How To Colour Blend by M.O.L - Print Club London
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How To Colour Blend by M.O.L


What is a colour blend in screenprinting?

A colour blend is the gradual merging of two colours to create a gradient, resulting in fewer layers being printed.

Artist M.O.L. is going to demonstrate how to create a colour blend.

M.O.L has prepared the image in advance normally in photoshop digitally. The colour blend layers are treated as though they are flat spot colours at this stage, so they are separated from the main image and made pure black by bitmapping using a 50% threshold.

When choosing your colours, it helps to have a colour wheel to hand. Ideally, they should merge into each other well and not mix to make a new colour, so opt for colours that sit next to each other on the wheel.

With M.O.L’s print, his second blend layer sits on top of the first in some places. To achieve a good overlay a bit more binder has been used to make the inks more transparent.

The screens are prepared as normal and materials are gathered. Take note of the order the layers will be printed so that the screens are put in the right place on the bed. The blend must go horizontally when printing.

To start the blend the ink is positioned at the top of the screen, keeping the colours separate by tapering so that when the squeegee is pulled for the first time they will blend together.

After several pulls, the inks should start to blend together on the screen. The squeegee needs to be straight when pulling and flooding so that it is consistent when printing.

The squeegee can be angled when flooding if the ink needs to move in a certain direction.

Here M.O.L. is registering the second blend layer onto the print. After the second blend, a further skin tone and black halftone layer have been added. M.O.L. has demonstrated the efficiency of using blends by ending up with such a broad colour palette in his final print.