Any of you who follow us on Twitter will have seen us discussing this already, but for everyone else, we’ve finally launched our charity project,...
As I’m sure many of you are already aware, since January we here at TC, along with Ben The Illustrator, have been running a charity art project called The Renmen Project. The concept is simple… get great artists to create great artwork and sell it to help people in the most desperate of situations.
And we’re delighted to welcome the brilliant David and Jodie of Peskimo into the fold. The guys have produced some bespoke prints for the project and prior to their release at the end of the week, we thought you’d all find it interesting to see how they got made, from the artists themselves. So take it away guys…
We feel really lucky to have recently set up a screen print studio in our back room at home, we are still at the stage where we find it fun and magical when a print comes together, hopefully that feeling will never go! It was a natural fit to create a screen print for the renmen project as we were keen to limit the colours to predominantly red and blue, the key colours of the Haitian flag.
Images 01 – 05 we had initially planned to create a simple image that we could print as a paper cut print using a silk screen. Our initial ideas worked off that idea with a heart symbol repeating to create a flower to accompany the bird (01). As we developed, and after some paper cut experiments we were unsure of whether the detail we wanted could be created succesfully using that method, so when we decided to do a full photo-emulsion route screen print, it allowed for a lot more detail and complexity in the image. We introduced the idea of two birds being mirror images of each other (02) and slowly developed this. We were happy with the composition of the 2 birds on branches gazing at each other (03) but it wasn’t until we flipped the blue to be the background that the image really came into its own. After adding the blossom and buds we had our final image (05).
The next step is to separate the image into its different colours. This is always in the back of our mind while creating the image, but there is a certain amount of combining and deleting to be done to make sure your separations are correct (06-08). These are printed in black onto acetates arranged on the pre-coated screen and taken down to the cupboard under the stairs to be exposed to very bright lights for a couple of minutes. We wash the screen out and cross our fingers that the image on the acetates has done its thing and that the image now appears on the screen. This is always a nervous time, but also the first little bit of magic! We always get little alterations and areas of fuzzyness, perhaps because we have a rough-round-the-edges printing studio, but we like these elements and they add character to the prints that its impossible to imitate digitally.
Once the screen is dry, we mix up the inks and tape off the screen so we only see the part of the print that we want and we can start printing (09). Once you are set up, it’s a pretty quick process and provided you don’t get too many problems, you can get a lot of prints done in a short amount of time. Seeing the prints hung up to dry is a thrill (10)! As you layer up the separate colours the success of the print becomes more and more real. The key colour here was the red as lots of elements of the image relied on getting a good overprint where the red covers the blue to make an additional colour (11 – 13). Lastly, we add the black branches and the birds have context and stability and the print is completed (14-17)!
And that’s that! Huge thanks to David & Jodie for taking the time to not only do the print, but the time to document the process for us all to enjoy too. The prints will be available from the Renmen Project Shop on Friday and follow @RenmenProject on Twitter for up-to-date news!
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