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a beautiful gradient

I’ve always struggled with printing  gradients in relief. I’ve done some that turned out well enough, but more often than not the result was one of luck more than any know how that would reproduce that result on command.

I have recently made a number of adjustments to various aspects of my printing process. One result of those alterations has been that I locked in a pretty solid approach to laying down and transferring some truly wonderful gradient transitions. Here is a particularly nice example from a stack of tests I did in various colors about two weeks ago. This image was actually printed off of foam core board rather than linoleum. Foam core board is a alternative to linoleum I’ve been experimenting with and will write more about in a later post.

whats been goin’ on


this week I have been working nearly non-stop outside the hours of my day job peddle to the metal to finish my submission for the Relief Conspiracy print exchange. Today is August 21st with the edition of twenty due to go out in the mail September 1st. Today I am carving out the final color block. I can pull this off.

While I work towards the end of that project here is the full edition of ‘the pain’

what a clown sees

My entry into the Dark Art Society sketchbook project is titled What A Clown Sees. This was a fun print to work out.

The initial concept for this image must be four or five years behind me now. That initial concept had a lot more detail, large chunks of black area, and was set with the foreground character looking into a bathroom mirror while brushing his teeth. After a handful of variations I’ve finally landed somewhere pretty interesting, I think.

When I began working the image out for the sketchbook project I found myself slowly scrapping large swaths of detail and with it most of those large black areas. I came down to a somewhat minimalist maybe even abstract sort of direction.

Here are two color build videos.

Next I’ll make slight edits to a few of the blocks before editioning out some different versions.



upcoming updates

As I make a bit of progress I’ll get updates out on some current projects.

Those projects include my contribution to the 2021 Emerald Print Exchange put on annually by Whitaker Printmakers and Print Arts Northwest. You can read about the Emerald exchange, and see my past submissions along with the whole catalogue of years here.    

I will once again be submitting work to the Relief Conspiracy print exchange. This exchange has been put together in recent years by the talented printmaker and educator Scott Minzy.

In the past few days I  completed my contribution to the Dark Art Society sketchbook project. At some point a website for the sketchbook will be made public, but at this time we have an instagram account set up for eventual updates.

The DAS sketchbooks are going out to nearly 80 artist contributors in total.

finished revolver #2

Here is verison #2 which I think of as the standard or baseline for this image. I suppose because it was the first color scheme I settled on before exploring alternates and likely because he comes out looking more “human” than some of the more what I would call colorful versions.

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Alan Smith Printmaking