How to get started with woodcut printmaking

woodcut printmaking blocks
(Image credit: Ben Brady)

Woodcut printing is a type of relief printmaking that involves carving images out of a block of wood in order to produce prints. Ink is then rolled onto the raised area of the block (or the 'drawing', which is left after carving away all the negative space), paper is laid on top, and the image is then transferred onto the paper by rubbing, or pressing.

Woodcut printing has been around for nearly 2,000 years. Starting in China, then Japan, the method (or something close to it) made its way to Europe in the late 14th century. It's one of the oldest methods of print production - it meant numerous copies could be made and given out to the masses, as a vehicle for storytelling, news, and propaganda.

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Ben is an artist and illustrator based in Bristol. He works in traditional woodcut, drawing and digital mediums. For Creative Bloq, he reviews drawing tablets and styluses, as well as the latest and greatest digital software for artists. His artwork has been exhibited across Bristol, and his words have also appeared in ImagineFX magazine.