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Screen Printing a Gradient with a Split Fountain

Screen Printing a Gradient with a Split Fountain

Usually when you’re screen printing you have to use a different layer for each colour. By using a split fountain we can create a single layer screen print with multiple colours! It’s so easy. Scroll down to watch a video or read on.

Set your screen up ready to be printed. You can use a paper stencil, screen filler design or exposed screen for this technique. Tape the edges of your screen and attach it to a hinged board, if using.

Assemble your screen printing inks. Use Acrylic Screen Printing Inks for printing onto paper or Fabric Screen Printing Inks for printing onto fabric.

Think about the direction in which you want your gradient to go. The squeegee will drag stripes down the screen. You can choose to turn the screen 90 degrees and use a wider squeegee to go in the other direction if that works better for your design.

Place a sheet of paper under the screen or place the screen on your fabric.

Use a spoon or spatula to place a blob of ink at the bottom of the screen just below the design. Place the next colour right beside it (leaving no gap) and continue all the way along the width of the design with all your chosen colours.

Hold the squeegee at a 45 degree angle at the bottom of the screen. Gently push the squeegee up the screen to flood the mesh with ink. When you reach the top of the screen, holding the squeegee at the same angle, pull it down the screen, pressing harder this time. You should hear a zip sound. Leave the ink at the bottom of the screen and lift the screen up to reveal your print.

Continue to flood and print in this way, adding more ink if you need it. The separate colours will start to blend more and more as you print.

When you’ve finished printing, scrape any excess ink and keep it in a pot for another printing session. Clean the screen with a soft sponge and a bucket of cold water. Remove any tape from the screen and wipe down again. If you have printed on fabric, heat set the prints with an iron when they’re completely dry.

For this project you will need:

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