Screen Printing Experiments

"Galveston Alley", screen print on paper, 8" x 10"
“Galveston Alley”, screen print, 8″ x 10″

I have been working in a new medium of late; screen printing. I became a member of Burning Bones Press at the start of 2020 and have been doing mostly relief printing since then, but learning about other processes from fellow members.

Above is my first screen print. “Galveston Alley” is a 3 color print made with hand-drawn transparencies to separate the colors. It is based on a drawing I made on location in Galveston, Texas in 2019. I figured the simplicity of the composition would make it relatively easy to translate into this method of screen printing. Light grey was printed first, then the middle grey, and black last.

“24th Street, Galveston”, screen print, 14″ x 8″

Above is my second print, again based on a sketch I made on location in Galveston. I used the same 3 colors, this time drawing the black layer with brush and ink to push the hand-drawn look even further. I was pleased with how it turned out as it was pretty close to how I imagined it. Before removing the photo emulsion from the screens I decided to print again while playing with the colors.

“24th Street, Galveston II”, screen print, 14″ x 8″

Here I printed the light grey first as normal, but then used an old toothbrush to apply screen filler to close off about half the print area very loosely and randomly. Then I printed the light blue. The middle grey printed next, then I used the same screen filler method and printed the orange color. Lastly I printed the black and called it done. I made 4 different color combinations. On some of them I used a crazy pink color that my scanner just has no idea what to do with- Psychedelic Mexabilly Pink. Below is a picture I took with the phone showing all the color variants.

The Mexabilly Pink behaved strangely. On the first couple of prints I made it looks magenta (2nd and 3rd from right above), and on the last couple of prints (the 2 on the right above) it came out as it is supposed to: super bright, crazy fluorescent. It was a brand new jar and I didn’t stir it first so maybe that was the reason. Or maybe the pigment has to build up in the screen before going full power. I don’t know!

I have lots to learn still but am enjoying the screen print process so far. Printing is so fast compared to relief printing. I am considering ways of combining the two- using screen printing to lay down layers of color and pulling it all together with a relief print on top.

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