London Print Studio: The secret of great screen printing

19 Apr

Last Friday I went to Harrow Road, London to a workshop at London Print Studio. The workshop called ‘Scan and Expose’ promised to unleash the secrets of the four colour print process. It didn’t disappoint.

Several times now I’ve been at an Open Access Session at East London Printmakers’ Studio and seen other people printing with massive levels of detail and in full colour. ELP have brilliant beginners level courses about no follow-ups. London Print Studio, as well as running courses, also boasts a digital workshop.

Arriving at 10.30am I was impressed by the space at LPS. They’ve got a wonderful print gallery in the foyer. The tuition throughout the day way brilliantly delivered by Lucy and Ed and I was pleased to find there were only 3 of us on the course.

We had a brilliant crash course in Photoshop where we learned the amazingly simply printing solution of turning images into bitmaps (pictures made up of lots of dots) which holds on to the detail in the image far far more that turning up the contrast and using a photocopy. In step two we learned how to split a colour picture into the 4 different colour elements; Yellow, Magenta, Cyan and Black. Each separate colour bitmap was printed out and exposed onto the screen using photo emulsion.

When the screens were ready we set to work printing, yellow layer first, then magenta, then cyan and finally black. Each colour layer of dots sits next to and over each other creating endless shades of colour.

Despite the extra space at LPS compared to ELP, there were only 2 workspaces for screen printing (there are 4 plus a fabric printing space at ELP). The rest of the workshop is given over to other very exciting looking print techniques…that I know nothing about.   

Here’s the print I did on the day. Can’t believe I hand printed this…


It was a small print run of six but if you like the picture there are a couple available to buy on Etsy now, just click on the image above to take a look.

So, now I know the secret of printing in very fine detail. I’m excited to give it a try at my next Open Access Session! Thanks LPS. Look out for much better print quality coming this way soon.


One Response to “London Print Studio: The secret of great screen printing”

  1. kim April 21, 2011 at 11:32 am #

    that detail is fab.. can’t wait to see what you come up with!

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