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July 23, 2010 / allcoveredinvines

A Few Thoughts on Process

A silkscreen starts out with a drawing.

Then you divide the drawing up into layers to create a stencil for each layer of color.

Second Layer

Third Layer

I do this by drawing on frosted mylar with china marker. China markers leave interesting, very individualized lines, and when you do a large area, there will inevitably be little areas where the china marker just will not mark on. One danger with silkscreening is of ending up with an image that is too flat, or too cold and computerized. These little areas of white prevent both of these things which is why I used china marker. (I also use ink drawings to create stencils for silkscreens for the same reason.) The process of dividing up the layers and seeing how different parts of the drawing interact is one of the reasons I like silkscreen. It has that same “ta-da!” effect as seeing the insides of electronics. All the little pieces working together and you would never know it if you just looked at it.

The rest is pretty straight forward, to learn more about the technical aspects of doing silkscreen check this page out.

Once the image is on the screen it is called a stencil and you pull ink through it to create the final silkscreening. The process of getting the layers to line up the right way is called registration. I have a tendency to create images that require a lot of time fiddling to get them registered correctly. Here’s a secret, I really like the fiddling and the pride that comes from getting things placed just right.

I’ll post pictures of the finished print soon.


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