I'm setting up art for my very first attempt at a poster, and I'm not sure it's going to work. I'm tracing my image on acetate using what are supposed to be opaque Staedler pens, but the attached is what I'm getting, it's got that smeared look like marker on a whiteboard. Is this going to opaque to the UV so the stencil burns nicely, or do I need to change my materials? If so, what should I be using?
I can't see the image, but I'm the pen-directly-on-films-all-the-time person so I know what you're talking about. I use Staedlers and... it depends. Generally they are not 100% opaque when drawing directly on film but I've gotten them to do that sometimes. Sometimes being the key word. I only use them when I'm wanting a textured effect with my many many tiny lines, which admittedly is almost always. If you want a consistent keyline you want one of those fine point paint markers or whatever - the ones where you have to shake them, then press down on the nib, then shake them again, rinse and repeat. Those are much more consistent in my experience. If you can't find any of those, Faber-Castell PITT artist pens are your next best bet, they're a lot better for that.
Last edited by cecilyrhys; 12-23-2013 at 10:16 AM.
Reason: remembered another thing
If you have made a hand done positive with a suspect pen (look at it with backlight, you'll know) you can always flip it over to darken it on the back side, that way it doesn't just scrape the ink off the top side.
Suggestion: Get a bunch of markers and make some experiments on a sheet. Draw some lines. burn the screens. See what works. Use that.
Another is to use frosted mylar. It takes ink and other materials (crayons, pencils, tech pens etc) easier and makes them more opaque due to a slightly rougher surface.
Nothing in screenprinting (well there are a few things...) is more frustrating than spending hours hand drawing a positive, only to find it isn't dark enough to burn a proper screen.
Andy's got it. Though I will say I've gotten stuff to burn with those little pens that say lightfast (Staedlers, Faber-Castells, ect) that I could kinda see through if I held it up to the light. Like I said, they're super weird. I think that's cool/fun, but a lot of people wouldn't. But yeah, that's basically what you do - experiment, figure out what works and what doesn't. But it sounded like for your first one you wanted a guaranteed solid keyline, which would be hard to get with a Staedler. Though of course you can always just flip it over and go over it again, but that can be a lot of work.
Lately I've been taking the films that I use for printing out film on my Epson and drawing on them with technical pens filled with india ink. The coating on the inkjet films sucks up the india ink the same way it does the ink from the inkjet printer and locks it in. They're super dark, solid lines. Works really well. I use Fixxons film.
I got some Sharpie Poster-Paints and I like them, though I have bigger tips for fills. If you go that route, know it'll be a textured fill. If you want solid not-inkjet-printed, rubylith's still the best way to go, if you can track it down (it's a giant pain in the ass to do that here).
I got a set of the Sharpie water-based paint pens, and they went on great, nice and black. Then as they dried they cracked, ended up looking like a dry lake bed. And, just brushing up against it with my finger literally wiped the ink right off the acetate. So no-go on those. Last night I picked up a set of the oil-based ones just like the image jonkeefe posted, I'll give those a whirl tonight.