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Top reviews from the United States
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the cover should be better constructed.
I keep going back to the book, trying to get into the techniques shown and ignoring how boring I think the art is.
The best artwork is in the back, by successful artists in their fields. Those artworks were not used in the step-by-step process. Wish they had been.
How excited I am to start making a new artwork is my gauge of how good a book or work of art is. I was not inspired by this book. Some parts of the book are quite daunting because certain kinds of screenprinting can be very, very technically challenging. That is not my complaint, I love challenges if that's what it takes to get the image I want.
The photographs and the written how-to steps are done quite well and the print quality is excellent. No cost was spared. I just wish it was more exciting. I am not trying to dismiss the artists whose work was chosen, it's just not my cuppa tea.
Top reviews from other countries
What are the good points: It is lavishly illustrated, with full page pix of a variety of artists work and some good sequences showing how these results were achieved. With over 280 large format pages that’s a lot of pictures, with bold graphics to subdivide the book and it’s a nice book to handle and browse through. The emphasis is heavily on contemporary printmakers.
I’m not quite sure who the book is aimed at. The early chapters on colour mixing, printing and printing mistakes are clearly aimed at the beginner but many of the examples shown later in the book require possession of Photoshop CS, some advanced skills and some pretty sophisticated access to artwork printing-out facilities. The printing set up shown in the book are the kind of facilities that you might access through places like Print Club London or the public access print studios in other major cities.
I liked the later sections on “How to Put On A Show”. This would be very useful to a young artist getting into making and publishing their own prints after art school. In fact I can see this book finding a home on an art school table – its already got ink splatters and smears as part of the graphic presentation
My criticisms of this book are: the lack of specific guidance on paper, ink and suppliers of printmaking sundries. Some of the technical guidance is over elaborate – on registration for instance. In the sections on artist spotlight it seems perverse to place Susie Wright’s hand-made positive prints at the rear of that section, as they are the most easily understood in terms of technique. The authors state that they only recommend water-based inks but fail to explain the particular qualities that these inks bring to the process, i.e. transparency.
Two older books offer more practical help: Water-based Screen-printing by Steve Hoskins, A & C Black, 2001 and ‘Screenprinting: The Complete Water-Based system, Adam and Robertson, Thames and Hudson, 2004. The latter book is not well reviewed on Amazon, it is not a beginner’s book but it has served me well for 15 years.