Printing a “screenprint”

Having done screen printing a hundred years ago, I always wondered if there was a way to replicate that process using a printer and if it would make a difference to the final piece? This weekend, with a little spare time before the crush of the holidays, I took some time to experiment.

Breaking out one of the recent posters from my new The Buena Vista | Mountains of the Disney Parks series, I first had to split the channels into separate photoshop files. From there it was a matter of trial and error to rip the pieces so they would print only their respective color.

Most people would question why anyone would try to do something like this and my answer is this – because I can. There is a bit of the analog in me that loves some of the processes used to create art. Many of those are eliminated through the use of digital products that has enriched many aspects of working as a creative professional. However, there is still a thrill to a handmade or bespoke piece of work and the imperfections that spring up or to quote the jedi master Bob Ross, “happy little accidents”. I was attempting to see if there was some difference to the printed piece when produced in this manner that would justify turning a simple print job into a more drawn out process.

When I compare the two versions of the print, one printed traditionally in a single pass versus the image printed in multiple passes there is a noticeable difference in the color of the screen printed piece; there is much more of the white of the paper showing through the image which brightens up the whole piece. While the single-pass print does not possess the same level of brightness. They are both excellent prints in quality, tone, and consistency but the difference is noticeable. I would not use this process in a daily routine, but for specific pieces this is actually a worthwhile endeavor for me.