Drawing Fluid Friday

I’m always surprised at how long it takes to get everything prepped and ready for a new print. Paper cut, screen cleaned and ready, drawing situated under the screen to transfer. Blah, blah, blah!  The new image is of  a border collie named Hobie belonging to good friends Jim & Kate. I decided to take a little different approach to blocking in the image by using Drawing Fluid.

First let’s see Mr Hobie who is a great buddy of Moby. This photo already screamed print due to the value shifts in his coat. Who would have thought a black dog could have so much going on?! He already looks so blue in the image, so blue it will be, including the outstanding white chest. He won’t be situated on the brown mulch of the dog park and no glowing eyes. He’s such a handsome guy!

hobie 1

Now the Drawing Fluid!


It’s kind of a nice process and very low tech. I apply the blue fluid to areas that will eventually remain open. You’ll see what I mean in a bit.

Step one: Apply blue drawing fluid to all areas you need to remain open.

Below is the screen  with the blue stuff applied. I’m having a hard time trying to decide what to do with his body shadowing on the ground. I almost think the light on that cloudy day was coming from behind.  I’m still not finished with blocking in the ground shadows.


Step 1.5: Dry your screen thoroughly!!! The big key to drawing fluid is letting it dry ALL the way. Plus you’ve got to make sure all areas you need open are covered by blue (bubbles in the fluid can often remain open so check your screen before step 2). Try using a hair dryer to speed things up. Now why didn’t I think of that earlier…

Step 2: Apply Screen Filler. I happen to use a trough from a friend. It’s very handy for this sort of work or for application of photo emulsion. Of course, I never took a photo of it but here is the image with actually three coats of screen filler. It was dried in-between layers.


After drying, you take the screen and wash it with cool water.  Theoretically, all the blue zones wash out clean. I ended up having to do more scrubbing than usual. The screen filler clung to areas shouldn’t have. A new lesson learned!  So, 3 coats was too much. I lost some of my ground lines which was unfortunate.  On the plus side, all the coat  wispy bits remained intact.

Once everything gets dried off, I’ll be ready to print.

Colors to come!

Published by paperstew

I'm an artist in Albany Oregon focusing on paper and natural objects for inspiration.

7 thoughts on “Drawing Fluid Friday

    1. I’ve found drawing fluid to be very a temperamental beast. Our weather is cool again and nothing dries quickly so I had to pull out the hair dryer to kick things into gear. Photo emulsion is fun, but the chemicals lose their ability too quickly. I still have my drawing fluid from 10 years ago and it still works. 🙂

      1. You should give it a try…. nothing to lose!
        See you next week! If you’re well enough to travel…

      2. You should give it a try…. nothing to lose!
        See you next week! If you’re well enough to travel…

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