Woodcut Prints




I was looking at some japanese woodcuts a while ago and tried my hand at doing some simple prints. The amount of detail and accuracy which woodcut artists can achieve is incredible. I spent quite a bit of time trying to depict simple objects in one colour, and had limited success.  Some very intricate prints can have over 20 colours and therefore have over 20 separate woodcut prints. I have a hard time fathoming the effort involved in creating just one full colour woodcut print and can’t imagine working solely in the medium.


2 Responses to “Woodcut Prints”

  1. Hi
    I’m often thinking how Japanese art has filtered through to the west & how it constantly influences often without people even realising. I like the image you’ve made at the top. With the interlocking zig zag forms it does remind me of Japanes e prints. It must be tricky cutting the wood because one slip in the wrong direction & you must lose the line you want? Is it more difficult than lino-cutting?I’ve only ever tried lino-cutting many years ago but I wouldn’t mind giving it another go some time.

  2. 2 grunskm


    You’re right. It is REALLY hard to keep a line while woodcutting, and most of the lines I made above were with the grain of the wood. There is a good chance that there are ways of overcoming the difficulties of woodcutting that I don’t know about, because I didn’t do much research into methods. I would have to say though, that a woodcut artist would have to be highly skilled.
    I am aware of two different types of printing with wood. One is called woodblock printing and uses a cross section of wood. The other is called woodcut and uses a length of wood like I did above. I think woodblock is more precise in general and woodcut is more gestural.
    I appreciate your interest in the influence of Japanese art on western culture and I think that it deserves more credit than it receives.

    I wonder if there are any traditional woodcut artists still practicing today?

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