Western Graphics Workshop, Inc.



Progressive Proofs

The making of a multi-color lithograph is both aesthetically and technically a complex process of image-building. Every shape and possible color pattern must be conceived in advance prior to making any drawings. Once the image has been broken down conceptually, all of the individual drawings are drawn on stones or plates. Because of the complexity of R.C. Gorman's color lithographs, each stone or plate often carries several separate drawings to be printed in their own individual colors with separate rollers. Working closely with the collaborating printer, the artist first draws each part of the image in black. The drawing is then chemically fixed to the stone or plate, rolled up and proofed in black ink prior to proofing in color. Impressions pulled in black ink of the individual drawings on stones or plates are called separation proofs.

During the proofing process, each of the drawings made on the stones and plates are printed in sequence in color. At this point the black ink is washed out and the stone or plate is rolled up in color ink. Impressions pulled in color of the individual drawings are called color separation proofs. They record the colors of each individual run on separate sheets of paper. For example, the first color separation proof will show color A, the second color separation proof will show color B, and so on.

To make a finished lithograph, the separate stones or plates are sequentially printed in the colors of the edition, each color superimposed over the previous colors. Colors printed in sequence, on individual sheets of paper, one over the other, from a combination of stones or plates, but short of the final print, are called progressive proofs. For example, the first progressive proof will show color A, the second progressive proof will show colors A and B, the third progressive proof will show colors A, B and C, and so on with each color added on each successive proof. The complexity of multi-color lithographs is best illustrated by the progress proofs of Bead Maker.


Separation Proofs Color Separations Progressive Proofs


Western Graphics Workshop, Inc. is offering this entire set of 24 Progressive Proofs of the lithograph Bead Maker, which was featured in R.C. Gorman: The Graphic Works. All proofs are signed and numbered by the artist.

Size of each Progressive Proof:  25 1/2" x 34"