Print Progress: Photo Screen Print

This semester, my upper level printmaking class allows for a lot more freedom and experimentation, which means new techniques! The first project we worked on involved a method of screen printing called photo screen printing. I designed an image digitally and then printed it onto a transparency, coated my screen in an icky substance called photo emulsion, and then exposed the image to my screen with a machine that uses concentrated light. It was basically a bunch of cool chemical nonsense that I honestly still don’t completely understand, but it ended up perfectly exposing my very intricate image to my screen! This method is super useful because of it allows for lots of detail and a screen that can be printed and washed many times. I decided to do some test prints with just black ink before I worked on my edition.

My reversed image and black ink, pre first pull

My image and black ink, pre first pull


Printing my mylar registration

First pull on newsprint

First pull on newsprint!

I recently visited Ireland (blog post pending!) and the Book of Kells, and it was absolutely awe inspiring. I’m very interested in my Celtic heritage so I decided to work with a Celtic knot for this project. I chose lotus flowers for the sides of the design because these two images both represent peace and a very meditative drawing process for me. Plus, I just thought they looked nice together. 🙂

I decided to print a varied edition for this series, meaning an edition of six different prints with some consistent aspect in the work. I wanted to play with color combinations, in particular the gradient inking technique known as a split fountain. I did a lot of experimenting before I decided on my final colors.

LOTS of experimenting.

And I mean a LOT of experimenting.



Split fountain inking

Eventually I picked some color combos I liked and printed a varied edition of six. I was pretty happy with most of them, though I would like to print even more!

My 1st favorite combination...

My 1st favorite combination…

...and my 2nd!

…and my 2nd!

My final varied edition!

My final varied edition!