Screen printing is a really unique style of printmaking. Unlike other forms like digital printing, there is a very complex, artistic creative process involved. If you’re interested to know more read below.
Screen printing process
Start with a painting
The first step in this process is to paint the original image keeping in mind that each colour needs to be separated individually by hand. The more colours used in the painting- The more separations that need to be painted.
These originals were painted on the same board and were printed simultaneously so that the prints could share some of the same colours. Note the painted colour swatches on the top of each painting. These are done so you have a good block of colour to compare the inks to as each colour is printed.
A clear film is laid over the original painting and with a dark ink the first colour is blocked out. Essentially it is a case of repainting each colour individually by hand. This image is of a finished separation put onto a light box to check for imperfections. The colour separated here is the dark brown colour which shows the foam shadow on the Tawharanui Waves print.
Burning each separation onto screens
Once all the individual colours have been painted onto separations you start with the first one and using UV light and a light sensitive gel, burn the negative image onto the screen. The part of the screen where your separation was blocking the UV light stays permeable which in turn will later allow the ink to be pulled through the screen printing your colour onto the paper.
Layering each colour to get the final image
Once each separation has been painted and burned onto a screen it is a matter of mixing inks to get the right colours, matching them with the colour swatches on your original. Then layering each colour, printed one at a time and dried in large racks. Once all the colours have been printed the final screen print is done!