Waterloo Sunrise is a gel print monotype made with acrylic paints on paper. It is about 30cm square. The print has been mounted on a cradled wooden panel with edges painted black. It is supplied wired and ready to hang.
This is one of a large series of gel prints made during lockdown. You can find many more here.
The title is a play on the song by Ray Davies, ‘Waterloo Sunset’. To me the colours suggest the sun rising through pollution while the yellow bars across the lower third suggest engineering structures like bridges and cranes.
What is a gel print
Monotype prints in general are made by drawing or painting on a smooth, non-absorbent surface. This surface, sometimes called the matrix, was historically a copper etching plate. In contemporary work other materials are often used, such as acrylic sheet. The image on the matrix is then transferred onto a sheet of paper by pressing the two together. This usually requires a print press. Monotypes can also be created by inking an entire surface and then, using brushes or rags, removing ink to create light areas in a field of opaque colour.
The specific process I used for this print was gel printing (or Gelli but this is a trade mark). The matrix in this case is a soft synthetic gel. I apply the paint to the gel sheet with rollers or brushes, often using stencils or masks to limit the area to which the paint is applied. The rolled out paints can also be drawn into or otherwise textured in various ways. This process is repeated until I’m happy with the image. Some of my prints made this way have over 20 separate full or partial layers.
This process lets me make complex prints without needing a press. The resulting print is a gel print or to be fully specific a gel print monotype.