Thursday, 6 April 2017

Four Layer Screen Print - Clementines

I flit back and forth when I get asked which is my favourite printmaking technique (this happens a lot - can't I just have them all?) Some days the smooth, curved cutting of a piece of Japanese Vinyl seems like perfection, other days it's the satisfaction of a damp printed etching. More often than not though, my mind rests upon screen printing. The tent-zip-squeak of a squeegee on mesh produces instant results of bright, flat colour on fabric or paper. 

Last weekend, I left Sunday open for a 'printmaking day'. I've got an exhibition coming up that I'm anything but prepared for so a full day of printmaking seemed like a good kick start. I bundled into the studio on Sunday morning with a sketchbook and a few loose ideas. 

One of my favourite things about screen printing is how quickly you can see your ideas coming together. I set about to create four drawings that register together when overlayed. For me, hand drawing onto screen film is the perfect way to produce screen prints that contain signs of the hand of the maker. This combination of hand drawing and screen printing really gets me going. I drew from a photograph that I took last Autumn of freshly cut open clementines.

I exposed the four drawings onto two 90T A4 screens ready to be printed. As I waited for the screens to dry I mixed my colour palette for the day. A neutral with pink undertones, two oranges and a dark brown for this print and three blue tones for some paper stencil experiments I had planned for later:

 When my screens were dry there was time to print a few proofs to test my colours. I used somerset satin white 300gsm paper. The first, a background, in the pink tones neutral:

The second, a drop shadow, in dark brown:

 The third, a vibrant yellow-orange picks out the clementines:

The final forth layer adds the bright orange flesh leaving juicy highlights in paper white. 

Six proofs made their way to the drying rack (although one is a little smudgy) and I'll be making more to produce an edition. This print might be the beginning of a series of bright, fruity prints - this one's sunniness brings me right into Spring. 



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