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.
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.
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.
A view down Lyons Ave, Houston, on a grey and drizzly day last week. I had to bail on this drawing twice because of rain. I started on a Friday and intended to do everything with black and grey markers because the day was so dreary. Only got as far as the marquee and the seriously leaning power pole before things got too wet. Read More
I sketched this abandoned shop in Houston’s Fifth Ward last week. The morning was grey and dreary which influenced my color choices a great deal. The teal of the sign and trim was what grabbed my attention and made me choose this spot to sketch. It threatened to rain but I only caught a few drops.
This part of Houston is going through a major transition. 2 brand new townhomes are next door to this building.
When I wake up in the morning I almost always have a song in my head. Does that happen to you? Sometimes it’s music I do not like, but usually it is something good (good meaning something I like!) and it influences the music I will listen to that day. I woke up January 7th with “Starman” by David Bowie in my head and proceeded to listen to Bowie most of the day. The next morning turned out to be David Bowie’s birthday, so the music marathon continued and I made this drawing. Read More
Here is my last Inktober drawing. The source image I worked from has the skulls up close on the right but nothing in the background. To give some context to the skulls I made the background a wall of bones, working from ossuary pictures on the internet. Ossuaries are weird. Definition: a container or room into which bones of dead people are placed. Freaky stuff.
Wall of Inktober Drawings
I ran out of steam with the Inktober drawings last week and ended up 4 short of my goal. But looking at this wall I’m happy with the work. I pushed myself to try some new things, worked larger and brought it out of the sketchbooks. I like seeing them all together like this.
Here are a couple more Inktober drawings. The above drawing was done today. Lots of strategic ink smudging with the fingers in this one. The subject is from Sktchy, and she is doing her own October challenge: 31 days of Halloween makeup. Read More
As mentioned previously the most difficult thing for me about daily drawing challenges is posting the work regularly. I have three days worth! Instead of making three separate posts I thought I would just put them together here. These are all Sktchy inspired drawings, like all of my other Inktober drawings this year. Read More
This was yesterday’s Inktober drawing. I didn’t finish in time but I gave myself a pass because it was my birthday.
Rick, the subject of this drawing, is probably the most drawn person on Sktchy. This is number 1,830! Rick just has a super interesting face, makes great expressions, and enjoys dressing in various costumes for inspiration photos. Here he is made up to resemble Kratos from the God of War video game.
This Inktober drawing is a vampiress from Sktchy. My Inktober drawings this week will have red ink in addition to the black and grey. This is the first of five. Things started melting a bit in the mouth because the grey and red are water soluble. I had to just let it be instead of trying to correct. It works for me, though.
Oh! This is exciting. There is a shop in Houston that sells art, crafts, jewelry, housewares, etc. by local artists and they announced an Inktober exhibition and party at the end of the month and I am one of the selected artists! Last year I did all my Inktober drawings in sketchbooks. This year I chose to do them all on separate papers with the hope that some of them could have a life outside of books on a shelf. A good choice, I think. It’s pretty cool to see them all together on the wall.
Platinum Carbon Ink in parallel pens, Grey and Red in Pentel Color Brush pens. Strathmore Bristol-smooth.