These are two printing techniques that make it possible to produce an image in several copies, but the techniques, the results and the objectives sought are different.
What is the difference between lithography and screen printing?
Materials used: In screen printing we use stencils (originally silk screens) interposed between an ink and its support. In lithography, gum arabic is used and the drawing is drawn in oily ink or in oily pencil on a limestone before transferring the image to paper. Ceramists use the same principle of fatty substance and water, but clay is the final support (porcelain, stoneware, earthenware).
The versatility of the technique: Screen printing allows you to print patterns repeatedly with almost imperceptible deformation on many materials (paper, wood, fabric, etc.). It is used a lot in the graphics field. You can even do screen printing in pastry with dyes and sugar!
The results sought: In screen printing it is the precision in the definition of the solids that takes precedence. While in lithography we are looking for subtle nuances. Color mixtures: Chromatic mixtures are allowed in lithography while they are not in screen printing.
How to recognize a silkscreen or a lithograph?
If we observe the edge of a printed line, and that we can detect slight zigzag hatching, then we are most certainly in front of a serigraphy, moreover the image is made of flat areas without nuances. In lithography tints or nuances are perceptible, as well as a grain which corresponds to that of the stone.
Can we use these 2 techniques together?
Yes thanks to the serilith process which is a separate form of lithography. The Seriliths are original prints created with a mixed media that includes the processes of lithography and screen printing. The separation of the two processes is drawn by hand by the artist. The serilith technique is primarily used to create limited editions of high quality fine art prints.