September 25, 2023


How Art Works

Getting Began In Screenprinting Utilizing Paper Stencils

11 min read

Screenprinting is the method which entails making use of very skinny and even layers of color on to a floor (which could possibly be paper, material, wooden, steel – just about something flat). The color is pushed by means of a advantageous mesh display, which is stretched over a sq. or rectangular body. A picture is made by masking areas of the display to cease the color from going by means of these elements of the display. Such a masks will be made in a wide range of methods. A masks will be uncovered to a display which has been coated in a lightweight delicate emulsion, or a painterly masks will be utilized freehand by the artist utilizing drawing fluid. Nevertheless as a newcomer to this course of I’ve loved working with easy paper stencils for making a masks. This text affords some tips about methods to get began with screenprint, utilizing primary tools which is simple to make use of at house or in a small working space.


Contents of the Daler Rowney Screenprinting Freshmen’ set


Advisable Supplies for Screenprinting

Daler Rowney Display Printing Set

Extra Display Printing Medium (elective)

Speedball Hinge Clamps

A board to screw your hinge clamps to (Plywood or MDF)



Reducing Mat

Paper to print on to (I used Fabriano Rosaspina however you should use any paper of round 190gsm or extra)

Pots with hermetic lids

Brown Parcel Tape

Pencil (to attract on to newsprint with)


Masking Tape

Small items of card (mountboard offcuts are good you probably have any)


Additionally, you will want someplace to place the prints to dry – a transparent desk high or a string hung up with pegs is right, when you don’t have a printmaker’s drying rack.

The Daler Rowney Screenprinting Newbie’s set is a superb funding if you wish to strive the method at house or in your studio while not having to spend money on a vacuum desk or carousel. Within the set you’ll get a superb high quality display and squeegee together with a main color set of acrylics, screenprint medium for material and paper, and a bottle of drawing fluid. You additionally get a sturdy plastic palette knife, which is preferable to make use of with the display to a steel palette knife which is extra more likely to tear a gap within the display.

Earlier than you begin, I like to recommend that you simply take the time to use a few coats of yacht varnish to your squeegee deal with and the body of your display. It’s because they’re produced from uncoated wooden, and when you get to some extent of screenprinting frequently, frequent washing of your tools with water might finally trigger untimely sporting of the wooden. The yacht varnish will assist extend the lifespan of the squeegee and the display.

Along with the screenprinting set, Speedball’s screenprinting clamps, and a sturdy board you should use as a screenprinting desk are two different items of apparatus value investing in. The board can simply be any piece of primed or coated MDF or plywood you could wipe moist paint from, that may be a few centimetres greater than your display (no less than). If in case you have a piece bench in your studio that you simply don’t really feel too treasured about that has a clean floor, you may simply use this, as long as you don’t thoughts screwing the clamps into the highest of it! The clamps needs to be about 10cm in from both facet of the display and parallel to at least one one other. If in case you have the means to chisel a sq. into your board so the decrease a part of the grip sits degree with the floor of the board, this could assist to maximise the printing space of the display, but it surely’s not important.



As soon as your clamps are in place you possibly can put your display in place to make your screenprinting desk.


Measuring the hole between the display and the board – this hole must be the identical distance at each ends of the display to attain a pleasant even print. You may need to tape an offcut of mountboard on the reverse finish of the clamps to attain this.


When making a screenprint, you can’t pull a print that’s the identical measurement as your display. It’s because pulling a print entails a downwards and forwards stress along with your squeegee, which pushes the display all the way down to the floor you’re printing on. Because the body holds the display taut, there’ll all the time be a border across the inside fringe of the display that won’t make the correct quantity of contact wanted with the paper for a sucessful print. When you’re beginning out, I might all the time advocate beginning with a small picture as they’re simpler to print, after which as you enhance your printing method, you possibly can take into consideration making bigger pictures. The rectangle I’ve drawn on this piece of newsprint reduce to the identical measurement because the display is a sign of the form of measurement of picture I might advise you begin with; it’s additionally the dimensions of the picture I made for this text. Attempt to maintain your picture/printing space as central in your display as attainable.



Newsprint is the right stencilling materials for screenprint. It’s skinny however robust sufficient to face up to the paint/ink, and when it’s used as a stencil  in screenprint it normally sticks with ease to the display, permitting you to make use of the identical stencil for plenty of prints – a restricted version, if you’ll! It’s completely regular for it to take just a few makes an attempt earlier than you get the strategy of pulling a print proper, so it’s all the time value printing plenty of pictures in case subsequent layers of color don’t fairly go to plan.

You possibly can then begin to reduce your first stencil from the sheet of newsprint. I wished to print a easy nonetheless lifetime of oranges on a gingham desk material in plenty of layers, so I started by reducing horizontal stripes throughout the desk space of the picture utilizing a craft knife.

As soon as I had achieved this I reduce my printing paper to measurement. Fabriano Rosaspina is my paper of alternative because it has a superb weight to it which suggests it doesn’t wrinkle when printed on to. You can use every other pretty weighty printmaking paper or cartridge paper (190gsm+, and clean). I reduce the Rosaspina to the identical measurement because the display/piece of newsprint I used for my first stencil.

You’ll then must tape some registration guides to your board. There would ideally be one to information the size of your paper alongside one facet, after which one other to information the underside fringe of your paper. A mountboard offcut or a bit of cardboard is ideal for this, taped down with masking tape. By making certain your paper is positioned towards these two guides your printed picture will likely be positioned in the identical place on every sheet, which is able to in flip guarantee appropriate registration for subsequent layers of color.



Place your first sheet of paper to print on inside your guides, after which put your first stencil on high of this. Your might select to print on a sheet of newsprint or a scrap piece of paper first, so you possibly can see if the stencil works and the printed layer appears to be like how you prefer to it to.



You possibly can then convey your display down on to your stencil and paper.



Subsequent, it’s value taping the sides of your display with parcel tape, or particular ‘blue’ tape for this function. That is achieved to the again of the display and successfully gives a border that forestalls the newsprint stencil from doing all of the onerous work. The tape is a water-proof masks for the sides of your print. It’s value taping proper as much as the sides of the printing space, after which remembering to take away this tape when your picture is completed. Should you depart the tape on the display for weeks on finish the glue might begin to clog the mesh.



Ensure you are utilizing the precise medium (i.e. for paper somewhat than material), and blend completely so the ‘ink’ is constant all through. It’s good to maintain your ink in an hermetic pot in case you want it at a later date. Should you want it to remain moist for just a few days and even weeks, you may need to additionally add some retarder to the system to sluggish the drying additional, though the display printing medium may also sluggish drying to a level.



Subsequent, it’s essential to put a beneficiant quantity of color on the sting closest to you, a good strip of color alongside the sting of the width of the picture space. Place the color on the tape to ensure it doesn’t leak by means of to your paper simply but.



Then, it’s essential to put one thing in between the display and the board to make sure the display is lifted whilst you flood the display. A roll of masking tape is ideal!



Flooding the display is the method of holding the squeegee to the display and transferring it in a wiping motion from backside to high of the display, depositing ink evenly throughout the mesh. It takes apply to develop a method to do that efficiently throughout the display, however I’ve discovered pace helps, with solely slightly downward stress on the display. It additionally helps to carry the squeegee at a extra upright angle to the display; not fairly 90 levels, however nearly, holding the squeegee at an angle barely away from you. For a small picture corresponding to this it isn’t completely important the display is absolutely flooded, but it surely does assist with a good deposit of color whenever you truly go to drag your print. After getting flooded your display you possibly can then pull a print. It’s all the time greatest apply to flood the display straight after pulling a print as this helps to cease ink drying within the mesh.



As soon as the display has been flooded with color, you possibly can then pull your first print. Keep in mind to take away the masking tape or different object holding the display up! You could maintain the squeegee with each palms, pushing downwards with the identical quantity of stress, and with some pace, pull the squeegee in direction of you at a forty five diploma angle. This can push the ink that’s flooding the mesh down onto your paper.



After getting pulled your print you possibly can carry the display and see how the layer of color has printed. If there’s any undesirable gaps you may strive squeegeeing the display once more. Once you’re completely happy you possibly can take away the print from the board and put it someplace to dry. Then place your masking fluid/object between the board and the sting of your display body and flood the display prepared to drag your subsequent print.



Hopefully pulling the print can have pushed sufficient ink by means of the display to behave as an adhesive for the stencil, which ought to then persist with the underside of your display and maintain it in place for the remainder of your prints.

You may need to use a chinagraph or All Floor pencil to mark on the display body the place the hinges are connected, as this might assist discover the precise place for the subsequent layers for the print to attain good registration.



After getting printed all of your first layers, scoop up as a lot of the remaining ink and put it again in your pot. It’s greatest to scrub your display as shortly as attainable to keep away from the ink clogging up the mesh. Should you do it quickly sufficient, it’s best to be capable to clear the display merely with water and a clear sponge, but when that doesn’t do the job, you should use a scrubbing brush and slightly washing up liquid. Try to maintain the parcel tape the place it’s.

Permit all of your tools to dry absolutely (and your prints!) earlier than engaged on the subsequent layer.

When all of the prints are dry you possibly can reduce your subsequent stencil. As my purpose was to print a gingham tablecloth, my subsequent stencil consisted of strips of newsprint positioned vertically throughout my horizontal stripes.



You then want to position your print with the brand new stencil positioned on high inside the registration pointers and place the display again within the hinge clamps so the print is seen by means of the parcel tape border.

Then it’s merely a case of repeating the printing course of, flooding then pulling the print, making certain there’s one thing holding the display away from the board and paper whenever you flood the display every time.

The extra medium there’s added to the ink, the extra clear the color will seem, so you possibly can see the place the layers overlap within the print at this stage – the overlapped areas seem darker. There isn’t a restrict to the quantity of medium you possibly can add to the ink, but it surely’s greatest to all the time have extra medium than paint within the ink.



Additional Layers

For the subsequent layers I wished to print my fruit on the desk, and the shadows they forged. You could discover at varied levels that tracing paper is beneficial for putting on the picture up to now and mapping out the place the subsequent layers must go. You possibly can then place your drawing face down on to a brand new sheet of newsprint and draw on the again of the traces to switch the drawing, prepared to chop with a scalpel. Or you may use carbon paper.



The method is repetitious for every layer of color, of reducing out stencils from newsprint, putting them the place you need the picture to be masked, mixing your color, including screenprinting medium, placing it on the underside fringe of the display earlier than flooding the display and pulling a print. Keep in mind to all the time wash the display as quickly after as attainable, scooping up as a lot extra ink as you possibly can with a palette knife. The color can final for weeks in an hermetic container, and when you do want the ink to remain moist for a whilst you can all the time add some acrylic retarder to it. When you’ve lastly completed your print take away the parcel tape quickly after and provides the entire display a superb scrub with water and washing up liquid to ensure it’s utterly freed from ink and prepared on your subsequent screenprint version.



Once you first begin out with display print, maintain the picture small and easy, with only a few layers. I like to recommend working with stencils to start with because the clear up course of is comparatively simple, and it’s attainable to make one thing easy and daring comparatively simply. When you construct confidence by making just a few prints like this, you may really feel inclined to work on a bigger scale and possibly even spend money on an even bigger display.




Additional Studying

Screenprinting With Dave Buonaguidi AKA Actual Hackney Dave

Screenprinting With Screentec Aqua Artwork Water Based mostly Display Ink

A Information to Inks

Display Printing With Jackson’s Studio Acrylic Paint


Store Screenprinting at


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