Making art is about experimenting – I hesitate to use the term ‘play’ which I think trivializes the process of making. So in a mood of experimentation I finally got around to completing a small painting based on a pencil drawing I made a while ago from a photograph I took of a Street Artist at work during the Chichester Street Art Festival in 2013.
“Anonymous” Street Artist at the Chichester Street Art Festival 2013
pencil on paper
acrylic on board
So after making a drawing and then a painting, I felt that the image had a little more mileage and took the opportunity of being at the Handprinted print studio in Bognor Regis to make a screen print.
I wanted to get a similar look to the painting and laid down a mono printed layer of randomly placed spoonfuls of different coloured inks directly on the screen before pulling it all through on to the fabric. The reason for using fabric and not paper is that I feel that I want to also incorporate some hand embroidery – don’t ask why, I have no idea!
first mono printed layer
Now it was time to add the text layer and for this I cut a paper stencil of the words “I am not Banksy” and then printed this through the screen – unfortunately I forgot to photograph that stage – Oops!
Once the second layer was laid down I got to work on my photostencil. I had made this up from my original pencil drawing first manipulating it in Photoshop to adjust the brightness and contrast, discarding the colour information and turning it to gray-scale before finally converting it to a Bitmap – this ensures that the areas of different density in the image show up, so lighter areas appear light and darker areas appear dark, bitmaps use tiny dots to make up the image in the same way that the traditional Benday dots worked in the early days of screen printing. I then printed the new image on to a piece of OHP film ready for exposure on to a silk screen.
freshly exposed screen just washed after exposure
Once the screen was made the first print was ready to be pulled, I tested it on a piece of newsprint first and then it was time for the ‘main event’.
photo stencil screen ready for printing
first print on newsprint
And there it is, a quick 3 layer screen print on fabric. The final stage is the addition of the hand embroidery…
Now I have added some stitches I am less happy with the image so have decided not to continue adding anymore. I think overall the screen print is my least favourite working of the image, my personal favourite is definitely the painting with the photo-stencil being a close runner-up.