Risograph printing is very new to me, I had not even heard of it until very recently when I purchased a print from an amazing artist Lucisaurus on Etsy. I loved the print that I purchased and the texture of it, I wanted to learn more and I was surprised at how complex the process is.
Risograph is a soy based ink that is printed onto uncoated paper using a machine that looks a lot like a standard office photocopier although the prints that it creates are a lot more special than an ordinary photocopier. They are more like duplicates of a screen print than actual true photocopies, the machine makes each one slightly differently depending on the amount of ink on the rollers. Now, I am no expert and there are possibly many better places to learn about risk prints but I wanted to share my first experience at designing a risograph print with you.
You have to create your design with each colour separated, I chose blue and orange for my designs. However as well as the colours that you choose to use you have to choose how dark you would like each colour (opacity) to print too. The different opacities will determine how the colour prints and by printing one colour over another you can create more colours, a little like layering watercolour paints or pencil crayons. I struggled to imagine how one colour would look on top of another, It takes a little guesswork. Using the layers in both procreate and photoshop with the transparencies at the level you hope to print gives you the idea of how it might come out. So I had four different layers for each colour but each with a different opacity.
I love how Grumpy Bears face has been printed to look like shades of brown and how the seagulls features really stand out from the blue backgrounds in the final prints, they are better than I expected for a first try.
I designed four illustrations in these colours and was delighted by the final results which I really wasn’t sure would come out well, it is hard to envision what they will end up like when you are viewing them just on the computer screen. The prints all have a hand finished feel to them and the texture is really lovely. I cannot wait to create more with some different colours and I may create a series of them.
The four illustrations that I have designed so far are available in my Folksy shop now and once they are sold out I will not be printing these ones again but will hopefully have more designs in the future.
Find my shop here or click on the individual pictures to be taken to the exact item.
I am really looking forward to creating more prints, possibly something with pink in! If you get chance to see a risoprint in person you will be surprised at how rich the colours are and how beautiful the texture is.
I hope you like my designs,