The Making of a New Thermofax Screen and FREE GIVEAWAY!!

Last night, I was working on some videos for my upcoming Creating Personal Imagery 101 workshop (that won't be ready by the end of my vacation, sorry to say) and I wanted to share a cool way of creating designs and images for Thermofax screens that I used to create the cool new designs below!  

Swirls and Leaves-1      and      Swirls and Leaves-2

A part of this fun was working LARGE!  The original image was created on a piece of watercolor paper size 18" x 24".  If you haven't played this large before, it can be very freeing so give it a try.  You will need:  a variety of brushes, India ink and black acrylic paint.  I did not prepare the surface of this paper before painting.  This is a great way to design your very own custom screen!  (hint, hint) LOL

  1. Using a small foam brush, use the India ink like it is watercolor and create some large sweeping strokes until you have filled the entire paper with swirly-like vines. 
  2. Now use the same brush or another of your choice and create your leaves. I created my design with open leaves.  You can fill them if you would like for a different affect.  Try creating 2 layouts each with different leaves or flowers, filled or open.
  3. Now, select a brush that would be somewhat smaller than the swirly vines you created and with your black acrylic paint (I use Liquitex heavy-body paint from the tube or jar) go over the lines you painted in ink with the black paint.

    The idea is not to cover the ink marks, but to create another layer of depth or shade for added dimension.  In looking at the image above, you can see where the black paint was applied and not on every ink brushstroke. 

In Photoshop Elements, I experimented with the Levels adjustment to somewhat deteriorate the image and then applied the Stamp filter. 

To create the reverse image, I simply used the Invert adjustment and then applied one of my solid shape brushes to mask the black area I did not want to burn out on the final screen design that created those nice distressed edges.

Since autumn colors are beginning to reveal themselves here in the northeast, I was inspired to play with some Raw Sienna, Red Oxide, Yellow Oxide and Deep Violet by Liquitex.  The actual print is much darker than it is shown above and feels more like the darker muted tones the leaves take on when they have been on the ground for some time.

Of course, I had to play with some pastels as well!  Mixing Color Hue dyes with Barbasol shaving cream (original), I screen-printed away with what was left of my dyes.  I can't say enough about Color Hue dyes and shaving cream screen-printing!  It is an extremely forgiving screen-printing application and the shaving cream just floats right along the top of the screen and doesn't over saturate the design with multiple passes.
You can purchase Color Hue dyes at seen here.  

If you do create a design that you would like to make into a screen, I can take care of all the digital horseplay so that you don't have to!


Ok, now for the FREE GIVEAWAY!  So my new giveaway includes one of each of these new screens, Swirls and Leaves-1 and Swirls and Leaves-2.  How can you win these screens????  Simply add a comment to this blog post by the cutoff date, Saturday, October 6th by midnight, and I will get my trusty random number generator going and reveal the WINNER on Sunday, October 7th!!!!

Make sure you take some time today to be creative!!!  See you Sunday!



Barb said…
Love, love, love them! Makes me want to get out the paints, fabric, paper, and make some stuff. Oh wait, we did that on Tuesday!

Can't wait to see all of the good things yet to come... :+)
Wowzers. This is a PACKED post! First of all, those screens are delicious. Can you say "favorite?!" {Yes i can!} lol. Shaving cream! Wowzer's again! AND a giveaway... cool beans, I mean cream! {so glad it's Friday!} Count me in Margi, you sure know how to get the creative juices itchin' in my hands... these are BEAUTIFUL, friend. If I'm lucky enough to win... I may just have to pass one of them on!! You've made great use of your vacay time. Way to go!
HollyM said…
Well, I simply love this screen and the things you've done with it!!!
My birthday is on the 6th so it would make a nice surprise!
I'm going to have to find a place to order up the heavy bodied acrylics. I realized that I don't think I have any paint that I could use to print the deli paper with. Do the acrylics stay wet on the gelli? I was afraid if I used regular acrylics that they would start to dry on the Gelli plate and maybe ruin it.
Sandy said…
Those are great designs. I have Colorhue but haven't used them with shaving cream-must try.
LynneP said…
Would love to win the screens. They are scrumptious! Thanks for the chance.
Lora Martin said…
These screens are lovely. And I'm with you on the Color Hue dyes and shaving cream for screen printing, it's easy and fun.
Gill said…
Wow what an amazing giveaway Margaret! Thanks for sharing your processes - I'm off to find out more about 'color hue' dyes!
Patchacha said…
Your screens are so lovely ! I'd like your random number generator choose my number !!!
Kira said…
I love those screens! I'm always interested with how people come up with ideas for patterns as it's something my brain doesn't seem to do. You seemed so casual - a swish of ink here, a bit more detail there, and done! It's amazing :)
ruthanne said…
Would love those screens! My fiber arts group is having a playday on the 8th, painting is on our list of things to do.
elle said…
Margi, these are some screens. Thanks for replying to influences. I realize I need to narrow my influences to raindrops on windows and leaves on twigs and not what others do. Drawing large is a super influence though!
Ronni Hunter said…
I love your screens and really enjoyed reading about your process of making them. Your blog is always fun!
Yvonne said…
Awesome the designs!
Michelle said…
Absolutely beautiful screens, so many possibilities so little time!
michelle ward said…
Love what you're doing with those screens! You are a master! And shaving cream? Oh my, that sounds amazing...again, the master.
Jeanne said…
Thanks once again for your generosity. I have the Color Hue dyes and shaving cream so I definitely hope I win!
Jeanne said…
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