See tutorials etc on my Printmaking blog: http://print.zemniimages.info/screenprinting/
Screen printing is a printing technique whereby a mesh is used to transfer ink onto a substrate, except in areas made impermeable to the ink by a blocking stencil.
I used screenprinting as a supporting technique in:
- Project 5.2: Arcadia Recycled to create the design for the collagraph plate
- Assignment 5: The Dreaming to create the design that first inspired the concept
There are various terms used for what is essentially the same technique. But they all have the following in common:
- Use of a frame (generally wood or aluminium) on which a mesh is mounted under tension. The mesh can be of different types: eg silk, polyester, nylon or metal and of varying degrees of fineness depending on the type of surface to be printed.
- A stencil is formed on the mesh by blocking off parts of the screen in the negative image of the design to be printed; that is, the open spaces are where the ink will appear on the substrate. The stencil can be made through different techniques: direct stencils made with photoscreen techniques or using masking solutions and indirect stencils used as masks.
- Mesh/frame preparation: The surface to be printed (commonly referred to as a pallet) is coated with a wide ‘pallet tape’ to protect the ‘pallet’ from any unwanted ink leaking through the screen and potentially staining the ‘pallet’ or transferring unwanted ink onto the next substrate. Next, the screen and frame are lined with a tape. The type of tape used in for this purpose often depends upon the ink that is to be printed onto the substrate. These aggressive tapes are generally used for UV and water-based inks due to the inks’ lower viscosities. The last process in the ‘pre-press’ is blocking out any unwanted ‘pin-holes’ in the emulsion. If these holes are left in the emulsion, the ink will continue through and leave unwanted marks. To block out these holes, materials such as tapes, speciality emulsions and ‘block-out pens’ may be used effectively.
- A blade or squeegee is moved across the screen to fill or ‘flood’ the open mesh apertures with ink, and a reverse stroke then prints the image as the screen touches the substrate momentarily along a line of contact. This causes the ink to wet the substrate and be pulled out of the mesh apertures as the screen springs back after the blade has passed.
- One colour is printed at a time, so several screens are layered to produce a multicoloured image or design. Hinge clamps keep the screen in place for easy registration
Adam, R. & Robertson, C., (2003) Screenprinting: the complete water-based system, London: Thames & Hudson.
Barker, D., Traditional Techniques in Contemporary Chinese Printmaking, London: A & C Black.
D’arcy Hughes, A. & Vernon-Morris, H., (2008) The Printmaking Bible: the complete guide to materials and techniques, San Francisco: Chronicle Books.
Grabowski, B. & Flick, B., (2009) Printmaking: A Complete Guide to Materials and processes, London: Lawrence King Publishing.
Griffiths, A., (1980) Prints and Printmaking: An introduction to the history and techniques, London: British Museum Press.
Martin, J., (1993) The Encyclopedia of Printmaking Techniques,London: Quarto Publishing.
Pogue, D., (2012) Printmaking Revolution : new advancements in technology, safety and sustainability, New York: watson-guptill publications.
Stobart, J., (2001) Printmaking for Beginners, London: A&C Black.
Stromquist, A., (2004) Simple Screenprinting: basic techniques and creative projects, New York: Lark Books.
Williamson, C., (2011) Reinventing Screenprinting, London: A&C Black.
Woods, L., (2011) The Printmaking Handbook: Simple techniques and step-be-step projects, London: Search Press.
My Shutterstock portfolio includes:
- Lake District (48 images in colour and monochrome processed in Lightroom and/or Viveza)
- Norfolk: Burnham Overy Staithe (34 colour images processed in Lightroom, including abstract seascapes)
- Suffolk: Orford Marshes (10 colour, monochrome and split tone images processed in Lightroom and/or Silver FX)
- Norfolk: Hunstanton (39 ‘English seaside on a cold New Year’ colour images processed in Lightroom) and Norfolk: Cromer (5 colour images including 2 that were substantially processed in Lightroom to correct lighting and perspective, and 2 ‘nostalgic sea-side images in Analog Pro)
- Cambridge: River Cam (17 abstract and 17 semi-abstract images and 18 ‘Abstract reflections’ that I aim to develop further together with more ‘Edgelands’ images as part of Assignment 4 ‘Cambridge Chronicles’
- Suffolk: Aldeburgh (28 high colour images of Aldeburgh Carnival 2016 around ideas of ‘Englishness’ and ‘English Holiday’ ‘English seaside’ and quirkiness processed in Lightroom only) that I intend to revisit as part of work on ‘English seaside nostalgia’ together with:
- Suffolk: Orford Quay (16 ‘Brexit’/’British’ images processed in Lightroom that will form part of Assignment 5 ‘A Very British Day Out’ together with photos of National Trust’s Orford Ness for which I need a professional photographer’s license to publish)
My experience so far has been broadly positive – good resources database on areas like intellectual and privacy rights, technical tutorials and quick and helpful response to some queries I had. I have learned a lot technically. and the experience has taught me a lot so far. Most of my 220 images were accepted when submitted first time (having consulted all their documentation first). The main reasons for rejection have been because of issues like titling, editorial vs commercial categorisation or keywording. Only 3 have so far been terminally rejected on jpg quality issues, but even these I think I plan to re-submit as more artistic creations using NikFX.
Photos that sold
Sales have been less successful. Shutterstock is generally considered by You Tube contributors to give highest income because of volume of sales rather than percentage of price. But in order to make substantial income you need to have around 2-3,000 images and constantly have a drip of new images going on. I have so far sold two images for the huge total of USc50! The first download was someone local in Isleham, Suffolk and the second someone in Korea.
The first two images are suitable for backgrounds, rather than editorial. They are also desaturated and different from the overwhelming majority of highly sharpened and highly saturated tourist images. Possibly this distinctive style is one of the ‘niches’ where I may eventually choose to focus. Particularly as I enjoy the experience of taking and processing these types of landscape image and would like to develop my photographic as well as software processing skills.
A third image accepted after two months (showing that images are not necessarily lost) was a colourful editorial image from Aldeburgh carnival.
Shutterstock Technical Guidelines
Inspect all images at 100% resolution
1) For Commercial Stock: trademark issues (send as editorial)
- no brand names
- no IPP
- keywords should not contain trademarks
- no isolated pictures of single buildings and avoid landmark modern buildings
- compression artefacts
- check skies and shadows
- what is concept? what could it be used for?
- arrangement not optimal. leading lines, rule of thirds. use in-camera grid
- distracting elements
- horizon line crooked
- negative space so customers can insert text
- shoot from different angles
- Focus a bit too soft. try single and continuous focus
- Camera shake: stabilise yourself against a tree, elbows in and don’t breathe
- avoid zoom lens or move closer
- under or over-exposed – use histogram and correct
- not good lighting
- avoid midday, ‘golden hours’ 1 hour before or after sun
- look at on-line resources
- use critique section on forums
- sometimes they do make an error
- make correction and re-submit
Shutterstock Experiences from other stock photographers
Shutterstock You Tube tutorials
Preparing for upload
Addressing reasons for rejection
Combine watercolour and acrylic techniques. Work dark to light or other way round. Washes and detail.
all about edges. Can work back in.
use mediums and then wash out. Print with kitchen towel and other surfaces. Lift off and blot out. Sgraffito.
texture and transfer effects.
See also post Jonathon Leyton Vera
Good look at sketching with gouache and making little gesture studies. Uses dry brush scumbling.
Background links for iPad Explorations: Critical Review
Adobe Illustrator Draw is a vector drawing app designed for quickly sketching out ideas and concepts. Zoom up to 64x to apply fine details and customise your toolbar and brushes. You can draw perfectly straight lines and geometric shapes, rename layers, and use shapes from Adobe Capture CC. An enhanced perspective grid also lets you map shapes to a perspective plane. Has 13 tools, a digital ruler, and graph guides. You can import your own images or stock photos to work on and for tracing and collage. Using the Creative Cloud connection, you can send a file to Photoshop CC or Illustrator CC on your PC or share your art with the Behance creative community.
AKSketch is a black & white charcoal drawing app. It’s a simple app designed to make you forget about the tools and just draw, using intuitive multi-touch gestures to help you achieve the desired result. It opens straight to a blank canvas. You can start sketching immediately, using the pinch to zoom gesture to get a bigger or smaller line. Tapping at the bottom of the canvas will bring up the tools menu, which is very basic. You can choose between a smooth or rough brush, and you’ll also get an eraser. The undo and redo tool is handy, and you can also access your other sketches from there.
Artrage: variety of canvas presets and paper options, plus a wide array of brushes, pencils, crayons, rollers, and pastels. You can paint directly onto the screen or apply a glob of paint with one tool and smear it around with another. ArtRage also features a dedicated watercolour brush option, which can produce some striking effects. Experiment with the ArtRage digital canvas by smearing, blending oils and watercolour. The app is smart enough to detect the roughness of your paper so your pencils can be used for soft shading. Add layers to your work without damaging others with a range of Layer Blend Modes, import photos and convert them to oil for smearing or use as reference images, or trace over images. Once you’ve familiarised yourself with the interface, it’s easy to change brush sizes, bring up the colour picker, work with layers and blend/smudge different elements together.The main idea of Artrage is to make painting as real as possible on the iPad. You can mix paints with one another as though you were manipulating them on a real canvas. This app works with layers, and if you’re already familiar with Photoshop, you’ll feel right at home with the blend modes. Artrage also allows you to record your drawing for later viewing on the desktop.
ArtStudio: over 20 different brushes, various different canvas sizes and options that include layers, layer masks, filters and effects. ArtStudio also includes step-by-step drawing lessons/tutorials plus the handy ability to export your artwork to Photoshop for further fiddling.
Auryn Ink: for watercolour painting. You can pick different tip shapes for the brushes and specify different bristle effects. You can also adjust the texture of the canvas and the amount of water on your brush.
Brushes Redux: used by David Hockney. Using a basic toolbar at the bottom of the screen, you can bring up a colour wheel/picker, work with layers and switch between various brushes. Brushes is fast and responsive to the touch so it’s easy to work quickly. Can record brush strokes. You can only create up to 10 layers.
Comic Draw: by plasq, enables you to build an entire comic narrative inside the app – from concept sketches to colour and lettering. It has a digital sketchpad for original ideas, and also inking and colouring with a variety of brushes to finish your concepts. Lay out different panels on your page and use layers to build your drawings. Add as many pages as you want to create a comic strip, books or even graphic novel. To finish off, add words with Comic Draw’s lettering suite made up of different typefaces, balloons and design tools. Comics can be shared on the on-line community Comic Connect.
Inkist: by Tai Shimizue is a painting app with a range of simple, customisable brushes with support for pressure-sensitive styluses.The interface is simple, with minimal taps required to switch between tools, The apps features three layers with blend modes, opacity, and opacity-locking settings. You can then export your work as a PNG, PSD, proprietary ISImage file format and as individual layer files.
Inspire Pro: from Canada-based SnowCanoe’s has 60 high-quality brushes to choose from, divided into six sets: oil paint, airbrushes, basic shapes, graphite pencils, wax crayons and markers. And these can all be used as a wet or dry brush or eraser to create fast and realistic painting, drawing and sketches. Dynamic colour picker Adjusting the paint load and customising brushes (by rotating the bristle pattern) becomes second nature. Add a subtle blur, use Canvas Playback to watch your paintings unfold, use dual textured brushes, customise your canvas size.
MediBang Paint includes many different creative tools for illustrators and comic book artists. Some of these include, numerous brushes, screentones and backgrounds, cloud fonts and comic creation tools. Finally registering on MediBang’s site for free gives users access to cloud storage so they can easily manage, backup and share their work.
Paper 53: quick sketches for a selection of virtual journals, with pages to thumb through for easy viewing. Has diagramming and note-taking tools in addition to the standard creative tool suite it’s always had. Tools are a watercolor brush, calligraphy pen, pencil, marker, ballpoint pen, eraser, paint roller, scissors, and a ruler. You can import or take pictures, and mark them up with text or drawings. Upload to FiftyThree’s creative community Mix.
Photoshop Sketch: features 14 tools, including a graphite pencil, ink pen and watercolour brushes, with adjustable size, colour, opacity and blending settings. You can layer and rearrange your images, use perspective and graph grids to help align your creations. Export your work to Illustrator or Photoshop CC.
Pixelmator: to enhance or touch up photography, paint detailed, layered images from scratch. It has more than 90 brushes (including double-texture brushes), watercolours, and the pixel brush. Graphic design features include using blending layers, shapes and text, whilst adding features like shadows, outlines and gradient fills and a range of effects including kaleidoscope.
Procreate: professional software from Savage Interactive won the Apple Design Award and the App Store Essential. It has a built-in brush editor for creating custom brushes, which enable you to define brush shape and grain. On the Pro, it can go up to 16K resolution with 64-bit color, and you can export your artwork as PSD, PNG, JPG, or Procreate files. The app also lets you record videos of your art and helps you build a portfolio and share your work, if you so desire.
SketchBook (Autodesk) combines raster and vector features. It has a wide range of digital pencils, pens, markers, and airbrushes with ability to pin toolbars to the screen for easy access. It has text , distort and shape features together with image import and video export.
SketchBook Ink preset brushes aren’t editable apart from their size, and there are no layers (besides the option to add a photo as a background layer). very high output resolution. You can export images to iTunes at up to 101.5 megapixels (8727 pixels x 11636 pixels) or your Photo app at up to 4096 pixels x 3072 pixels. Although exported files are flat PNGs, not editable vector files, the images are still very high quality.
Sketch Club has a community of artists with whom you can share your art. You’ll also be able to comment on everyone’s work and get inspiration. Lets you create 64 layers in total, and canvases that are up to 4K in resolution. Wide selection of brushes and vector tools, this is a full-fledged drawing app. It has full support for the Apple Pencil and the ability to record in 1080p.
Tayasui Sketches Pro eight brushes along the left-hand side, with pencil, rotring, watercolor brush, felt pen, and eraser for free and more brushes and size, shape and blend controls and paper types to buy. You can import photos, too, if you want. You can organize your sketches and creations into different notebooks in the app.
Zen Brush: traditional Japanese calligraphy brushes. Gallery feature that enables you to save your work in progress, as well as an ink dispersion effect to give your drawings an added feeling of depth. Uses black and red ink.
For sketching and painting with some very distinctive styles. What I like best are:
- Sketch brushes: these are great for shading
- Pixel brush: can produce beautiful mosaics
- Vector brush with gradient: for delicate Japanese watercolour effects
- Zen-like pens: for very expressive drawings and calligraphy.
SketchClub community website is rather uninspiring but accessible from within the App for easy upload: https://app.sketchclub.com
Facebook page is much more inspiring but still does not really do the App justice: https://www.facebook.com/SketchClubApp/
Canvas: Customisable sizes and resolution to very high quality.
Templates for comics etc.
Layers: Up to 64 with blend modes and filters. Mirror and reflect features.
Brushes: Cusomisable: Art, Blur, Erase, Fill, Pen, Procedural,Selection, Sketchy and smooth, Smudge, TextArt, Vector Brush. Vector shapes.
Type: Type Art only
Colour: Central and easy access customisable palette, colour picker.
Book/Gallery: Gallery with folders
Output: JPG, PNG, PSD, Animated GIF,Folders and comic templates, large file sizes possible.
SketchClub is incredibly versatile, but with a distinctive look.
Using one of the paper options and the sketching tool.
Smooth sketch tool.
Tips and updates