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Intro to Screen Printing

Lesson 1 of 13

Class Introduction


Intro to Screen Printing

Lesson 1 of 13

Class Introduction


Lesson Info

Class Introduction

Hello, friends, and welcome to CreativeLive. This is Intro to Screen Printing, with Erin Dollar. My name is Robert Mahar, and I'll be your host today. If you are looking for someone to clearly and concisely demystify the screen printing process, and make it an accessible skill that you can master at home, you're in the right place. Erin Dollar is an artist and textile designer based in Los Angeles, and it's her background as a print maker that informs the beautiful hand-printed textiles that she creates for her successful small business, Cotton & Flax. Please join me in welcoming Erin Dollar. Hello! Erin, we're so happy to have you. Thank you so much, Robert. I am so excited about this particular class. Me too. We're gonna be doing a lot of running around today, we've got a darkroom set up, so you're gonna want to stick around for the entire class. I'm gonna let you get started, though. Thanks so much. Okay. Hi, welcome. I'm so excited to introduce you to the art ...

of screen printing, also called silk screening. You're gonna hear me use those two terms interchangeably, same process, same materials. Screen printing is an amazing way to take your creative process and use this printing process to make it into a physical good. So if you're making artwork that you want to translate into a product, this is a great place to start. Also, printmaking is an incredibly rich art practice, so we're gonna get into some of the nitty gritty of how to use this, just as a creative exercise. If you're looking to stretch those creative muscles, silk screen printing is an amazing way to take your creative work and bring it onto paper, and bring it to life. So we're gonna start by looking at a few of these amazing prints, that are made using the same process that we're using today. Silk screen printing has a really rich look to it, and part of that is because it's a very direct printing process. You get these amazing, rich tonal qualities to them. Print making can be used, or silk screen printing in particular, can be used to create both works on paper, as I've got here, as well as works on fabric, which is what I use silk screen printing for for my business. Here we have a tea towel and some lavender sachets that I've used using my hand-printed fabric. And the rich quality of the ink really makes this printing process special. It's very different from digitally printed works, it's very different from other print-making processes, because you get this very, very rich quality from the ink. And you can see that we can capture a variety of different types of stylistic quality with this method. Anything from very digitally-oriented, or more processed imagery like we have here in this beautiful moon calender, from Jeremy Rendina from Margins, to this beautiful print here, which captures a lot of our beautiful making tools. I think this is such a perfect image for the folks at CreativeLive. This is something that really captures the creative processes that so many of you guys are harnessing for your work. This is by a friend of mine, Walker Cahall, his company is called Waltronic Press. He made this beautiful one-color print for us to share with you guys today. This is my work here. This is one of my fine art prints that I created. I have a tendency to use a lot of detail in my work, and so silk screen actually captures this really beautifully. All of these are single color prints. You can see that Walker has chosen to use a dark printed paper, and print it in white ink, whereas I've used white paper and printed in black ink. Jeremy here has used this beautiful rich blue color in his work on white paper, and then we have this awesome print from Little Friends of Printmaking. They used a red ink, which is super, super rich and vibrant. And you can see that stylistically, these are all really different, but we're capturing something beautiful in our printed work, and there's something about the quality, the hand-made sort of element to this that feels very rich and different from a digital print. It just adds that little special quality. Plus, you're contributing to an amazing, rich tradition of printmaking that has gone back centuries. This is something that's been used for hundreds of years to create beautiful visual imagery, and you'll be contributing to that legacy of that tradition. This is absolutely beginning level. So you don't need to know anything about silk screen printing yet to get into this class. If you've already taken a silk screen printing class before, this could be a really great refresher. Or if you're familiar with print making processes in general, if you're already a visual artist, this will be a great jumping-off point for you to do more advanced work.

Class Description

Screen printing is a popular, fun and creative way to apply your designs to new materials. The idea of taking on a creative outlet can be daunting for illustrators, artists and creative business owners but with Introduction to Screen Printing, Erin Dollar will walk you through the entire creative process with a DIY workflow, making it accessible and approachable for anyone.

Erin Dollar is the talented textile designer and printmaker behind Cotton & Flax. Join her for this beginning class on the art of screen printing, and you’ll learn:

  • How to create a bold design and transparency that will translate well to printing
  • What materials and tools are best for beginners
  • How to work with photosensitive materials and create a dark room in your space
  • Best practices to prepare your screens for printing on paper

Erin has applied her art to a wide variety of patterns and mediums, blending fine art and fine craft to produce fresh and vibrant designs. Learn proper printing techniques and take advantage of her streamlined process for screen printing. Empower yourself with this new skill set and bring this versatile and dynamic craft to your creative space!  



Wow, that was a great course. Erin is clear, engaging and encouraging. I would loooove to see a follow up course with her that explores some of the more advanced silk screen printing techniques that she mentions in the last segment. Great job!

Marsha Law

Erin is such an outstanding instructor. She's just so confident with her topic and with her ability to communicate. This class helped me realize that I'm not ready yet to start screen printing, which in my opinion is just as important as recognizing when you are ready to try something.


Great beginner course. Helpful terminology. Hope Erin provides a follow up for more complex printing (textiles please). Many thanks.

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