A monotype is commonly referred to as the ‘painterly print’. A monotype is solely generated from autonomous marks made onto a surface – such as PVC or perspex. The monotype contains no ‘re-usable’ elements. In other words, in the creation of a monotype the surface onto which an artist paints does not hold any fixed information that can be printed more than once. Unlike the printing surface of an etching, which has been permanently etched and thus can be printed in an edition, the monotype exists as a once-off – a unique print.
The exception is that a ghost print and/or cognate print can be pulled after the initial impression has been printed. However, as the term ghost implies, this second print pulled is the feint marks left over on the surface.