

I used the mono-prints throughout by cutting out shapes that would fit the form of the portrait using a x-acto knife. I placed them on top of the watercolor to enhance the color in the piece. Then, I applied a stark contrast in color by attaching a pair of pure black glasses to balance the vibrant color.

Portrait of senior Ellie Wilson using pen, watercolor, and collaged mono-print pieces.
Portrait of senior Ellie Wilson using pen, watercolor, and collaged mono-print pieces.

In all, I adore the way this portrait turned out. I really think I captured Wilson’s features and essence well in this piece. The use of bright colors really reflects on Wilson’s whimsical personality and in my opinion, represents her traits quite nicely.

Let’s hope this project received a decent rating and grade. Join me again next week for another examination of one of my art projects.

Junior Jason Chen is quite the artist and his art reflects on a wide range of styles and topics through mediums that include watercolor, pen and ink, pencils; and frequently a touch of acrylic. In AP Studio Art, his classmates regularly comment on having him; “sacrificed to the art gods.”  

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