I feel like I just did a 3 month round up and now the year has ended. And considering this site launched only about a year ago, it seems silly to recap everything when a simple click to the categories on the side or bottom of the index page would really do the same thing. So, here is the definitive collection of all 12 silkscreens I printed with Molly Crabapple, as it’s the most consistent and epic project I successfully took on this year.
To give you some background on how this came to be: Molly and I have collaborated on a number of silkscreen prints in the past, but usually for clients or as a quick invitation or holiday print. I had a number of techniques I always wanted to try out or learn about but never had the right image with my own art. So we decided to put out a monthly series where she sent me the line drawing and I could choose the colouring and inks to use. Having the art in front of me let me spend time researching classic silkscreen techniques and even try out some new, unheard of things. So this collaboration was a wonderful experiment to play with her art and my skills and build an interesting portfolio that others could refer to for what silkscreen is capable of doing.
This just scratches the very surface of possibilities, but I’m damn proud of what I learned in the past year. Please be sure to check out the links to the individual pages on how I did each print. I tried to cover in detail what the print set up looked like and how the end results came out.
January 3 colour silkscreen. This was the start of my use of pin registration so I could have the transparent purple outlines register perfectly over the pink and gold to create secondary colours.
February 3 colour silkscreen where I got to first try out a spilt fountain print. The outlines use a dark brick red and bright tomato red mix gradient. The skin is a transparent yellow and the hair is gold ink.
March 3 colour silkscreen. The background is a matte base ink with a touch of brown that went through a halftone wood grain print in order to give the paper the appearance of wood. I also left in a lot of the dust and artifacts from the original ink drawing to dirty up the white layer with tiny pinholes. The black was mixed with a heavy gloss to make it pop away from the matte layers.
April 4 colour silkscreen. I made my own pigment by grinding up a stick of 9B graphite. The frame is a silver ink, the background being first the pigment mixed lightly into a transparent base, then printed on top of that is a halftone in the pigment with slightly less base, then the outlines are straight graphite pigment.
May 4 colour silkscreen. The background was a transparent green, the hair and outlines printed in regular inks, but the eyes on the teacup are a thermochromatic ink. It disappears when heated!
June 3 colour silkscreen. Gold and blue ink on blue paper. But the white in the skin and halftones is discharge ink. It was printed clear and when heated, burned into the white ink. It resulted in an ink that was more matte than usual and more toxic to print!
July 4 colour silkscreen. This one involved carefully layering the very transparent inks to make the 3 main colours appear to be 5. I only printed in yellow, red, blue and black.
August 6 colour silkscreen. A study in shoving metallic inks through a 305 screen. The under layer of the copper body was a bright red ink to help make the copper appear even more solid. The hair and border were pearlescent inks. The sand two different metallic golds. And the outlines a nice glossy maroon.
September 4 colour silkscreen. The silver, red and blue are inks, but the dusting around the face and ice creams is a glitter that I flocked on using a water-based silkscreen size. When the light catches them, it’s amazing!
October 3 colour silkscreen. Transparent white, silver and gloss ink to create a black on black effect.
November 6 colour silkscreen. This was more of a study in converting a watercolour painting into its basic spot colours and turning that into a silkscreen. Also getting to layer limited colours on top of each other to make more depths – the body and headdress have both red and pink halftones in them for interesting hues. The tea-stained appearance to the paper itself was another halftone screen I printed directly onto the paper to add warmth under all the other colours.
December 5 colour silkscreen. A final combination of everything I learned. From the glossy maroon outlines to the tight registration, to the white halftones in the earmuffs, to the metallic skin and the matte lavender background. I wanted to play with purples because they’ve always been the most difficult colour for me to mix, which is why I avoided it so much in the other silkscreens (save January).
And that was (part of) my year in screenprinting!