The Screenprinting Process

The Screenprinting Process


To begin, the artist applies a stencil to a piece of fabric stretched over a wooden frame. The stencil will then block all openings except the image area. A sheet of paper is placed under the screen a coat of ink is applied on the top. The artist pulls the ink across the screen with the squeegee, forcing the paint through the open areas and onto the paper below.

Screen Prep

Preparing the Screen

Screen printing requires multiple steps. Preparing the screen is the first step. To do this, the artist takes a fine mesh fabric, such as silk, polyester, or cotton and sizes it to the frame. Excess fabric is cut away, and the edges are taped to prevent ink from leaking on to the surface. The screen is now ready for an artist to apply the stencil. There are a couple different methods artists can use to get the stencil onto the screen. These options include the block-out transfer method, the photographic transfer method, or the cut stencil transfer method.


In this image, you can see that Baker is rinsing the screen with a high-pressure spray that washes away on exposed or soft image area from the stencil that was created. The finished screen is then ready to print with paint.

Applying paint

Printing the Image

After transferring the image onto the screen, the artist places the screen in a clamp inch to facilitate the printing process. The original design is directly positioned under the screen and the artist marks with tape the spot where the paper should be consistently placed.

Copy of IMG_7508

In a smooth movement, the artist pulls the ink across the surface of the screen with a squeegee, forcing the ink through the openings on the screen. This method allows the artist to use quick and repetitive motion. In between the strokes, the artist uses a backhanded stroke, call the ‘flood stroke’ to prevent the ink from drying out and blocking the imaging area of the screen. If an artist wants to use multiple colors they will utilize additional screens. After the print of the original image has been printed and the ink is dry, the artist positions this dried print under a second screen. The finished print would be the product of the two screens combined after the artist uses the colors of ink that they want and stretch it across the screen with the squeegee.


Partnering Artist: Jamaal Barber

The Second Helpings Atlanta Group chose to work with artist Jamaal Barber.

Jamaal Barber, printmaker

Jamaal Barber is a creative imaginative soul who was born in Virginia and raised in Littleton, North Carolina. At a young age he was fascinated by the aesthetic images and vivid illustrations in children’s books and comic books. He soon started creating images of his own on the back of his textbooks in elementary school and on any other material that he could find. He finally answered the call to become an artist after reading about the legacy and life of Romare Bearden in high school.


In 2013, after seeing a screen printing demo at a local art store, Jamaal started experimenting with printmaking and made it his primary focus. His fine art can be seen on display at the ZuCot Gallery. It has also been included in the Decatur Arts Festival, Atlanta Print Biennial Show and at various art shows around the Metro Atlanta area. Additionally, Jamaal has done print work for Black Art in America and Emory University.

In 2004, Jamaal moved to Atlanta, GA where he now resides with his wife and  two children.




Find Jamaal online at and on Instagram at @jbarberstudio. You can also purchase his artwork at his online shop.

Keep scrolling for a selection of his artwork.


Read more about the Second Helpings Atlanta project:

Partnering Artist: Tara Olayeye

Partnering Artist: Tara Olayeye

The G.E.E.A.R.S group paired with artist Tara Olayeye.


Tara Olayeye, taraola

Tara Olayeye (aka. taraola) is a content creator, filmmaker, and video editor who has a deep love for storytelling through the mode of video. She runs the youtube channel taraola where she posts expressive and colorful short films and videos. In Spring of 2017 she co-founded Emory University’s first and only female production group, FemmeFilms, whose first film Petals won a Jury Award and Silver Tripod award at Campus Movie Fest 2017 and is currently nominated for a National Golden Tripod Award.

Find her online at , on Instagram @taraolaa, and on Youtube at taraolaa.

View more of Tara’s work below.


Partnering Artist: Melissa Alexander

The First Step Staffing Group paired with artist Melissa Alexander, known online as phylis.iller.

Melissa Alexander, phylis.iller

personal_photo-4-1000x600Having parents from the North but being raised in the South, Melissa Alexander is the best of both worlds. “Son” drops from her mouth just as easily as “y’all” and she can kick it like Tribe but will attend a Player’s Ball with Outkast. She is mama to a daughter nicknamed lowercase g and takes her role as auntie just as seriously. Constant growth is her thing and she brings that out in her work.

phyllis.iller reel from phyllis.iller on Vimeo.

Read her interview with VoyageATL here.

Find Melissa Alexander online at, on Facebook at, and on Instagram @phyllis.iller.

View more examples of her work below.


Read more posts from the First Step Staffing group below: