Tuesday, March 11, 2014

screen tests for FOG

The Fibre Optics Group based in Calgary are spending the day playing with screen printing.  The results of their time should go up on their blog sometime soon.  But in the meantime, in between time- ain't we got fun!

Most of my understanding of screen printing comes from my good friend Margie!  She is on her way to becoming a famous fabric designer but I knew her when!  ;-)   She made this pillow cover from her screens.

I flapped out a brand new dollar store shower curtain and laid out my supplies.  The heavier bodied acrylics are recommended as less messy than the dollar store acrylic paints which have a higher water content.  My squeegee is a paint store smoother.  I was mixing paint on some palette paper but it dries and then flakes so I'm thinking I'd rather use a glass hot pad next time.  The water is for storing the used  screens until I can tear myself away from print making and rinse them properly.  A screen is probably okay to use for maybe 10  minutes before there is a danger of the paint drying and this will ruin the screen.  I have an assortment of papers and fabrics to print on.  A piece of batting under the work area helps get a nicer print with its slight padding.

Page size is about the biggest stencils come and they are finished with duct tape or mats.  The machine to make them is costly and I have no desire to make my own but there are people who will make one from your own design.

I get some paint on the palette or plate and I get it across the top of the screen and scrape it down.  Experts probably are careful and controlled.  I just do it!

 It is a pretty straightforward process.  And it really is that quick and easy.  The trick is having a space to spread all these out to dry.

You can do one, two, three colours or your own mixes and that gives a different effect.

 I just went like a mad scientist and then washed my screens and started over again.  There are no mistakes because it is all useful for mixed media and journaling.  I will likely be stamping and stenciling on these or ripping them up for collages.

But I am learning that....
I think I like the finer screens than the bigger motifs.  I want to try water colours or Twinks in that top right print.
Canvas should be prepared with gesso or something, I'm thinking.  I used fabrics that were handy and just how much paint to apply is trial and error. ;O

Lutradur printed up very nicely.  It doesn't bother me when I miss some of the screen because if I wanted a perfect print I'd buy the fabric or scrapbook paper.

This is 140 lb. watercolour paper that is the beginning of a journal cover, first layer.

Once a print is dry you can add more layers.

And more layers.

I don't know about the shower curtain but the batting is certainly creative fodder!

Deli paper is probably my favourite screen printing background.  The non waxy paper is translucent and where the paper is untouched by paint or ink it melts into the background.  This great for auditioning imaging from stamps, screen printing, transfers, even handwriting and then gluing it down.  It adds wonderful layering.

Above is also an example of two different screens but the design is the same.  One has some filled images.  These are very useful as are designs in several sizes.  They add great continuity to art work.

I think if it is flat you can print on it!  LOL

Another BIG tip is not to judge a screen by its looks. The most boring designs make the very best layers. This dot pattern is super useful.  I also have thick parallel lines, circles, an open weave, etc.  The acrylic paint will resist water colours and mists.  I luv printing in black and white.  It is very graphic and adds so much to finished art work.

This not exactly on my spring cleaning to do list but all work and no play makes elle a dull gal! :)


Jennifer Scantlebury Vienneau said...

Looks like lots of fun to me, Elle!

Jennifer Scantlebury Vienneau said...

So glad you brought me to my senses and back to see the rest of your post! I have no idea how I managed that..It really looks like so much fun! You have some wonderful pieces to use.

What Comes Next? said...

way more fun than spring cleaning! You have some fabulous starting point prints - wow!

Createology said...

I adore your get to it attitude. No mess...no fun! Your results are fabulous and ever so useful. I believe Spring Cleaning is over-rated. Play on my dear...

Jo Ferguson said...

Thank you for sharing your experiments. I learned a lot and now have this technique on my "to do" list, well....higher up than it was.

MarveLes Art Studios said...

oh fabulous post! I love the eye candy, and I wish I could be madly printing right alongside! you're going to have some fun designs, and lots of great ones to pick from! I sure like the idea of twinks in that tulip design! :) xoxox

Fibre Optics Group said...

Hi Elle, it looks like you had a great time as we did at FOG here in Calgary on Tuesday. Now what to do with all the papers? Meredith