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serigraph 101 : the crayon resist

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Jan. 24th, 2006 | 04:30 pm
mood: creative
posted by: nicci in ilovesmesomeart

crayon resist serigraphs, 3 & 4 colors stacked over other prints

this little tutorial assumes some knowledge of serigraphs/screenprints or printmaking in general. if something confuses you, please feel free to ask. basically i needed to make some mini artworks for 4 different swaps i am in, and i chose to use my screen and print them 4 up on a page with the same color palette. there are reflections on the mylar because my table is right in front of a window.

note: i recommend using crayola crayons.

(this tutorial was made in under 1.5 hours, printing + documentation time included.)

my original drawing used as a template/guldeline

  • i made a little drawing with 4 different crayons on paper just to use as a template or guideline for my printing. wen this was finished, i slid it under my mylar on my printing table (to protect it) so i could use screen filler to block out the areas of the screen i didn't want to print.

    blocked screen w/ screen filler

  • you can see the template below the blocked out screen. i used screen filler to block the areas i do not want to print, first brushing it on with a small blue squeegee, then using a brush to get the edges and small detail areas. screen filler is the red you see in the pic above.

    first color, green

  • i pulled the first color, green, after blocking the screen. you hold the squeegee at about a 45 degree angle and drag it across the screen, pressing ink through the screen where it is open, or not blocked by screen filler.

  • after printing the first color, i cleaned my screen with a water bottle and paper towels, scooping the excess ink off with my little blue squeegee or a piece of mat board, then wiping it down until visibly clean.

    blocking out, with crayon, the green areas

  • after pulling the first color, it's important to block out the areas you wish to remain that color. in this case, i blocked out with a greenish-yellow crayon simply so it is easy to see what i am blocking. the wax acts as a resist, and keeps the ink from going through there.

  • crayons require a little heat setting to be sure they melt slightly and hold into the screen. crayon resists do break down, and you will begin to see 'noise' on subsequent prints as it does so. you do not want to pull LARGE editions with this method.

    flop registration

  • i use a mylar flop registration method to register my prints. it's the easiest way for me to print. after blocking the areas in the screen that you wish to stay green on the print, pour the ink of your second color onto the screen, then screen it through onto your mylar, which should be taped down on one side.

  • this creates a registration print. since it's taped down, and will not move, it tells you where your next color, in this case pink, is going to print. slide one of the dry green prints under this pink, and you can line it up.

  • lift the mylar, then print the pink over green.

    second color, pink

  • after the second color, pink, is pulled, this is what the print looks like. after completing this color run, i cleaned the screen with water and paper towels the same as before.

    blocking out with pink, and re-blocking with green

  • once the screen was cleaned, i blocked the areas that were to remain pink with a dark pink/red crayon. some of the green had broken down, so i also went over that area again with the green crayon before heat setting lightly once more.

    third color, black

  • i decided to print black next, simply because of the design. normally i print black last, but this time i thought i would take a chance. as you can see there is some 'noise' in the green and pink areas--this is where the crayon has broken down. i just kept printing!

    blocking with black

  • after the black run was finished, i blocked the areas i wanted to remain black with a black crayon. (the color of the crayon has nothing to do with the ink, other than it allows me to see what the print should be looking like.)

    fourth color, pink

  • as it turned out, i didn't like how the pale pink looked on the print (left), so i decided to stop and clean my screen, keeping the three color prints.

  • i am still going to hand edit them a bit with silver pen, and possibly some prismacolors.


  • in order to take crayon out of your screen, you can use simple green or greased lightening. i prefer simple green because it's biodegradable and non-toxic. i saturated paper towels in simple green and sandwiched them on my screen to break down the wax.

    as you can see from the tutorial, this method produces a more 'primitive' looking print. it's less clean than other methods, but it lends a certain energy. i like it for that reason. =)
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