December 14th – Screenprinting workshop.
For this workshop, I decided I would take a more colourful approach to my creature design so as to truly make use of the capabilities of the screenprint medium. For the composition, I recycled a design I had drawn out for when I thought I would be doing pop-up illustrations. After slight editing and updating, I took it to a fresh sheet of paper and started drawing out the final version with some coloured pencils. In retrospect, I should have probably planned it out slightly more, but with a schedule as tight as I have now I knew I could not afford to lose even a minute. The drawing itself didn’t take all that long, but the journey was riddled with doubt, second-guessing and disappointment.. that is, until I reached the end – after some affirmations, as well as seeing it finished, I was feeling a lot more confident about it.
The following day (today) I had scored a screenprinting induction/workshop as I found someone who was not going to turn up. Such is the case for tomorrow too, but more on that later. I think my least favourite bit of the entire process was preparing the file for printing. I truly had not anticipated the amount of technical work that went into screenprinting, thankfully, Peter from the DDS was around and walked me through the entire process, I don’t know if I would have been able to do it on my own.. Programs and anything computer related is quite clearly out of my area of expertise, I do, however, wish to work on that. Hopefully it’s something I’ll be able to power through while I’m at uni.
Having consulted with Arthur in the screenprinting studio, we decided that it would be best to go with a slightly altered order of printing. Normally CMYK is done in that order exactly, but because red/magenta was so dominant in my piece, having the magenta layer on top would’ve pushed the colours further than what they had looked like if I had gone with the standard order, therefore, that is exactly what I did.
December 15th – Round two!
Once again, I was able to score a session as one of my coursemates ended up not attending. They let me have it as they thought I could use an extra session to do my CMYK. However, as I finished my actual CMYK colour separation workshop yesterday, I decided to do something else – something I had been planning on doing for literal ages – prints of my first year summer project work! Specifically, the first image I created for it.
I could have easily done it with CMYK colour separations, but I figured why not give another approach a shot. The limited colour palette of the piece made me consider the possibility of a duo-tone print. I talked to Arthur and Peter about possible approaches to preparing a file for that and the process of making it was a lot more difficult than it really had to be. Yet again, my incompetence with technical stuff really tripped me, but I was able to figure it out and make a screen for the print.
I must admit, I was expecting at least a slightly better end result, but the more I look at it, the more satisfied with it I am, especially after I scanned it in and played around with contrasts!
After I’d shown this to Arthur, he suggested playing around with the contrast within the source file and seeing if that would change anything tonally, I gave it a shot and it proved to be a massive improvement.
I will have to give printing this another try once the campus is back open. Screenprinting was an amazing experience, I am so glad I was able to score a couple of slots and give it a shot. It has allowed me to garner a better understanding of printmaking, the technical side behind it, colour and obviously a whole lot about myself too. I learned that I can be a bit unorganized at points, which results in me panicking over things that really do not need to panicked over! It also further proved the decay of my ability to remember simple consecutive steps – I found myself missing a step or two with each print – especially flooding the screen.. Thankfully, I had an incredible screenprinting mentor in Arthur who helped me out tremendously and was a supportive (and patient, oh, so very patient) force throughout the entire process. Excited to do more prints in this department.
As for the piece, I might have a go at it with the risograph printer tomorrow!