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Print making, paradise, tropics, parrot, hibiscus

Introduction to Screen Printing

This last week, I took an intensive screen printing class and thoroughly enjoyed it. We experimeted with sticky contact paper and then worked with drawing fluid and filler. Although the contact paper is only good for shorter runs with less prints due to detachment of the sticky contact paper from the silk screen during the washing process, it has some great advantages. The use of an exacto knife results in crisp lines that can be difficult to replicate with drawing fluid. For the next process, I drew a sketch and traced it by first using a washable marker on the screen and then flipped the screen with the silk side up and painted drawing fluid with a fine brush onto or in the marker outlines. The screen had been taped around the edges with duct tape to protect the frame. Once that dried, I filled the screen with orange filler and waited for it to dry. After rinsing away the drawing fluid with cold water, only the filler was left, and I printed the resulting image. Working from that print, additional screens  were created by drawing all objects of one color on each screen. On the yellow screen, I drew the beach and feet of my parrot, etc. Once all the screens had been filled and dried and the drawing fluid had been rinsed, I was ready to print. Drying was necessary between each layer but was relatively quick. A squeegee was used to pull ink down over the image at a 45 degree angle and then the ink was rinsed away in cold water. The key layer, or outline, was the last to be printed and really helped to pull the image together.
Print making, paradise, tropics, parrot, hibiscus
Paradise, Beth Ashton, June 29, 2017
  To remove the filler, hot water, soda ash, a soft, plastic bristled scrub, and the jet setting on the hot water were used. My next print was created freehand onto the silk screen with drawing fluid without a drawing to trace. It was made in a similar manner but instead of creating five screens, I created two. For the color blocks, I taped off all but the desired color before each color run.
Tropical fish, anchor, sea, ocean, star fish, shell, blue, dark, texture, contemplation
Contemplation, Beth Ashton, June 30, 2017
I thoroughly enjoyed silk screening and will continue the process from home. -Beth Ashton  

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