Research Point: Investigating Combination Printmaking and Incorporating Chine Colle Collages

25 September 2017

Research Point: Investigating Combination Printmaking and Incorporating Chine Colle Collages

Find some examples of good use of chine colle in printmaking and share them with other OCA printmakers via the forum or make notes in your learning log.

I have searched for Chine Colle print images online and found many examples. Those that particularly appealed to me, I have added to a newly created Pinterest Board imaginatively called, Chine Colle Printing. I have to admit that, for some reason, I was having a mental block against this technique. I couldn’t get my head around how to do this, maybe because I hadn’t really explored collage extensively. However, after reading different methods both in the course manual, online and in instructional books, it began to sink in. Plus after reviewing other artists’ take on the technique, I began to see ways of having fun with it and experimenting.

From the selection I “pinned”, it became obvious to me that I preferred those images where the chine colle was not used to colour precise aspects of the subject. Whereas I respect the skill of registration required, I found it too tight and restrictive. This is something I have felt I have become from over-planning in my previous projects. Therefore, where there is overlapping of the printed line or other layers of paper is much more interesting to me. I also liked where strips of paper have been used to extend the boundaries of the entire image to alter the orientation, shape and scale of the original print.

Another method I enjoyed was where more than one print block was placed side by side, for example, to create one image and then chine colle was used to bring them together and give a shared sense of place. A good example of this is the Coyote & Chicken by Melissa West:


Coyote & Chicken by Melissa West, two images to make one with chine colle bringing them together

Coyote & Chicken by Melissa West, two images to make one with chine colle bringing them together


I really like this as the bright yellow, what looks like, handmade paper top and bottom implies the straw in the hen-house and hints at the narrative about to happen, although not so good for the chicken!

Another simple but effective print I found used the chine colle to extend the border of the image as previously mentioned. Striped Cat by Robyn Sinclair:

Striped Cat by Robyn Sinclair. Example of pushing out the borders of the image with Cine Colle

Striped Cat by Robyn Sinclair. Example of pushing out the borders of the image with Chine Colle


I was also taken with more abstract and textural images where chine colle was employed using all sorts of materials not just paper. I liked the layering of materials and printing – the effect was fuller and richer with depth. This print was eye-catching with its using of colour and texture, unfortunately, I am unable to give credit as the link appears to be broken, I only know the artist’s name is Kate, I have no title either.


Abstract with chine colle using various materials to create texture

Abstract with chine colle using various materials to create texture


One more that again is simple with regards the addition of coloured paper but I like that they are tonally similar, complementary and do not slavishly match the outline – Green Tea 1 by Rosemary Eagle.

Green Tea 1 by Rosemary Eagle

Green Tea 1 by Rosemary Eagle


The best thing after doing this exercise? I can’t wait to have a go!

Research Point: Monoprints by Degas


Research Point: Monoprints by Degas

Take a look at monoprints by Degas. How have these  been achieved? How successful are they? What can you learn from his prints?

I have been collecting a few examples of Degas’ monoprints on Pinterest and have a pin board dedicated to them:

Quite a few of Degas’ monoprints appear to have been made by inking the entire plate and removing ink to indicate the subject matter, whether that is a figure, an object or light. He seems to have used a variety of tools to do this, although many marks are soft as if he has used a cloth or rag. Occasionally, scratch marks can be seen to help denote tone and texture. He quite clearly also uses his fingers to press into the ink and smudge away to soften the image. A lot of the time he worked very tonally and, in the examples I’ve seen, there is minimal line drawing. Some of the images appear to be second or third ghost pressings that he has worked into with pastel, chalks and washes.

I think these have worked beautifully and have great mood and atmosphere. There seems to be an added intimacy compared with his paintings.

I can learn many things from Degas’ prints, not least to be free and expressive. Although, many colours can be used within the monoprinting process itself, the use of tone is still key to producing atmospheric images. Almost anything may be used to make a mark, and those marks can be incredibly subtle or strongly dominant. Even as each print is unique, the inked plate itself can be re-used and modified many times producing different effects yet underpinned by the original. The ghost prints used as under-paintings for pastel work is something I would like to try out, as well as washes and maybe, when I use oil based inks, there maybe an element of resist that can also be explored.

Links to articles in relation to my research:

Degas Monoprint - girl brushing her hair

Degas Monoprint – girl brushing her hair


I really liked this print – it’s low on detail but high on impact. My observations are noted along side with this and the other print I’ve chosen. Both will be added to my sketchbook as a constant reminder of what may be achieved.




Degas Monoprint - The Fireside

Degas Monoprint – The Fireside



This is beautifully depicted and is packed full of atmosphere and mood. Annotated with observations and inserted into my sketchbook.





Research Point: Other Student’s Learning Logs for Printmaking


Research Point: Other Student’s Learning Logs for Printmaking

Before you get started, see if you can find any learning logs (blogs) online by other OCA printmaking students… Make notes in your own log (or blog).

First confession, although I did read through the course before-hand, I was so excited about getting going with this, I seem to have glossed over the “Before you get started…” bit!

Well, better late than never!

This was definitely worth doing and, possibly even better than doing it before my first experiments – I, at least now, have a rough idea of what they are saying. Some students are obviously following a printmaking degree pathway and have had previous experience, others, like me, are dipping their toes in for the first time. Here are a couple of examples covering that range.

Experienced Printmaker

Some interesting approaches here – where she has struggled with water-based inks drying too quickly, gum arabic was used on the printing plate first to allow the ink to be lifted off more easily. Plus soaking, then blotting the paper prior to printing seems to be a successful technique to overcome this problem. I haven’t yet had my oil based inks arrive so am manoeuvring my way round with water-based inks and will bear this in mind. It was also interesting to read that this student was using an old mangle as a print press – that’s probably given it away as to who this is!

Leisure Student

This student has taken many OCA courses over the last 6 years and is doing Printmaking 1 as a leisure course. She has no significant previous printmaking experience. I have to say, however, that the variety of visual arts courses she has experienced has fully informed her printmaking and has opened my eyes to the limitless possibilities there are with this subject. The imaginative imagery and combination of existing skills with the newly learned techniques make for exciting viewing.

I can see that this could be very addictive and will definitely improve and awaken my creativity.