Contemporary, Digital Printmaking, Engraving, Landscapes, Lithograph, Photogravure, Photolithograph, Prints

Sylvie Covey’s Printmaking Process

Lake George II. By Sylvie Covey. Photolithograph, 2010. Edition of 4. LINK.

Lake George II. By Sylvie Covey. Photolithograph, 2010. Edition of 4. LINK.

Last week, we talked with the fantastic contemporary artist Sylvie Covey  (She is one of the OPG artists we will be bringing to this week’s Capital Art Fair). Sylvie  Covey is a favorite here at the Old Print Gallery- we featured her stunning Lake George II in our 2012 Winter Contemporary Show, and gallery visitors and collectors are always moved by her impressive, expansive black and white Wyoming landscapes.

Sylvie was gracious enough to share some words on her technique and creative process used in her print series Wyoming (2011) and Lake George (2010), both available in our Georgetown gallery.  We hope you enjoy this inside look into her unique approach to the world of digital printmaking. Thanks again for sharing Sylvie!


 The process of making art is a continuous learning experience. As a multi media artist I attempt to celebrate, transcend or reverse the conventions of visual languages.

In today’s world we artists want to embrace new technologies while also holding on and comparing them with more traditional methods of making art.

Wyoming VII. By Sylvie Covey.  Photogravure, 2011. Edition of 6. LINK

Wyoming VII. By Sylvie Covey. Photogravure, 2011. Edition of 6. LINK

I take photographs of  fabulous landscapes, and dramatize the images digitally, sometimes in black and white, sometimes in split-toning, sometimes making color separations in CYMK. [Cyan, magenta, yellow and black.] I then print the files on laser transparencies to obtain positive films, to the scale of the anticipated final work.

The transparencies must have a specific microscopic halftone to define the image, for photo-etching I use 85 dpi, for photolithography I can go up between 220 to 300 dpi.

Wyoming IX. By Sylvie Covey. Photogravure, 2011. LINK. Edition of 6.

Wyoming IX. By Sylvie Covey. Photogravure, 2011. Edition of 6. LINK. 

I expose these transparencies on light-sensitive plates: for photo etching I must first laminate a copper plate with a polymer UV sensitive film emulsion. For photo lithography I use pre-sensitized aluminum plates [Fuji plates]. Once the plates have been exposed with UV light to the positive transparencies, the plates are developed in their respective developer, washed, and processed for printing.

I hand print all my plates and make very small editions, usually less than 10, because I have so many images to work with.

I print both photo etchings and photolithographs on my Charles Brand etching press.

I am very much involved in the process of making art with newer technology. Currently I work with transfer methods, on a variety of supports.

— New York, 2014. Sylvie Covey.

Lake George I. By Sylvie Covey. Photolithograph, 2010. Edition of 4. LINK.

Lake George I. By Sylvie Covey. Photolithograph, 2010. Edition of 4. LINK.


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