On Friday I finished printing this screen print I’ve been working on for a few weeks. I wrote about it earlier this month, and again last week, as I was reworking the art in Illustrator, which I’m not as familiar with as Photoshop, but learned a lot about while working on this project. It is a 19″ x 19″ three color print on French Pink Lemonade 100# paper (edition of 29), and you can buy one for $20 if you want to.
I struggled a bit internally with the graphic style of it, because usually my projects start with hand-drawing and look a lot more organic. (Perfection is suspicious, as they say.) I compromised by mixing up the halftone patterns (not just reusing the same one for each shape) and moving the little parts around (like the sprinkles on the donuts) so they aren’t the same on every object. A hand-pulled screen print has a lot of the hand in it, too (no print is exactly the same). But I guess because the structure of the idea was inspired by a quilt block, it made sense overall to keep it graphically shaped.
I also struggled a little bit inside with the presentation of these foods, mostly with the pizza, because it appears to have pepperoni on it, and I’m vegan. But vegan pepperoni exists, and I’ve been vegan for close to ten years and I eat pizza, donuts, and ice cream with regularity (quite often making them myself) and enjoy them immensely. So an alternate or parenthetical title could be “What Vegans Eat.”
Overall it was an opportunity for me to play with halftone texture and over/underlayers, and to get a little bit of practice in prepping prints in Illustrator. It’s named “Fantasy I” partly after the quilt block pattern that it’s based off of — “Young Man’s Fantasy” (or sometimes Fancy), also known as “Goose in the Pond.” I like the idea of combining food and quilts because they both provide pleasure and comfort.
I really had fun thinking about the different layers and how I could get them to interact. This is one of my favorite things about screen printing. This image (above) of a misprint shows the white underlayer that creates the pizza texture, and then the transparent yellow goes over top — where there is no white underlayer it is a little bit darker, which creates the “crust.” And the yellow going over the pink makes the orange-ish donut color. The yellow and white dot patterns coming off the pizza is like gingham, you know, like the red gingham associated with Italian restaurants?
This image (above) shows the trapping on the yellow layer in the donut, to increase the likelihood that it will overlap the pink. This was an improvement I made from the first version, to make registration a little bit easier.
And this one (above) shows the white ice cream halftone texture underlayer, which I made to (ideally) make the ice cream seem “creamier.”
I have a sketch for another print in this style (quilt block + food), featuring nachos and popcorn.