Today was the final day of the 'Monotype in Layers' Workshop. The basic principles are to create images as described, in layers, starting with light colours the plate is inked up using rollers and/or dabbers. Then some of it is wiped off with rags, card, earbuds, sticks, etc then printed (on damp BFK Rives).
The plate is then re-inked either using light colours again or colours that are a shade darker. Ink can be wiped out again but in additon you can use paper stencils, textured wall papers and/or fabric inked up in contrasting colours. Possible white spirit, talc - less is more though. You can carry on like this for several layers but if you do the trick is keeping each layer uncomplicated and a gradual change in tone to the colours. If you go too dark too quickly and throw too much at the pate at once you won't be able to see the wood for the trees as some students discovered for themselves.
The course was spread over two Saturdays to allow the prints to dry in between. If you have too many wet layers in one session you will find the print becomes smudged. The final layer is the transfer drawing layer and for this ideally hte other layers need to be dry but in addition if you mix the ink with chalk so it is really stiff then it is less inclined to be taken up in the wrong places on the print.
Of course no rule is hard and fast and you may well find that happy accidents occur doing he exact oppostite of what I have outlined here in which case you need to make a note of it and try to replicate it again!