Email not displaying correctly? Click here to view it in your browser.
Home Events Gallery Framing News Contact

Greetings All!

The making of "Seven"

Part Two

As promised we bring you the next step in the making of a serigraph. We know some of you may not be interested in this process but the response to our last newsletter was overwhelming and many of you were interested in how Rob's pieces come together. In part one we saw the original drawings and the story where Rob's bark paper comes from. Each of the steps will be posted online so you can go back and see all the steps any time you like. In case you missed the previous email, click here to be taken to The making of "Seven"

We continue with part two.

Drawings and Separations

From the artist

Above is the original drawing now mounted to a permanent surface.

Above is the mounted drawing covered with a layer of film. It's hard to see but it is there. I use the word film but it confuses people sometimes as they picture a developing process. Actually it is just a clear sheet of plastic. The film covers the drawing and is taped to the board so that it will not move during this stage. As you can see there are now black areas that have been painted on the film. These black areas correspond to the highlights of the eventual piece and are created using the pattern beneath. The highlights, or the lightest color, is done first. These areas will rest on top of several layers that will be applied first during the paint application stage. During that stage the darkest colors are applied first and then as we move through the value scale to the highlights, the paint is "stacked" on top of one another. These separations are created in reverse starting with the lighter colors and moving through the darks for one primary reason. Starting with the highlights allows me to see through the plastic and determine where the next value needs to go. When the second layer of plastic is applied and painted on, the first color, or highlight, is also painted over on the second layer. This is done for the first 4 or 5 colors until it becomes to impractical to cover so much surface. This creates ease in registration so that if I am off just a bit there will be no registration mishaps. Registration is the term used to describe how each individual color interacts with it's neighboring color. As these separations are created, they must never move. During the paint application stage the paper and the screens will be registered to the press. During that stage each sheet must be set into the press in exactly the same place every time and for each color.
This will become clearer as we progress through the stages.

Here is the second layer. As you can see there is more black than in the first layer. That which was painted on the first layer was covered as well. This layer, or color, will be a bit darker than the first and each layer from here forward will represent a continuously darker color until we get to the darkest under layers. I should explain why black is used on all layers. Black is used to block light during the stencil making process coming next. Once the stencil is made any color we choice can be used during the paint application. Black is used to create the separations as unfiltered black light will be used to "burn" the stencils into the screens. More on that later. The layers to follow will continue on with the same process.

Here we have 9 layers of film now stacked upon each other. As you can see we have complete coverage of the entire image. You may notice a few white specs here and there. I missed a spot or two and will go back through and fill them. After that the films will be turned over and painted on the back side to insure the black areas are opaque and will adequately block the light. I condensed two colors during this process and another color will be done by hand. Sometimes it takes less time to paint on each piece individually. This happens when the color is critical but does not represent enough space in the image to warrant a film and a stencil burn. It just takes less time. At the end another three colors will be applied by hand to each piece in the form of a glaze. More on that later.

Here is a picture of what one of the films looks like by itself. Separately these films make little sense to the viewer but as we apply the paint you will be able to see how they all fit together. In the next step we will show you how we now use these films to create our stencils. We will go through the screen coating process and the exposure process where things will really begin to make sense.

Please feel free to inquire if you have any questions at all about the process so far.

Samarah Fine Art at 406-862-3339.

Or send us an e-mail at

We wish you all the very best this Holiday Season

Sandy, Katie, LeAnn, Shelby and Rob

Samarah Fine Art Gallery and Frame Shop

Our mailing address is:
15 Central Avenue, Whitefish, Montana 59937

Our telephone:

Copyright (C) 2013 Samarah Fine Art, All rights reserved.