Friday, October 22, 2010
These prints were for an illustration project. The assignment was to do a war poster, so I chose to do a recruitment poster for the Uruk-hai army from LOTR. Fun! I'm really happy with how they turned out. When I was printing them I had fun trying out a few different colors for the orc, and also different paper colors. It was interesting with different shades of gray paper because the same blue ink would look completely different depending what color of paper it was printed on. Also, my poor job of washing out the ink from my screen resulted in a happy accident (more rough texture in the solid color areas). (if you don't wash the ink out well enough from your screen, it blocks the screen and ink won't pass through those areas) Good thing I chose Orcs as my image and not Elves or something.
Here are some process pics for people not familiar with silkscreen printing. First, you make stencils. These can be drawn, photocopied, printed on transparency, cut out from paper, they can also be made digitally (like a halftone photo). The orc stencils are cut out from rubylith (one of my fav stencils so far, you get really clean lines and shapes when printing). The hand is a laser print-out. This is one of the reasons I am enjoying silkscreen so far (for the most part anyways) it is very versatile what you can do with it.
Then you put the stencils on your screen (which at this point is coated with emulsion) and expose it to UV light. The areas that are blocked by the stencil - the emulsion will wash out (and ink will be able to pass through). The emulsion that is hit with UV light will harden and block the tiny little holes in the screen. The emulsion is the green stuff on the screen. The yellow part is what the screen looks like normally with no emulsion on it. In this pic, the screen is set up and inked and ready to go.
This is the first layer. In printing you have to separate your image into layers beforehand, and figure out how you will print it. The planning part is HUGE, which I am slowly learning. I've been figuring out my layers in photoshop and planning them out there first, so I can see visually how it will work. I think it's kinda funny using a digital tool to help me print something by hand, but whatever, it works for me.
Second layer. This layer was exciting to print cuz the orc suddenly materialized.
Ready to print by pulling the ink across the screen with the squeegee. Pressure is a tricky thing to master.
The drying racks.