I did a few drawings yesterday to use for screen printing. For this one, I used a different sheet of tracing paper for each color or layer. 3 of the drawings are charcoal, which gives a nice texture for the refractive quality of butterfly wings, and the other is ink. I registered each drawing with pins, and this allowed me to photograph them so the drawing is in the same place, and made lining up the images in Photoshop a snap. Also these drawings are about 11 x 15 inches or so, I shrink them in Photoshop, it’s just too difficult to draw them small, which is a common trick in many industries.
I then tiled the finished butterflies into a PS Document, with each color being a separate layer. To print, I will open the document and turn on one layer, print it, turn that layer off, and turn on another, print, and do that until I have my four colors digitally printed on transparencies. Each transparency then is used to make a stencil on a screen, so I’ll have 4 screens, one for each color. Since I’m printing on black paper, I’ll have to print the white and bright red a few times to get the colors to really pop. For this registration has to be absolutely perfect, and is always a bit of a gamble, just bumping the screen slightly can ruin everything.
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