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Modern Printmaking – A Book Review

Modern Printmaking – A Book Review

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A book review of Modern Printmaking by Sylvie Covey. This book covers a ton of different techniques and gives fabulous artist profiles. It is sure to inspire anyone interested in printmaking - check out my review for more information and pictures!

A book review of Modern Printmaking by Sylvie Covey. This book covers a ton of different techniques and gives fabulous artist profiles. It is sure to inspire anyone interested in printmaking - check out my review for more information and pictures!

I love craft books. There is nothing I like more than settling on the couch and paging through a book full of ideas and inspiration. If it involves making something, I am interested! I read about a program, in Abby’s newsletter, that provides new releases in exchange for reviews and signed up immediately. I have played with block printing in the past, a pre-TSNEM TSNEM project, so I was immediately drawn to this book.

As a part of Bloggingforbooks.com, I was provided a review copy at no charge. All opinions are, as always, my own.

{This post contains affiliate links, indicated by an asterisk*. Please refer to ‘legal stuff’ in the top menu for more info.}

Modern Printmaking by Sylvie Covey

Modern Printmaking by Sylvie Covey* is not exactly what I was expecting, it’s more than a project book. It covers several techniques, looking at both the historical and modern processes. Artist profiles and work examples are interspersed, with lots of photographs.

artist profile

The book covers the following printmaking processes: relief, intaglio, lithography, serigraphy, mixed media, digital transfers, and post-digital graphics. While each process does have a step by step explanation, it’s more of an overview. It almost felt like a textbook, covering a breadth of information instead of anything in depth.

book process shot

I think this book would be perfect for someone who was interested in art but not sure where to start, or have tried block printing and want to expand. Several of the techniques sound very involved and interesting but the materials required were off putting (acids, etc.) so I’m doing some digging locally to see if anyone offers workshops on the more complicated methods!

color reduction linocut process

I decided to try the ‘color reduction’ style – basically you start with one cut, ink, print, and then cut off more/another design ink, print, repeat. I had never thought about this way of printing, although I am sure it is pretty basic, and was intrigued.

lino cut leaf

I decided to go with a simple shape – sketched it out for size and then used some of the points as guides to transfer.

block print tools

I dug out the Speedball kit* that I’d used in the past – the red cutting tool has a few different tips that store inside the handle.

black ink pass

You can see my first pass – blank ink and a single leaf. I struggled with applying the ink evenly.

linocut of a wood leaf

I tried to cut out the first leaf and then added two more, cutting off all the background as well.

second pass printmaking

A second pass with white ink led to mixed results. Again, I struggled with ink amounts.

woodblock print

This was my favorite print. Clearly the work of a beginner, but the book/experience has piqued my interest! I am really drawn to the physicality of carving the block – I haul around my kids all day long but carving this left my shoulders sore. I want to try more!

Definitely check out Modern Printmaking* if you have any interest in the medium – it is bursting with ideas, examples, and inspiration! It would be the perfect fit for the reference library in any art studio, maker space, or school.

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Gelatin Printing Inspiration & Tutorials - Swoodson Says

Friday 28th of January 2022

[…] Modern printmaking book review […]

Ali B

Friday 6th of May 2016

I received a copy of this book through Blogging for Books as well. We said quite similar things in our review. I like that you gave examples of the technique you tried. I didn't use it this time, but have been looking through and using it to plan out my TSNEM when printmaking comes around.

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Monday 9th of May 2016

Can't wait to see what you make!!

Kelley

Friday 6th of May 2016

Ok, you sold me! Just purchased a digital copy!

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Monday 9th of May 2016

Fun! Let me know what you think!

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