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(a) How to alter an image with Photoshop CS3 for stencil creation.

Many screen printers use digital images or photographs. This is most evident in modern advertising and t-shirt
production. Students may use/appropriate certain digital images or create their own digital images for stencil creation.
The way a photo is altered depends on its intended use. Follow these commands in Photoshop (CS3):

    1. If the photo is in color, change it to black and white. Do this by clicking “Image” then “Adjustments” then “Black
       and White.”
    2. Now adjust the brigntness/contrast and shadow/highlight of the photo until the only two tones in the photo are
       black and white. You kind of have to play with these – there is no right way to do it. Do this by choosing “Image”
       then “Adjustments” then “Shadow/Highlight” and adjust the “Midtone Contrast.” To adjust brightness and
       contrast choose “Image” then “Adjustments” then “Brightness/Contrast” and use the sliders to adjust.
    3. Depending on the complexity of the image, students may need to use the cutout filter to edit the complexity of
       the edges. Do this by selecting “Filter” then “Artistic Filters” then “Cutout.” The complexity of edges can be
       altered by dragging the “Edge Simplicity” slider.
    4. Reverse the image: “Image” then “Adjustments” then “Flip Vertical.”

The result is an image that will look like this

        You then must design your second (+) colours
        by hand using the process outlined next.




(b) How to alter an image by hand for stencil creation.

If you have drawn an image for printing or wishes to alter a photograph by hand it is very intuitive. The most important
thing to remember when silk screening is that the screen can only understand black and white (or colour and no colour).
In order to make an image suitable for a stencil, you must visually edit it so that it is made up of only negative an positive
space, no grey areas. If you have an image with multiple colours, a new stencil must be designed for each colour. Use
tracing paper and trace the different colours in your image. It is helpful to draw out each colour in thumbnail to keep
everything straight.
silk screen

When printed all one on top of the other each colour makes a part of the final print. In the end this would look something
like this



        Remember, since this is a stencil, all coloured
        areas must be attached to each other.




     (c) How to create a stencil using mactac (or contact)

     In order for the above images to become stencils you will need to cut them out of a stencil material like mactac or
     acetate. If you used Photoshop tape your printed image to the mactac, tape the mactac to a cutting mat and begin
     cutting. If you used tracing paper FLIP YOUR PAPER OVER, tape it down (as described above) and begin cutting.
     Remember to cut the COLOURED areas not the white areas.

     (d) How to register and print

     Peel the backing off of your stencil and adhere it onto your screen. There are two sides to the screen: the printing
     bed and the back. Adhere the stencil to the back. If your stencil doesn’t cover the entire mesh area of the screen
     use packing tape to cover the open areas. This is important because any parts of the screen left open will print.




     Now that your stencil is stuck to the screen you are almost ready to print. Flip your screen over so that the printing
     bed is facing upwards. Secure your screen so that it is hinged to the table if your screen has hinges or with tape if it
     doesn’t. Now you are ready to register. Place your paper under the screen where you want your image to print. You
     can tape a copy of your image to your paper and line your stencil up with the image by moving the paper around
     under the screen. When you have your paper in the correct place don’t move it. Lift your screen up and tape two
     pieces of cardboard in an “L” shape at the corner of the paper. All of your papers will be placed in this “L.”
silk screen




    Place your screen down on your paper and get ready to ink up. Put ink in a line above your stencil. Lift your screen
    a little with one hand and use your squeegee to flood your screen with the other hand. Bring your squeegee back to
    the top of the stencil and place the screen over your paper. Pull your squeegee down the stencil with a lot of force –
    use both hands. This is your printing stroke. Lift your screen to check your print. If it worked remove the paper and
    go on to your next sheet. When you are finished rinse your screen IMEDIATELY. When printing you must move
    fast or the ink will dry in your screen and ruin it.
silk screen

(e) Optional Techniques

    1. The “Rainbow Roll” or multi-coloured pull

        The rainbow roll is a cool technique that you can use to get more than one colour by using only one stencil.
        Instead of putting a line of one colour of ink on your screen, use two or more colours. Work your squeegee back
        and forth to mix the colours to get a gradient effect. Once you feel your colours are mixed enough flood your
        screen and print.




    2. Printing on wood or fabric

        You are free to do either of these if you wish. Printing on wood is similar to printing on paper but you can’t
        register it as well especially if it is thick wood. Usually artists who print on wood make monoprints. Printing on
        fabric is the same as printing on paper except you will need more ink becaus fabric soaks up more ink than
        paper. You can buy special inks especially for use on fabric. If you are making a t-shirt, be sure to place a piece
        of cardboard inside the shirt to block the ink from soaking all the way through the shirt to the back.

(f) Editioning and signing your prints

				
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