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Thread: The Art of Dave Smith...

  1. #1
    Public Relations ATAG_Lewis's Avatar
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    The Art of Dave Smith...

    I lived in Torquay UK for 12 years or so...Moved there at 17 on my own...I remember at 21 going for an interview at a local Awning company that specialised in signwriting...They made vinyl and canvas Awnings for shop facias with signwriting which were sent all over the world and at the time I was just looking for a job in some form of artwork...We made signs and even some yacht lettering...Their signwriter was Dave Smith, a young enthusiastic signwriter straight from college...I spent a couple years working with Dave who had studied this art and put me on to a couple of books on the subject...I also went to evening classes to study signwriting and gold leafing once a week...Those 2 years in the studio with Dave where memorable and I learned a lot...although I didn't realise at the time...Eventually Dave left the company and shortly so did I...Dave moved on to another local signwriting company before setting up his own company and then studying glass cutting in California...I moved on to shelf stacking at the local supermarket...

    In later years I managed to secure work as an artist/muralist with a London company but Dave's tricks of the trade and enthusiasm stayed with me and are still valid today...There's not a job goes by I don't use some of the skills in brushwork he showed me from those days...A couple years ago I went back to Torquay and went to find him...Nothings changed...He was still the same nutty joker and we talked like we were still those youngsters that found a gag in everything we said which made our days very short in those days...Dave's moved on professionally a bit since then...Dave is 3 years younger than I but even back then you could see he was meant for greater things...His dedication and work ethic was something I hadn't seen before and is quite special...

    Dave spends some of his time in the USA tutoring this traditional art which has become his passion...

    I thought maybe some of you artists would like to see some of his work...and for me its just nice to show off some of his work and see him doing so well...







    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_A._Smith_(designer)
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    Team Fusion ATAG_yotheguy's Avatar
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    Re: The Art of Dave Smith...

    Thank's for sharing!

    I had some pin stripping brushes years ago, and just love the art form.

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    ATAG Member ATAG_Flare's Avatar
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    Re: The Art of Dave Smith...

    One of my dad's friends is called Dave Smith - he's not exactly an artist but he keeps a pretty good garden and greenhouse!

    If you think about it, Dave Smith must be one of the most common names out there.

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    Team Fusion 69th_Zeb's Avatar
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    Re: The Art of Dave Smith...

    Nice! Didn't watch all quite yet, but it's going to be a good one for bedtime.
    My Grandfather and Dad both did some signwriting, though not as intense as what you and your friend did.

    By the way Lew I've found your stuff to be pretty inspiring. Nothin' wrong with stocking shelves. That is the life of a true artist! ha

    -Z

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    Novice Pilot Foyle's Avatar
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    Re: The Art of Dave Smith...

    That album cover looks amazing.

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    Re: The Art of Dave Smith...

    I saw the preliminary sketches for the album cover and it went through a few different stages...He did a lot of work that you don't see in the finished cover...

    He's a bit of a workaholic...I was amazed that he can spend a hundred hours on a glass cut and then slow kiln it to bend it but it can break at that point when he goes to check it the following day which means he has to start again...

    One of the things he told me when I worked with him was to get a 1' x 2' wood board and gloss it so is as flat as you can get...and then use it as a practice board to paint circles ,straight lines and basic 'gill sans' letters with the signwriting quills and mahl sticks we used...Gill sans is a basic font with perfect circles and straight lines often used for road signage...Its the hardest font to get right as mistakes and small inaccuracies can be seen easily and make your work look unskilled...Loading the brush in a specific way , rolling the brush mid-stroke and take offs and landings...If you can paint perfect letter 'O's and 'T's then all the other texts are real easy and those fancy scroll texts you see are easy as they are so forgiving...I spent a few months every day for an hour or so doing exactly what he said...painting and then wiping off...The benefit you get from that repetition is something that you never seem to loose and its a skill that a lot of artists don't tend to have...Its a skill you can only seem to get by heavy practice in signwriting...Its quite bizarre to say the least...When I started work with skilled artists over the years on large murals they would still come to me to work on the graphic work such as architecture, vehicles, tiles, pin striping, repetitive patterns and lettering...anything that had to be accurate or tight...
    Last edited by ATAG_Lewis; Sep-21-2018 at 16:21.
    "The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.'' - Bertrand Russell
    1.618 - You know this number?
    My Turing machine :CPU: Intel Core i7 2700K 3.50GHz Sandybridge, Motherboard: Asus Maximus IV Extreme -Z Intel Z68 (Socket 1155) PCI-Express DDR3,
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    ATAG_Lewis Youtube Channel

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    Re: The Art of Dave Smith...

    Wow, amazing. Just round the corner from me too. Did my O and A levels at South Devon Tech in the late 60's. I always wanted to be a commercial artist/illustrator and although I may have had some talent I never had the determination and dedication to succeed. The closest I came was having my own jobbing print business where I did all the artwork for business cards, letterheads, leaflets etc. I have a secret passion for typography. I love to watch these walk through videos where people with such skill and talent show how it's done.

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