N Plus One silkscreen

Molly Crabapple was asked by N Plus One to do a poster for them based on the idea of “Utopia in our Time”. And I, in turn, was asked to silkscreen it!

This is a BIG poster at 19″ x 25″ and is 3 colours with myfavourite split fountain technique. The first layer is a 2-colour gradient of canary yellow and peach that hits the sky as well as the bottom figures. On top of that is a burnt orange ink and then the delicious sienna for the outlines.

The poster made me a bit anxious as I was mixing all the colours – I use my iPad for colour reference and then match it against pantone colour chips to get it as exact as possible to my screen. These colours, on their own, are not exactly the “prettiest”. They’re desaturated and strange on their own. When I print like this and deal with it layer by layer, I always get extremely nervous that it’ll look terrible at the finish. Multicolour silkscreen prints is like a lesson in getting through a lot of ugly before it all comes together at the end. I also specifically chose this palette to get a vintage feel, which felt right with a dreamy poster for a political/literary/cultural magazine. It reminded me of the 1960s and times of protests and wonderful artwork that came out at that time. I also love when I get the chance to deal in earth tones and desaturated colours to make something that pops when all pulled together. I lean heavily on neutral palettes as well after reading this amazing colour theory article by one of my favourite animators, John Kricfalusi (John K, creator of Ren and Stimpy). If you want to learn more about how to do fantastic colours, just read everything under his Color category. I… honestly just lost 30 minutes of writing this blog to going back over his articles. That blog is an artist’s national treasure.



Apologies for the weird shift of colours, but apparently my camera is on the fritz and doesn’t understand white balance any more. So you get a combination of iPhone and crap camera shots.

Printed in an edition of 100, which always involves overage. So in truth, I printed closer to 150. I do this in case of errors during printing, such as a spot of colour drying in or if the table loses too much tack then the ink can go down badly, or, like this time, I can be a jackass when removing the cap off a pen and having it explode all over me, the shelf of inks, the floor and of course, several prints.

2 Responses to “N Plus One silkscreen”

  1. r.nash says:

    I like the artwork and the colors and the skill

  2. […] photos by Melissa Dowell […]

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