Ever find the skin tones in your designs are too ‘Marge Simpson’? Beki Askew, artwork separator at separation specialist Art To Screen, explains how to achieve perfect colours with some clever tweaks

Lola, the design created here, is one of Art To Screen’s original designs from its alternative own brand, Rock Dolls.

This design on a black T-shirt features realistic skin tones, which can be tricky to achieve – Adobe Photoshop is a good starting point for separations, but additional enhancements, as detailed in the step-by-step, are needed to ensure the perfect end result.

The separation for Lola was fairly straightforward, although I did use a black screen. “You don’t use black on black” is something I’ve been told a few times, but with this design I felt it needed it, as it defined the areas better. I also used a separate screen for the light beam.

It’s an eight-colour design – white, 3945c, 2935c, 186c, 444c, 600c, white and black. The artwork was printed at 65lpi (for best results, artwork should be at 300dpi) and printed onto a Gildan Softstyle Ladies’ T-Shirt (64000L).

For the underbase we used a 77 mesh, and a 120 mesh for everything else apart from the final black screen, which had a 140 mesh. We used Rutland M3 inks on an MHM Xtreme auto press and used a Sanco Clean Burn gas dryer.


Check out Beki’s full step-by-step guide to separating an eight-colour design in our July issue here