Screen Printing Takeover: Natasha Luton
Here at Hunt The Moon, we're proud to work with and support creative artists across the UK. With takeovers, tutorials and showcases we're able to highlight the fantastic work being created. We were lucky to work with Natasha Luton for a Hunt The Moon takeover, if you haven't already, find out more about Natasha and Screen Printing Showcase: Natasha Luton.
The Idea 💡
For my Takeover for Hunt The Moon, I thought I would showcase the process of my latest print; The Disco Giraffe in both colour ways, Disco and Natural. Before each design gets to the print stage it starts its life as a hand-drawn illustration, from a rough pencil sketch through to choosing the final black lines and the fun bit of deciding where the colours will sit.
I have a really makeshift way of registering each screen (making sure each layer of colour lines up) and that is basically making sure each colour layer touches the next colour layer in a few different parts of the print. I then literally use my eye to place the screens in the correct place. This does mean not every print is identical but I quite like that I see my prints as art. The original hand-drawn artwork only gets drawn up in one colour-way and this time I decided to go with the fun cold colourful way.
After the artwork is finished I then hand trace out each positive ready for screen exposure. I use a Zig Posterman pen (any black waterproof paint pen would work) to trace each layer of the design onto acetate. I like to hand trace each layer personally because it keeps the hand-drawn effect.
This is a 5-colour print so needs 5 different positives one for each colour.
The Tools ☀️
Some of the products I used this takeover and often throughout my prints are a range of:
- Aluminium Hunt The Moon Screens, normally a mesh count of 55t and
- Aluminium Squeegees, all in varying sizes depending on the project.
- I am also using the Hunt The Moon Photo Emulsion Set.
- Scoop Coaters and Palette knives as they are essential for applying the Photo Emulsion to the screen.
- I am also using a drying rack, which is so handy and keeps all my prints safe when drying.
Preparing to Expose ✨
Now the positives are ready, it's time to expose the screens. I have decreased each screen in preparation using Hunt The Moons Screen Degreaser, this makes sure the screens are clean and helps the emulsion to bond with the screens better. There is a super helpful blog you can read here on this process.
My Exposure Setup 🧰
I don't personally use an Exposure Kit, although they are great I wanted to try and build my own setup and after many attempts and a long time of experimenting, I found a simple solution that works really well for me in terms of exposure.
I then use a halogen light 50cm above the screen for around 12 minutes then wash out. The Screen sits on a painted black sheet of board. To keep the transparency tight to the screen, I place a large sheet of glass that sits on top of the screen.
After the 12 minutes are up and I've washed the screens out, allowing them to dry I inspect them for any pin holes and if so, use Hunt The Moons Screen Filler / Pin Hole Fixer to cover these up. You don't want any ink sneaking through where you don't want it to. I always do a test print before printing the finished print as well. Next I tape up the edges of the screen, which also helps keep any unwanted ink from getting through when printing.
Time to Print 🎨
I always do test prints of every design before going straight in with the finished prints, to check the screens have been exposed properly and the ink getting through in all the right places. Recently I have started doing my tests on paper as the majority of the time they all work the first time and I like to have a paper stock of each print in case I would like to scan it in and use the print in a digital way. Such as greeting cards.
In terms of inks, I used Hunt The Moon Eco Waterbased Screen Printing Inks for the colourful disco giraffe, the colours being Ibiza Blue and Majestic Magenta. To create the light purple and pastel mint/blue colours, I colour mixed several colours including Ibiza Blue, Majestic Magenta, Pastel Pink and some Hunt The Moon Super Opaque White. Hunt The Moon Inks are great for using straight out of the tub or mixing to make your perfect colour.
The Finished Results ✨
And that's it! I absolutely love these new Giraffe prints and am not sure I can choose a favourite between the two colour ways! It was a pleasure taking over the Hunt The Moon Instagram and showing the process of how I create my prints. If you are interested in seeing more of my work and finding out information regarding my commission prints, you can check out my Instagram, website and all my current work for sale via my Etsy Store 😊