In May, I had the amazing double collaborative work with Molly Crabapple and Occuprint to produce a silkscreen of Molly’s May Day/General Strike poster.

the original

I ended up taking the image into Photoshop and converted it into a five colour separation.

This was my digital mockup.

While I can’t give a comprehensive tutorial of how-did-you-do-that, I can tell you that you use Select Color Range to grab each spot colour you’re interested in. So starting with the skin tone, I grabbed those, dropped it into a new document. Then converted it into a bitmap halftone of dots. When it came to the red fire, I would be selecting from both the red and oranges to flatten them out, and also selecting from the area when doing the whites and blacks. The skin is a mixture of brown plus white and black halftones. In some areas, instead of turning the brown into dots, I’d have it reversed so halftone dots were dropped out, bringing in the orange background to create an intense amount of variation. Same with using white to recreate the watercolour paper texture.

Closeup of the first two colours

The red-brown was the first one to go down, so the grey was mixed with a lot of transparent base to go over the brown and bring in some shadows and texture to the bandana. You can see a little bit of my halftoning work on the skin.

Completed posters.

Closeup of the finished piece

I did not save any of my work while I was in the thick of setting up the digital file, unfortunately, so I can’t show how I did the work. Next time I land an interesting gig like this, I’ll try livestreaming or otherwise recording my workflow since I think it’s an interesting process and you can get awesome, vintage-y effects with your separations.

This poster also reminds me that I need to swatch all of my French paper samples. For future mock-ups, it would be great if the canvas was EXACTLY the shade of the paper I planned on using. You can check out all the colours on their site: www.frenchpaper.com

5 Responses to “Occuprint”

  1. […] the November silkscreen of the month, I wanted to do a similar technique to Molly Crabapple’s May Day/General Strike poster with Occuprint. Take a watercolour painting of hers and transform it into a dirty, […]

  2. this was a beautiful poster

  3. […] Melissa wrote about the process of converting the watercolour and printing it as a screenprint on her website: http://glukkake.me/occuprint/ […]

  4. Dave Jones says:

    Very nice poster, I hope to buy this at the end of the month if we have a fraction of an economy left.

  5. […] that was curated by the Booklyn Artists Alliance and was published in 2012. This includes my May Day: General Strike poster that was created based off Molly Crabapple’s original watercolour […]

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