The Print Process / Inking Up

The long-winded process for making up my screens in preparation for printing meant I was left itching to get some ink out and start seeing the fruit of my labours.

Tom showed me how to use my master copy to line up all of my layers and put alignment marks down onto the table. I made up some ink using paint and acrylic printing medium, referring to my colour palette in my sketchbook as I went, then began the print process.

My first layer was a bright, mustard yellow. As I continued to build the layers up in my prints, I added maroon, green-y greys, navy blues and even more mustard yellow.

I had 4 stencils, the photographic acetate stencil I had made and three hand-painted layers using the tru-grain. The benefit of making my layers on the tru-grain meant that I was able to make each print different to the last, be it in colour or the order of which I printed the layers, meaning some of the textures were hidden by some of the other stencils and others revealed details in interesting ways depending on the consistency of the ink I had mixed.

I became completely enamored with the process as soon as I had lifted the screen after printing the first mustard yellow layer. I spent a full week preparing the screens for this series of prints, and it only took me two days to do the actual printing, but it's that swiftness in the final stage of the process that makes it all worth it. Watching the prints build up through making quick decisions of what areas I would tape up and what areas I would reveal to the ink left the uncovering of each haul of the squeegee (that's actually what the tool used to pull the ink over and flood the screen with colour is called, believe it or not) more exciting.

As mentioned in my previous blog post, I've been moving studio spaces this week for second semester, so work-making has been sporadic. However, as of tomorrow, I should be back to spending full days in my new studio, working on bringing some of my newer ideas to life.