Fun time in Printmaking this semester. I knew about “reductive emulsion” (not emotion) screen printing but I had never tried it. Thought I’d give it a whirl. Frankly, I could also see that some of the “gang of 10” thought in a reductive manner. In other words – they could plan ahead in a printing process without the need for creating an entirely new block or screen.
Essentially with reductive emulsion screen printing, you start with an open, clean screen and use tape as a border or margin – [thinking about it now and for the next time, I would use emulsion, brushed on as a border.] Since the emulsion is light sensitive and the exposure to light hardens it – that would be an effective “block out” border.
I started with my image and used Illustrator to break the full color image into 4 shades of grey. I laid the printout under the screen and used the emulsion and a brush to paint on to the screen. The first painting of emulsion is the WHITE or the color of the paper. Then I let it dry and printed the YELLOW ink.
The biggest pain about screen printing [well, any printmaking] is the clean-up – So I cleaned up the YELLOW ink, washed it out of the screen but left the emulsion in the screen. Then using the emulsion I painted it on the screen and let it dry. The areas that I painted with the emulsion are where the YELLOW stayed. Otherwise when I printed the RED, the RED overprinted on the yellow .
After the RED was printed, I decided to run a gray-green and hoped that it would be enough contrast in value that the image would hold together with out and additional run of a gray/green black. I decided that it works and called it done.
I’m looking forward to exploring this reductive emulsion screen printing method further.