Tusche Method

This method is generally favored by artists because it permits free brushwork and a variety of effects such as shading, stipple, or spatter. A finished print, done in several colors, looks very much like a gouache painting; the method may also be limited to one color and used for lettering, poster work, etc.

To prepare the screen, the design is traced or painted directly on the silk with a brush dipped in tusche, an oily liquid which may be purchased at any art supply house (fig. 189). It is advisable to go over the design several times to make sure that the meshes of the screen are well filled. Next make a solution of glue and water in equal quantities and add a few drops of glycerine. Pour a little of this mixture on the screen and spread it over the entire area with a straightedged piece of cardboard. When the silk is entirely covered, remove any surplus and let. the glue dry.

Tusche Method

Figure 189.

The screen is now washed on both sides with a rag dipped in turpentine or kerosene. The tusche, having an oil base, is dissolved by the turpentine thus opening the meshes of the silk in the area covered by the design. The glue solution, which is only soluble in water, is not affected and remains on th.e silk as the "resist" of the stencil. If you have trouble opening some portions of the design, try brushing them gently with a small bristle brush, but be careful not to break the edges of the glue background.

The printing is done exactly as in the first method. When you have finished, clean the screen by washing it first in turpentine or kerosene to remove the paint, then in water to dissolve the glue (fig. 190). If handled with care, the same screen may be reused many times.

Dissolve The Glue

Figure 190.

To print in two or more colors the same procedure is followed, but a. separate stencil and printing must be done for each hue. Start with a detailed drawing of your design, place it against registry guides on the baseboard of the frame and trace on the silk the parts to be done in the first color. When the stencil has been made and printed, clean the screen and trace from the master drawing the areas for the second color. Proceed in this manner until the print is finished. If two colors are widely separated in the design, it is sometimes possible to print them at the same time by placing a cardboard bridge across the frame and using two squeegees with different colors in each half of the frame (fig. 191).

Half Of The Frame

Figure 191.

What Not To Do

DON'T fail to clean the screen immediately with turpentine after using oil colors. Apply this with a soft rag after placing absorbent paper under the screen. Each top sheet should be removed when it becomes saturated. The same applies to water colors except that the screen is washed with a soft rag and water. DON'T put the squeegee away until you have cleaned it. Apply turpentine on a soft rag and rub off all paint. Keep the blade sharp at all times by rubbing it on an emery cloth or fine sandpaper, holding it on a 90° angle.

DON'T dry the squeegee in a warm place or in the sun. Set it in a cool place where an air current will get at it DON'T leave paints, tusche, etc., open when not in use. Too much contact with the air spoils them. DON'T forget to wash the brushes thoroughly when the job is completed. Dry paint spoils them.