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The Process

There are many methods of screen printing! For my fine art prints on paper, I use a hand-painted reduction printing process. With this process I am able to get a little more hands-on with my prints. Each print is part of a limited edition (the total number of prints created) and each edition is unique, it cannot be exactly replicated ever again!

 

More on Reduction Screen Printing:

The "stencil" image of the Great Blue Heron on a screen.

The "stencil" image of the Great Blue Heron on a screen.

Reduction printing is essentially printing with layers; each color is printed on top of the previous one. First, I create a basic stencil of my image by painting liquid screen filler onto a mesh screen. This filler is water resistant and blocks ink from coming through the screen. Like most printmaking forms, I work in the mirror image of the final print. The first color is then printed using a squeegee to pull ink across the screen. The printing of each individual color is called a "run." After each run the screen must be washed and dried to prep for the next layer. I then go back to the screen and add more details to the image, blocking off more and more of the screen with filler. Much like traditional Japanese wood block printing, the "stencil" created by the screen is permanently changed with each new layer, which means you cannot duplicate prints again after the screen has been changed. The more complicated or colorful the print, the more times this process must be repeated, until the desired result is achieved.

Reduction printing is playful, usually prints will turn out fairly different than I first imagine them. I choose to use this method because I enjoy the meticulous process, painting and imagining the negative space, the feel and texture that working with a paintbrush gives to the prints, and the uniqueness of creating a limited edition.

The Brown Trout, color by color:

Multiple colors can be pulled across a screen to print with a marbled effect. This technique was used on the third run of the Brown Trout

Multiple colors can be pulled across a screen to print with a marbled effect. This technique was used on the third run of the Brown Trout