First time posting here. Lovely to meet you all!

I'm wanting to learn how to take a graphic I find online, say of a comic character, and do whatever I need to do to it to end up with a single colour silk screen mesh. The mesh will later be used with a kind of clay paint (underglaze) on rice paper to make transfers, so I assume it will be a large-hole mesh that I need to use.

Can people please point me to tutorials etc that I can learn from? and perhaps also suggest PC programs I can use aside from Illustrator? I've used photoshop to some small extent in the past, so looking to learn the jargon ect.

Essentially I need to prepare the art work to make the screen (I'm having someone else make the screen for me, but not do any printing). I'm hoping to have a number (10-20) small images done on the screen, kinda like a stencile set.

I'm just needing to know where to start. Thank you all so much!! As an example, how do I get something like the first image into something like the last image? Is there even a name for such a process?

enter image description here enter image description here

  • Why don't you want to use Illustrator?
    – Cai
    May 19, 2017 at 17:30
  • I simply don't have it at this point. My life is sad. Also.. I've never used it. I intend for both of those things to change. I just can't afford it now.
    – Kyea
    May 19, 2017 at 21:19

2 Answers 2


You really don't get "the first image into something like the second image".

While there may be some steps to reduce color and add contrast to images such as your first example, nothing will ultimately end up looking like solid line art, like your second example. It's a complete myth that you can create line art from a painting. You can't. You can merely create a less detailed painting from a painting.

If you need solid line art, the only real choice is to draw it. You can do this in any software which allows you to draw. Or even on a piece of paper with a pen. Converting a solid drawing to screen-print-ready art isn't an issue. The problem you'll face here is trying to convert a painting to line art.

That being posted, a painting with solid, flat coloring may offer some ability to merely remove colors and tweak levels to intensify an existing outline.

For example... relatively flat color like this:

enter image description here
Source: Dribble - Peter Quill

..... can be refined to keep only the black key line.

However, to try and accomplish the same thing with a full-on, digital painting, like your first example, is a no-win situation. It can't be done with any automated processes or setting adjustments.

Software can do a lot these days, however it can't do everything. You still need some manual artistic skill to accomplish some tasks.


how do I get something like the first image into something like the last image? Is there even a name for such a process?

Yeap, the name for this is: Draw it again.

The second image has a totally different style.

You could try some things like converting the image to CMYK and then contrast it a lot the black channel but it will not work on this image. You need to draw it in Ilustrator.

enter image description here

Other programs besides Ilustrator?

The Options are Corel Draw, Afinity Designer and Inkscape.

  • If you took Rafaels black and white result into illustrator, traced it, expanded, ungrouped and United you would then have solid black and white shapes that can be manipulated into 1 color art for glazing. Drawing new borders, filling in missing pieces and playing with stroke thickness is some of the manipulation you'd need to make it look good.
    – Webster
    May 19, 2017 at 20:17

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