stencils, direct drawing and digital processing …

This exhibition showcases the wide ranges of approaches to designing for screenprinting and producing original prints by hand.

These examples are work from our membership, tutors and visiting artists, past and present.

Screenprinting is one of the most popular techniques with printmakers and printworkshops because it supports such a wide variety of creative approaches. The most recent developments in water based acrylic printing inks have also led to a healthier printing environment. Add to this a marriage with light sensitive stencils and emulsions and screenprinting can reproduce the widest range of colour tone and texture any artist could require.

Very simple bold stencils can be used cutting shapes out of thin paper just with scissors. Large areas of solid bold colours can easily be printed. We run courses which introduce beginners to this simple concept and they can start making a small edition of original prints within a day.

More elaborate stencils can be cut with a sharp knife and built up like a collage.

Sarah Hopkins, a very successful local artist, has run some of our most popular workshops demonstrating this very fluid and creative process, just using a small sharp scalpel to produce very sophisticated imagery. Her work is featured in the exhibition below and her work can be purchased on her website.

Sarah Hopkins | Using paper stencils to build up layers of colour

Screenprinting is also the most successful process at printing light colours on dark background as the ink can be completely opaque. Equally the inks can be extended to such a point they become very transparent and almost water colour effects can be achieved.

Combining the process with a light sensitive  emulsion allows us to transfer images to a screen from drawings and photographs. This material can be directly drawn onto a material like tracing paper and transferred to screen.

Drawings  in chalk /or pen and ink / watercolour washes can also be transferred to acetate via a photocopier exploiting possibilites of size and density.

Kelly Stewart, a member of Edinburgh Printmakers, specializes in celebrating a very direct drawing approach combined with collage effects from Letraset and graphic tonal sheets. She has been working with us for ten years now and her workshops often start with a drawing day in the locality. The drawings are then copied onto acetate using the workshop photocopier and enlarged/reduced/darkened/lightened/overlapped and combined to make a final composition involving several colours.

She has also led workshops which move directly to print and bind artist books in a variety of innovative ways. Examples of her work showcase the range of approaches. She has work for sale on her website and also Swansea Print Workshop’s main website.

Another very successful and intriguing approach is the use of drawing apps directly on a tablet. We have enjoyed a very rewarding parnership with the local authority when they had art/creative specialists in the education team. With the support of the Arts Council, Caron McColl from the Arts in Education Team, Education Department of City & County of Swansea supported us delivering outreach workshops to hundreds of children over several years. Many schools were well endowed with ipads but we saw very little evidence of direct designing, direct digital drawing being used.

Kelly is also one of our Featured Artists. You can read the article here.

Nina Morgan is a very experienced workshop leader and she worked with teachers and students to design for print on the first day in school. These designs were then transferred to screen and subsequent days were spent printing small editions of the images on lovely thick printing paper.

Nina has also worked with some of our members to take this approach. It has the advantage of being able to work from dark to light/ light to dark, to save different versions along the way and able to combine image and text, collage and texture all in the one image.

Nina can arrange workshops for schools and organisations, in all aspects of screenprinting including printing onto fabric.

In the Workshop she can arrange ‘one to one’ sessions which can be tailored to the specific parts of the process you need.

Nina can be contacted directly to discuss a course

We hope you enjoy looking at these original prints. If you would like to learn to print and be included on our mailing list for when we are able to schedule workshops restarting, please contact

As a member you can come to the workshop on open access days and use all the faciltiies to process and print. For more information, take a look at our Membership Page.