Alan Smith Printmaking

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finished revolver #1

Here is the first in a variable edition of Revolver.

Over the coming days I’ll post the rest of the edition before I go through them for quality control before finally signing and numbering what I decide to keep. I always see room for improvement in my work, but am very happy with the way these turned out. I used up to ten blocks per version.

Revolver took so many blocks due to a need for swapping out colors for a number of isolated areas which would have been a nightmare to print from a single block.

 

revolver comparison shot

Tomorrow I’ll begin posting photos for the completed Revolver edition. In the meantime I wanted to share a comparison between a carve I did in the same veign as Revolver matched up against the version I settled on. The final version came after a bit of studying the human figure from online tutorials. I hadn’t ever really sat down to do this foundational work and, as you can see, doing so has quickly improved my work.

weird little nude figure

Today I’ve got this strange little naked figure.

This print comes from a notebook sketch when I was practicing different aspects of the human figure. I carved this sketch up into a woodblock and thought it might be fun to add some color layers.

the revolver continues

Last night after work I began printing with the intention of laying down only a violet/pink split roll across the night sky of seven prints from the Revolver edition.

But… I finished those then decided to mix up a dark grey to lay over a lighter grey printed earlier in the week. At the end of the night I had printed out seventy passes through the press in total. I’m not sure how often that is going to happen, but it sure is nice to know how hard I can crank them out if I need or want to in the future.

 

revolver progress

Happy Saturday!

I work a day job 8-5 Monday through Friday.

When the weekend comes around it is typically full on print making mode. This weekend I’ll be cranking out as many color layers possible for a new edition.

The finished image depicts a revolver wielding maniac. This image comes from a pile of quick sort of practice carves I did awhile back as a sort of throwaway. But once I started to plug colors in  it was clear that I had to make a fun little variable edition.

Here is a shot from last night, off the bed of my press.

 

well, hello again

In the time since my last update I received my own printing press in the mail. That’s right, I bought a 22×44 bed Conrad Monotype printing press which I paid for in November and received in March.

Prints come out so smooth and my output is so much increased that I almost can’t believe it. I’ve recently been working out some full color prints and feel excited about developing larger pieces in the near future. Right now I print from a crammed bedroom but later in the month will be moving into a way larger space to…print out of a much larger bedroom! It’s going to be nice having everything spread out and accessible.

Here’s video of the print layers to Acero. Acero is my dungeons and dragons character. I did this quick carve awhile back just messing around, but decided to add color layers and give them out at the next to last session of a campaign I began with some friends just before lockdown started up.

I think this owning my own press thing is going to be a lot of fun!

more minis

Hello,

Following up on my last post with another handful of practice carves.  Continung the work on the figure adding in some armor pieces this time around.

 

 

many minis

Towards the end of 2020 I decided to take time for focus on finally developing my understanding of the head, face, and figure. I had come to a realization that I was constantly focused on producing finished work and so wanted to slow down and develop important fundementals I had bypassed. 

I watched some Proko videos, picked up a couple Andrew Loomis books, and spent the past handful of months sketching different parts of the anatomy.

Below are some crude examples from the earliest exercises. Soon I’ll post more recent work to compare against. While these exercises have been fun the point hasn’t been to create finalized work but to exercise through practice the different concepts I’ve been studying:

updates from the outskirts of a cityscape

Hello from the tail end of five days off from work. What a long strange trip its been! I have spent the past four days printing and carving like a possessed maniac. 

Yesterday I spent ten hours carving back over nearly the entire cityscape master block. I had attempted a print by hand on some nice mulberry paper, but the edges were coming out blurred. I realized that I was finally going to either settle for really bad prints or bite the bullet and just re-carve the thing.

The problem here was that I began carving the block in summer of 2019 before I really knew much of anything about keeping your tools sharp. I think this was in part due to working for so long in that buttery soft lino  from Speedball. Speedy Carve? Something like that.

Along the way I decided to remove the pupils from  all the lurking creatures. There was a certain comical appeal to leaving the pupils in, but I feel more satisfied with the increased creepiness.

Many buildings were also edited in large or small ways as were most of the creature and human faces.  I think that all of these decisions brought more life, variety, and visual balance to the image.

“Cityscape” 2020. One color 18×24 linocut print on 22×28 page.

This afternoon I spent who knows how many hours rubbing a wooden spoon across the back of some thick Stonehenge paper. Stuff is great on a press and I could see pulling smaller images by hand, but my elbow would fall off from any more of this. I think I’ll hold the copy below for the final edition and pull the rest on thinner papers. Once these black and white copies are out of the way I can get going on some color variations before finally moving on to new large scale pieces.

 

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Alan Smith Printmaking