Deke’s Techniques: Simulating a screen print in Photoshop

Published by | Tuesday, August 7th, 2012

In this week’s Deke’s Techniques, Deke shows you how to use Photoshop to create purposeful color spillovers like those you see when colors are slightly mis-registered during screen printing. (For those of you unfamiliar with the old-school physical screen-printing process, you apply each color separately, so sometimes the colors don’t quite line up in each pass.) In this video, Deke will show you how to create this effect to give your image a handcrafted look, while using Photoshop to control the simulated chaos.

Deke begins with the hand-colored image he showed you in last week’s technique. Then, with some simple selections and layer acrobatics, he separates out the colors from the outlines so they can be moved slightly askew.

The nice thing about creating chaos in Photoshop is if you don’t like one part of the simulated flaw, you can avoid it. In this case, for aesthetic reasons, Deke wanted to make sure the sky didn’t move—only the other colored objects and the white clouds—so during the process he demonstrates how he kept the sky in place while the other colors move.

The result is this charming ‘print,’ with all its delightful imperfections courtesy of Photoshop:

Colored line art created in Photoshop with offset screen-printing-style color color registration.

Deke will be back with another technique next week!

Interested in more?
• The entire Deke’s Techniques weekly series on
• Courses by Deke McClelland on
• All Photoshop courses on

Suggested courses to watch next:
• Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Fundamentals
• Photoshop CS6: New Features
 Photoshop Masking & Compositing: Fundamentals

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