The Process

As part of a previous Call For Artists application, I put together a little step-by-step demonstration of the process for creating a woodcut print. The process here shows how to create a print using a new block for each color layer in the image. While this was useful for demonstrating the process, I typically only use a reduction style woodcut printing process. Instead of using a new block for each color, I gradually work from lightest to darkest colors in the print using two wood blocks. From these two blocks, typically 5-10 color layers can be added. After printing one color, I carefully carve away the areas I want to remain that color. In doing so, I remove what can never be regained on the block, thereby creating a true, limited edition woodcut print.

Step 1: Draw the image onto the block.Process_1_draw

Step 2: Carve, carve, carve!Process_2_carve

Step 3: Transfer the key image to the other blocks and decide on colors to use.Process_4_allblocks

Step 4: Ink the blocks and print to paper, working light to dark.

Step 5: A finished print!Three Surly Blocks 2 last page

(Disclaimer: Yes, this is the Surly Brewing logo. As fun as it was putting this together to try and become a beer label artist for Surly, I don’t typically copy logos and try to sell the prints. This was just a one-off print for demonstration purposes.)

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