Screen Print Printmaking

Screen printing tracing

The screen print printmaking process starts with an outline drawing. Once I have that I then trace this drawing onto tracing paper. I use black ink on the tracing paper rather than the actual colour I need in my final piece as I am going to use a process where I use light to expose my screens and black is the best colour to stop light getting through to create a good screen exposure.

Preparing the screen for screen printing

Next I take a fine mesh screen and I cover it in a layer of photo sensitive emulsion. I place the tracing paper over the screen and then I expose the screen to a very bright light for a short period of time. Where light is able to get through the tracing paper the emulsion will harden. Where it is covered by black ink it will not.

In this example you can see that I have exposed two layers for my Honey Bear screen print on the same mesh screen. This will save me time and reduce the number of screens I need to expose for my multi colour screen print. I have sprayed the screen with water to wash away the paint which has not hardened which now forms the image.


first screen print colour

In the next stage of the process I will mask off my screen to prevent leakage around the edges or spills onto the 2nd colour exposure I have here and then I will apply a thick helping of screen printing paint. Using a squeegee I will then pull the paint across the surface of the screen. The paint will pass through the clear areas of the screen onto the paper below forming the first colour layer.

In this example I start with the lightest colour first which is the yellow you can see here.

screen printing colour layers

I will usually print around 25 images. Once one colour layer has dried I can then print the next colour on top of it. It is very important to position the paper precisely for the next layer otherwise the colour layers will become misaligned and the print will be unusable.

Here you can see the print having printed two colour layers, the yellow first and then a light brown on top of that.


screen print printmaking

Here you can now see the final screen prints having printed the 3rd and final dark brown colour layer. This is my Honey Bear screen print.

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