In art, a monotype is a painting produced by drawing or painting on a smooth, non-absorbent surface and then printing the image on paper—or another substrate—by pressing it directly into place using a printing press. Monotypes can also be created by inking an entire surface and then, using brushes or rags, removing ink to produce a subtractive image, e.g., creating lights from a field of darks. The resulting image is called a ghost monotype

A monotype is unique because it can only be made once- that’s why it’s called “mono”type. It is made by drawing or painting on a smooth surface, like glass or metal, and then transferring the image to paper using a press. The image is usually reverse of the original, so it’s called a “ghost” monotype.

When you make a monotype, you are essentially making a print of your painting or drawing. Because of this, monotypes are often referred to as “one-of-a-kind prints.”

Monotypes can be made in a number of ways, but the most common method is to use a printing press.