Screen Printing

I absolutely had to get some screen printing into this project because I love the process, I love how the image looks at the end and I really wanted to be able to remember how you do it.

Carrying on with my continuous line work, I quickly drew some moths so that I had something to use.



From here, I used an A3 scanner to scan into one of the college computers. I then opened it in photoshop and using layers like I’ve mentioned before, I coloured in the parts I wanted to print. I used four different colours to build up the image and then in Indesign, I used a CMYK colour separation to print out the images.

I had four different print outs, one for each colour, and took them down to the Vernon St building, ready to print with.

When we got there, we were handed two large screens each. First step was to wash off the emulsion left from the previous user. We had to use the black bottles to splash the screen from the top and then rub it down with the yellow sponge on both sides until the screen looked fairly clean.

Next, was the power hose. It just washed out all of the leftover emulsion.


It then just had to be left in the drying room for a while. Once dried, lay down two images on the machine (name forgotten), facing up. Place one screen on top of them and lay the wire down on top of it so you don’t get an electric shock when you pick it up. Turn the vacuum on and the the light exposure to 160 (or depending on how high the contrast of the images are, turn it down a bit) and wait for the exposure to finish. When it has, turn the machine and vacuum off and collect the screen. Hold the screen still and use a squeegee to slick on the emulsion. Turn the light of the drying room off and leave the screen in there to wait for the emulsion to settle and dry.

When it has dried, take out the screen and place it in the washing booth. Use the garden hose to rinse off the emulsion and again, leave to dry.

The screen should now look like this:


I mixed together four different inks. Each of my colours were at a 40/60 ratio and I mixed the colours black, purple, red and yellow.

Now you can start printing. You put the screen onto the machine by clamping it down and adjusting. Put the acetate across the surface so you can see where the print is. Switch on the vacuum to hold down the acetate. Holding the frame down, tip out some ink on to the screen. Put some onto the squeegee and holding it at a 45 degree angle, pull the ink towards you pushing down on the screen. Lift the frame up slightly and push the squeegee back to bring the ink back to the start.

There will be a copy of the image marked onto the acetate. Put your first piece of paper under the image until it is in the place you want. Mark down where the paper is with tape and then carry on this process with all of your prints. Repeat the printing process until you’ve completed all of them. You can change where you place the other colours to make it look slightly off.

An image with two colours:




Here, I placed the colours directly on top of each other to make a nice, clean picture. I like how the red and yellow have blended together in some places to make an orange colour.


In this print, I moved the red slightly so the butterflies look slightly blurred. I really like it because it looks slightly 3D.



Here, I have added in the purple and not layered them directly on top of each other. I had to do this because in some of the tests, the purple directly on top of the yellow made quite a disgusting brown colour.

I’d like to redo this image in different colours because I was actually aiming for a picture of moths. If I used duller colours, I might create the effect I was looking for.




Add yours →

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