Halloween Printing with Night Glo Acrylic Ink!

If you’re a Halloween lover this project is for you! We’ve had a go with Speedball’s Acrylic Night Glo Ink and made our own glow in the dark Halloween poster. This ink really gives your prints a twist
– it would be great for children’s (or adults’!) bedrooms too.

This project uses paper stencils to create a two layered print on paper.

Start by drawing the designs onto copy paper – we’re using A3 80gsm paper. 80gsm is perfect for paper stencils. It’s thin enough to give crisp edges but
thick enough to withstand a good number of prints. 

Both masks and stencils can be used for screen printing. This first layer is made up of masks – a solid shape that blocks out the ink, leaving white areas.
Our next layer will be a stencil – a solid piece of paper with holes cut out to let the ink through. 

A hinged board is very helpful when screen printing onto paper. Hinge clamps are attached to a board, a screen is held in place, allowing you to lift it up to place your paper. The screen will
go down in the same place every time. 

Tape the edges of the screen with parcel tape on the front and back. If using masks, you’ll need to tape an aperture that will let the ink through. A right angle ruler can be useful to get this
square. We’re using an  A3 screen with 90T mesh. After the screen is taped, attach it to the hinge clamps. 

Place a piece of paper on the board and then place the first stencil or mask on top. Use masking tape to mark where the corners of the paper will go each
time a print is taken. 

Make sure the whole design fits in the aperture. 

When you’re happy with the position, scoop a line of acrylic screen printing ink along the top edge of the screen. 

Hold the screen slightly up and away from the board. Use a squeegee at a 45 degree angle to lightly drag the ink down the screen – this is called flooding the screen. Place the screen down
onto the board and pull the squeegee down the screen again, this time with no extra ink. Push hard. You’ll know you’ve printed the entire design when
no areas appear shiny. If they are, pull the squeegee down the screen again, pressing hard. 

Lift the screen to reveal a print. 

Place the print to one side and lay down another piece of paper. It’s important to work quickly and not let any ink dry in the mesh. To flood the screen
with ink, lift the screen slightly and push the ink back up the screen with the squeegee. Print again by placing the screen down and pulling the squeegee
hard down the mesh again. Continue for the whole edition. 

When the edition is finished, peel the paper stencils from the mesh. Use a spatula to scoop off any excess ink back into the pot. Use a soft sponge and
a bucket of cold water to gently clean the mesh to remove any ink. Let the screen dry. Leave the screen in the hinge clamps ready for the next layer. 

Layer two of our design is printed in Speedball Acrylic Night Glo Ink.
This ink is a very pale, milky green colour that shows up very slightly on white paper but glows in the dark! 

Place a print back onto the board using the masking tape corners to get it into position. Place the next stencil on top. You should be able to see the
first layer through slightly to help place the second layer. 

Scoop some ink onto the screen in a line slightly wider than the design. 

As before, flood the screen and then press firmly with the squeegee to print. It may be necessary to pull the squeegee down the screen a couple of times
to get a clear, solid print with the Night Glo ink. 

The Night Glo print will be very subtle on the paper. It may show up more on darker areas than on the white (see the dots in the eyes).

The print should glow in the dark!

(Note how the dots in the eyes do not glow as much as they were printed onto a dark ground.)

For this project you will need:


Meet the Maker: Basil and Ford

We are a husband and wife screen printing duo. We met at university where we were both studying Art & Design. In 2011 we got engaged and started the
hunt for wedding stationery. We couldn’t find what we wanted without a huge price tag so we ended up hand screen printing them ourselves and we caught
the bug. Fast forward a couple of years and we were married and still working in London, both in design/ad agencies and then found out we were expecting
our first little one. We assessed all our options and decided we wanted to head out of the big smoke before the baby arrived and thought we would go
all in and set up Basil & Ford back in Stamford all before Matilda turned up in September 2013. And the rest, as they say is history.

Describe your printmaking process.

We have several arms to the business. We design and screen print graphic art prints, we create typographic designs that we print over original book plates
and we design our stationery ranges that we outsource. The screen printing process in short goes like this:

you can see on our website: http://www.basilandford.com/what-is-screenprinting/

How and where did you learn to print?

I (Lucy) went to Leeds Metropolitan University and studied art and design and was lucky enough to learn the ropes in their wonderful studio. Matt hadn’t
done it before so he learnt whilst we printed our wedding invitations. Then years later when we decided to set up our own studio we had to refresh
the knowledge again and there was A LOT of errors and learning on the job. Our skills now are so much further on that they were 5 years ago!

Why printmaking?

There is something so wonderful about creating something from scratch and using original processes to do so. Printing a design out on a digital printer
just doesn’t do it for us and we would find it very uninspiring and rather mundane doing that day in day out. We love being able to print on different
substrates and we especially love being able to print on extra thick card and wood.

Where do you work?

When we started we set up our studio in an old garage that wasn’t entirely water tight and was freezing in the winter and very warm in the summer. It wasn’t
ideal but it got us off the ground and we will always look back at those first years with fond memories. We now have an all singing, all dancing studio
that we love.

This is what the studio looked like before we took it over!

Describe a typical day in your studio.

We have two young children and it is only the 2 of us that run Basil & Ford. Our little boy has just turned one so Matt has been manning the studio
single handed for most of the last 12 months. One of our bread and butter products is our 3 Map Wedding Print which are made to order so they take
up a lot of his studio time as each one is laid out, hand printed and finished with original maps which have to be sourced from our vast collection,
cut, mounted and then everything is framed up.

When he isn’t doing that he will be creating new lucky dip prints on vintage book plates (which we also have a vast collection of!) or creating bespoke
wedding stationery for brides and grooms: https://www.instagram.com/mightyfineweddingsuk/

I look after all the finance, ordering, stocktake, wholesale, social media and all general admin from home, the studio or my parents house all with one
or two children tugging at my dress and asking for snacks! :0) September sees our eldest heading off to school so next year we will both be in the
studio together more which we really look forward to.

How long have you been printmaking?

We have been screenprinters since we opened up Basil & Ford in May 2013. We had a few days of it before this date so it was pretty bold to invest our
savings and set up a studio with such little knowledge but sometimes you have to jump straight in at the deep end. Below is an image of us at London
Print Studio back in 2011 and then in our old studio a couple of years ago.

What inspires you?

Everything around us really. Adverts, vintage typography, old books, graphic design, our friends.

What is your favourite printmaking product?

Matt loves creating our lucky dip prints as each one is unique and some of the book plates we are printing on date back to 1900 so the paper stocks are
just incredible.

My favourite product is our wooden table plans that we create for weddings. I think this shows how the screen printing process is more versatile than digital
printing and we also supply these plans with stickers so the table plan doesn’t have to be finalised up until the last minute which gives great flexibility.

We created a video that shows the process for printing our wooden table plans: https://vimeo.com/188961900

What have you made that you are most proud of?

We were very proud when we launched our first collaboration with the V&A for their Shipping Exhibition. Our prints were a sell out and we restocked
every couple of weeks whilst the show was on. We have worked with them since on various bespoke prints for their shop and online shop.

Where can we see your work? Where do you sell?

We have our own website and also sell on nothonthehightstreet and etsy. We travel the county showcasing our wares at the best craft markets and print fairs and people travel to see us as they want
to rifle through all the lucky dips to pick up some mighty fine art prints. We promote all our new prints on Instagram and confirm markets on there
so give us a follow @basilandford

What will we be seeing from you next?

We are in the process of creating reversed printed mirrors but there are various processes that we are trying to perfect to ensure the product is perfect.
We are also going to launch a small collection of children T-shirts so watch this space.

Do you have any advice for other printmakers and creatives?

Don’t undersell yourself. When we started we did so much for no money and people seem to take advantage and see a design service as something that can
be given away for free. Your time is your cost so ensure you get paid for your hard work. Also stick to your guns and create items that you love so
you remain passionate about what you do.


See more from Basil and Ford:



Not On The Highstreet



Screen Printing Hand Drawings using Film Marker Pens

Translating drawings into print doesn’t have to include scanning and digitally manipulating your design on a computer. By using opaque film markers onto
screen film we are able to skip the digital part altogether and create a photographic screen directly from the drawings you produce. This allows you
to work in full scale, even tracing other print layers or design elements so that they will fit exactly. 

To do this we need screen film and opaque pens. The
pens need to be dark enough to block the light when exposing the screen. Other pens may let too much light through and the screen will be over-exposed.
We’re using Zig Pens in four different nib types: fine, medium, brush and broad; as well as a Jacquard Film Marker

Screen film has a right and wrong side on which to print and draw. You can feel this with your finger tips: the correct side will feel slightly tacky and squeaky
whereas the wrong side will feel smoother. 

Use the different pens to draw onto the film. 

The different nibs yield different results and can be used in combination to achieve the look you want. 

When your drawing is ready you can make your screen. If you don’t want to do this yourself, ask us about producing a screen for you from your drawings. We are using an A4 90T screen to print on paper. 

A screen needs to be coated in sensitised photo emulsion using a coating trough and then dried in the dark. It is then exposed to UV light using an exposure unit, light box or lamp (or even the
sun!) with the film in between, blocking the light from certain areas of mesh. Different exposure units and lamps will need different exposure times
– if you’re trying this at home, experiment with exposure times first. 

Once the screen has been exposed it needs to be immediately rinsed with cold water. The water stops the emulsion from reacting to light. The design should
appear paler on the mesh. Rinse the screen until the drawn areas let light through and return to mesh colour (in this case, yellow). A jet wash is
perfect for this if used gently but a shower or garden hose will work too. 

When the screen is dry, tape round the edges to block off any unwanted open areas of mesh. The screen is then ready to be printed. If you’re printing onto fabric, the screen can
be placed directly onto the fabric on top of a padded table. If printing on paper, it’s best to have a ‘snap off’ – a slight gap between your mesh
and your paper. Vacuum tables or hinge clamps are perfect for this as they provide snap off whilst holding the screen in place, making it easy to register
your print. If you don’t have this equipment, read on for an easy at home way to print onto paper without the use of a vacuum table or hinged board. 

We have set up our print area on a padded surface just like the ones we would use to print onto fabric. A blanket has been tightly stretched around a board
and then covered in cotton. For right handers, place a piece of newspaper on the right hand side of your work space with your ink and squeegee on top. Left handers reverse this. Place your squeegee on a little plinth such as an empty tape roll to keep the ink from
spreading over the handle. 

To create our snap off we can use mount board. Tape a little piece of mount board to the base of each corner of the screen – this will keep our mesh slightly
away from the paper. 

Place the paper on the board – we’re using Kent. Arrange
the drawn film on top of the paper. Use masking tape to mark the edges of the paper. Then place the screen on top, lining the design on the screen
with the design on the screen film. Mark the corners of the screen position with masking tape. 

This method will allow us to place both the paper and the screen down in the same place each time with the print placed correctly on the paper. 

Remove the film and place the screen down on top of the first piece of paper. Use a spatula or spoon to put a layer of ink along the top edge of the screen,
just a little wider than the design. (If you prefer to flood away from you, place the ink at the bottom of the screen instead).

With one hand holding the screen still, gently use a squeegee at a 45 degree angle to drag the ink down the screen (or push upwards and away from you if flooding from the bottom).
Don’t press hard at this point. We are using a grey ink mixed from acrylic paint and acrylic screen printing medium mixed in a 50:50 ratio. 

Continue to hold the screen still with one hand. Scrape the excess ink off the squeegee using the bottom edge of the screen. Bring your squeegee to the
top of the screen and pull it down the mesh again, this time pressing hard downwards. You should hear a tent zip sound and your design should appear.
Check that there are no shiny areas of your design left – if there are, pull the squeegee down hard again. 

Peel the screen away from the board. You may need to peel your paper gently from the mesh. Place a new piece of paper in the marked position and repeat
the printing steps again for another print until you’re happy with your print run. Use a spatula to remove any excess in from the screen and then wipe
the mesh with a soft, cold, damp sponge. Finally, rinse your screen in cold water with a garden or shower hose. 

For this project you will need:

Meet the Maker: Rob Barnes

I studied painting and printmaking at Hull College of Art and London University in the early 1960s. I taught etching, screen-printing, linocut and related
surface printmaking at Keswick Hall College in Norfolk. Later I moved to the University of East Anglia where I continued teaching in the School of
Education until 2006.

I am based in South Norfolk. I have exhibited regularly in London and many of my etchings and linocuts are in private collections, here and abroad. More
recently I have returned to linocuts, enjoying the strong physical nature of this medium. My linocuts are inspired mainly by the landscape of East
Anglia. Effects of light and colour, weather and atmosphere contribute to the final linocut. Recent work has been inspired by observing the changing
fields and wildlife through the seasons. Coastal prints are inspired by Norfolk and Suffolk waterways.

All prints are in limited editions. I enjoy the challenge of cutting lino with a certain freedom in the cutting strokes. I also find printmaking fascinating
when I blend and graduate colours. This gives me an opportunity to play with light and shade, much as I first saw it in the subject that inspired the

The Albion press pictured above is a copy of one made in 1854. It was cast and constructed by Harry Rochat Ltd in 2013.

Describe your printmaking process.

I create a KEY block and usually two other lino blocks are used. These are REDUCTION blocks so there can be up to six printings. I blend colours and finish
with the black key block. My starting point is always a drawing or sketch on paper. I then draw this in reverse directly onto the lino using a blue
spirit marker pen. Nothing is ever traced as I like to make changes from the first drawing to the final reverse image. I print using oil-based inks
on my Albion press which is a copy of an 1854 press but cast in 2013 by Harry Rochat based in Barnet, London. As I use a reduction block method, this
means the whole edition of 45 or 50 must be printed at the same time.

How and where did you learn to print?

I learned at art school where I had a very good teacher, Simon Goldberg. If he were still alive he would be aged 102 so I cannot thank him as much as I
would have liked. He taught me etching, screen print, wood block, lithography and lino printing.

Why printmaking?

I do paint, but a painting is never really finished so I am tempted to tweak and make changes. Printmaking has a process which suits me well and I love
the challenge of colour blends I can achieve. I also like the developed skill of cutting details.

Where do you work?

I have my own studio in South Norfolk. This is a room in the house, so I come downstairs and everything is available to work.

Describe a typical day in your studio.

My days are not typical, but I have to set aside a very long day to print enough for a full edition. When prints are drying, I turn to my silver jewellery
workbench and make pendants, rings, earrings and bangles.

How long have you been printmaking?

I have been printmaking since I was aged 17 and never stopped.

What inspires you?

I live in the country, so see hares, march harriers, farmland and of course trees. I can watch the changes in the seasons and the nearest farm is only
a few yards away. I am also inspired by old boats and the coast in Norfolk and Suffolk.

What is your favourite printmaking product?

My favourite printmaking tool is probably my Rochat press. Leon Rochat has looked after my printing presses for well over thirty years, and recently we
had lunch together for old times sakes, along with his wife and daughter. A more skilful print engineer I have yet to meet.

What have you made that you are most proud of?

I am quite proud of having made eight violins, but if you mean prints, it is often the most recent work that I like.

Where can we see your work? Where do you sell?

I exhibit at Snape Maltings, Suffolk each year and in Southwold. I also have some work in Blakeney, Norfolk. I can Parcelforce unframed but flat mounted

What will we be seeing from you next?

Well, I’m working on a piece at the moment which has swans and reflections in the water. My more typical images are rural landscapes often including starlings,
rooks and hares.

Do you have any advice for other printmakers and creatives?

The best advice is never to stop working. If you want colours to be registered perfectly, talk to, or email a printmaker who really knows how to do this.
There is nothing worse than poorly registered lino blocks. Learn to sharpen your lino cutters yourself as they must be razor sharp to produce professional

Find more of Rob’s work on his Facebook page.