Intro to Xilography: learn how to draw and cut on wood | Laura Lencioni | Skillshare

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Intro to Xilography: learn how to draw and cut on wood

teacher avatar Laura Lencioni, artist + surface pattern designer

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

15 Lessons (1h)
    • 1. Preview

    • 2. Your project

    • 3. Basic Supplies

    • 4. Choosing the wood

    • 5. A bit of inspiration

    • 6. A few useful tips

    • 7. Drawing directly on wood

    • 8. Transfer your drawing on wood and completing it

    • 9. Cutting the wood Mushrooms on Poplar

    • 10. Cutting the wood Flower on Okoume

    • 11. Abstract drawing and cutting on wood Okoume

    • 12. Printing the first block

    • 13. Printing the the flowered block and printing with handpressure

    • 14. Printing the wood mushrooms on Poplar

    • 15. Cleaning the wood

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About This Class

Are you a drawing lover like me? If you are, check out my class on Xilography (Woodcut), the art to draw and cut on wood, and to make prints out of it.

Let me show you what Xilography is and why you are going to love it, how to do it, the fun and relaxing aspect of it, the basic technical skills to do it on your own, the supplies and a few tips.


One of the things I like is that wood is part of nature and has a life of its own that adds up to your drawing.

This is a surface printing technique, join me to learn how to create art in a unique way, have fun and add a new skill to your creative set of abilities.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Laura Lencioni

artist + surface pattern designer


Hey there!

I'm Laura, an artist and surface pattern designer that loves drawing, cats, nature and quirky inspiring stories.

I love to mix traditional and digital art to create illustrations and patterns.  :)


As a little girl I loved to draw and to imagine stories. I enrolled in Painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Carrara after my high school on social science. I've learnt to draw through a lot of practice and heartache (I wasn't any good at it at the beginning).

I fell in love with pattern design as I was finishing the academy. I've dug into it and into learning more since :)

Art can make you grow as a person and make you happy, I for once am always happy when I do something creative!!

I'm so happy to get t... See full profile

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1. Preview: Hi, guys. I'm Laura. I'm a graphic artist for me. Tell it this class I'm going to show you how toe draw and cap on wood. And to make prints out of it, I'm going to show you the basics off. One of my favorite things geography, relief, printing technique that is antique are used by many artists in the past. You can easily learn the steps to do it for your project. Choose something that you like. Onda. Make a drawer of it. You can draw directly on food or you can draw on paper and then transfer. I will show you how to do it. And then you will make a print out of this. I will show you the easy way to do it if you like to draw. And if you want to try a unique technique these classes for you, you can add the skill to your freelance work as an artist. John. Hesitate to ask me anything. So this will be fun. I hope to see you in class. Thank you for watching this video on Goodbye 2. Your project: for the class project to something that you like. You can draw reacting boots or your control paper. And then trust on that will make pretty out of it pleases your project. You can ask me anything. Hesitate. I hope you will have fun doing your project. Please be sure. Toe your purpose in the project. I So I will see you in class. Come on, guys. 3. Basic Supplies: These are the basic saw place that you need a piece of wood. I have to in here disease or command, and it is popular. They're both from a free tree ducted vertically character. I use this one. It's a professional one, but you can use also others that can be both in the brig collage on drink yourself shop ago . Sh That is a metal instrument that has a hard keep in a U 4/10 in favor. You have to send it before you work on your would. You can still do the drawing disease to work on the boat. Then, to make your friend, you need ink disease ink for printing the ones I asked. But you can also use oil color. I actually prefer to use days because then it's easier to clean the food than something to stand the color on a piece off blast and a roller. I also have a little one. Actually, you don't have to take this one. I have just one that it's off the size and it works all right, so you can also have that 4. Choosing the wood: But this food is Oklahoma, South African food. It still soft, and this one is popular. It would be a little piece off popular, but the important thing is that the food has to be soft, to be able to carve it with the knife not too soft, because if it was too soft, it will broke its fevers when you cut it. So it's OK to be soft not to solve this one I use. It's not an expensive one. Popular to is not expensive. Redwood has to be cut vertically along with the fibers and not horizontally. Horizontally is when you see the circles in the tree, you can either work with a full block, a vote that is a piece of food that has been cut it vertically from one side, and then at the bottom side you can see the circles. Or you can also work with a piece of wood that has just the first sheet that made off their vote that you choose. They're both nice, if you can. I suggest to use the full block, but you can use both 5. A bit of inspiration: even take inspiration everywhere. In the past, artist used Boat brings as a work of art or to illustrate books and stories. You can find a lot of examples. Some of my favorites ones are from Oprah's I on and the Tokyo engine era. The Japanese art off making prints. Also other dura a lot off artists up to the contemporary used boot camp. But you can just take one of your drawing and redo it, but you can take expression from the botanica Imagesa. If you are Internet, you're like me. You can take a look a and explore button design experiment doing intricate motives. 6. A few useful tips: You can do simple wars with simple lines, or you can do more complex one and Salafi. You can work as they left wide illustration with great spaces off white sandwich basis for black, you can work out. So with grace cane on, this is the more like I work. But I will show you both the ways when you use your life or the guards, you can modern. Eight. Your sign. I'm going to show you a tape useful, and I learned to do it to follow better. You're drawing on your food when you cut and disease, too at ink on your would. I just like to have my wood. I'll show you how I the Winter and Neuter Inc. I took a jar of water. I just put a few drops off inks. This is Winter and Neuter Inc about you. Use whatever you like. It's just to accord. Okay. Okay. This much of economy and I'd like to have the new one. I think this could be a right. I like your violet. I think my goods better if it is not too dark but not too light to so you. Good. Oh, usually in a less than how it's dry. You can skip this step. It's just I like to do it like these because I like the Koran. Andi. I find it easier to follow my drawing when I cut. Hell, no. This is ready to make it dry. I put it on my window to dry. 7. Drawing directly on wood: I will try this one. I think we can digging and we can talk about the drawing since adding sonography. The result is the printer. When you drove, you have to know that printing with mirror your drawing. 8. Transfer your drawing on wood and completing it: I'm going to trust for my growing on the booth. I use this. You I'm going to use the popular. I'm going to sell it really fast. Okay, No. Here going. I'm going to for the paper like this on my doing like this, and then going to drove and trust my drawing. Okay? You don't have to be so, so true to the drawing. You can change of debate. I'm using a pencil, but maybe to be, you can use golf, a pencil or a pen. I think the finer is, uh, the pan. And also the heart is the pad, the more faithful will be the drawing. I'm using a fancy because I don't mind if it is if it is not faithful. But if in your case it's, ah, drawing that you want to be really, really faithful it I think it's best for you to use a pen with a heart tip. Yet we are almost that. No, you should be. You see, it's not really precise that just but I'm going to draw on this one. And this is just the same for tracing paper. I bought it in my in my town shop. I'm going to do? Also, this guy, This guy here, I'm going to use a pan, so I'll show you the difference. I just took a pen. It's just a normal open I usually use. I like brush bands, but I like I also like bollworms. I think you can make art. We have almost everything and for our proposed this is perfect. Then you see, it's a little bit more precise. This one's who have made on the paper. I used a brush back in here. I'm going to use my fancy to to correct the drawing. It's just the The drawing just helps me to focus on what I want to do back. You know, you also could go directly, uh, in cutting the food. It's not a mandatory toe draw with your pencil or pen before. It's just that I like to do it. But you could also go directly with your night. I'm going to do that. One of the nice being with the food cut is that you can actually work with the little piece on you can bring. We bring it with you everywhere. The first step is to draw. I'm done. You go on cutting. I think this one is okay. I can go on to cut this one on is one. So I'll meet you up in the next. 9. Cutting the wood Mushrooms on Poplar : to cut. You can use either. The captain did knife. Okay. Oh, the go. Jeez, he's asked a taper made off u shape. I'm going to show you what type of cut is going to do. And this one has the tip, the heart tips. I usually use justice, the captor, the knife. It's a professional one, but you can also have other cutters are go Jeez, and you can buy at a cheap price. I have other ones. I don't use them a lot. Sometimes I sculptor there just with different tips. And they have different angles to just for you to change your way to cut. But you can have a lot off freedom with the character. You can actually use everything that has a heart shape. It's better fit is a metal tip. But you can use actually everything I like to use at this guy here. I'll show you different ways to use the cutter you can use to do your drawing like it wasa pencil. And you have to remind yourself that when you cut is like doing the white, you do the white. When you take out like these, the going past me because the more the tail it, I do it. The more I know why the white is black is so this is a way you can cut. I'm going to show you what effect if it made this is a trick right now, you don't see a lot because I just did a few cuts so you can use Kolkata in other ways. The classical ways and traditional ways is to cut from inside and then cut from the other side and take out it is the traditional way. Oh, side And, uh, on the other side, I think it is nice to change your you're signed if you are going to do different areas so you can do like big lines or you can do little ones the polls in your drawing It could be like really a whole I could be and not so dear thing to do then does the goche on the Goche pasties. Just those lines you see, take out BC's. This could be good if you're going to do. Yeah, I think I can do the like some types of God around here. This guy can do. I could go the go. She's nice. It does the same type of sign, but you can not too late if you're going to use it to do a bigger sign for just scratch. Your face you can trust is you have to remember that is going to be white when you do your cut because this is a sore face technique. So we're going to do please like before. So I'm going to do this mushroom first. Oh, it's easier to cut when you are going in the same line as the you see is not this food. This type goes this way, so you will find less resistance when you cut in this way. But you don't have to do just that way. - I did one mushroom. I'm going to cut the other one so you see our work on it. I just want to do a gray area in the top off the mushroom and dying. I do thes lines with the knife, just using the chip. I do lying that follows what I think it's the curve off the mushroom. I think the angles should be darker, so I'm going to do lesser lines in here. More distant lines Discover won't affect the print because when I'm going to use the ink for printer, that is the car that will show in the print. - I did see signs we have the girls he's one on and I have to send a little bit because I have species off the stuff because the girl, this is how it is fighting can't leave it like this. I used just my knife for these signs on the top off the mushroom of Finn lines. Then I used thicker blind underneath the head off my mushroom and I use still the knife. But I used it taking out from the left and then from the right in this one. And I used to go out for this sign for the ground. So now this is really for print. 10. Cutting the wood Flower on Okoume: I'm going to show you the different type of cutting in this drawing. You can do fine lines like these like you to align with your captor Navy space in between. In this way, you can do great ideas. If you were to cut with these little lines a lot closer, you will get white eyes. So this is a way to do it just to scratch you would doing lies. Then you can do other things with your Qatar. You can cut doing like curve and then on the right to take out the piece of wood. This is a classic away. You can't you do a coup And then on the other side you close the path like this and take out I'm going to let you see yeezys water talking about just to make you see what type of cactus do what type of IHS to. Then I'm going to use the goes to just to make you see if I wanted to do another sign with these food, it's easier, I think, to see where you're doing the white because the bodies the darker shade on the surface. So I'm able to see a wider part when I take out with my knife. So to take out a bigger piece I'm going to became from he's done on the other side. I think I'm going to do this type of sign for the outside and them and keep going and working like these. Like it. Waas advances for the insight. This should be point to. Okay, so I'm going to go on for this one and I'll meet you up when I fish. If you have any question with a way to cut you can live in the comment. I will get to use, um, the flower on the local man would and I just do the cut on these. You can see this lighter part is where I cut it. I'm going to you see how it is going using the pensive I think I like how is is doing. So I'm going to say this is ready to print, So I'll see you in the next video to print my foot book 11. Abstract drawing and cutting on wood Okoume: for this one. I wanted to show you how to take out larger part off and to do so large parts off white. I'm going to do something abstract. Just an absurd doing. I go with the flow. I think I like this line on the food. I previously put some ink Oh, this piece of wood like I'm made you see in a previous video. I like to do these just because, uh, I am able to see how the work is progressing easily in this way and then also because I like to put in Oh, so I'm going to take out this part completely. I think I can try to use also other life just to make you see that you can use whatever you want. He's actually it's a really good knife. Even if it's cheaper. I think it's better for me if I want to follow. This line was better for me if I made it ready. - The easiest way to take off everything is just too. I don't the classical way 12. Printing the first block: Hi. Now I'm going to show you how you print your foot book. First of all, you need it last a plastic face. Then you need colors. Rather, this one is a right little one or a bigger one is a professional one. But I was OK with these two. These guys here for your hands for the car. I'm going to use the car for prints. But you could use oil colors too. So you just need one caller. I have more, but I'm going to try a print with one corner and then another one. We've colors together, so I'm going to show you. First of all, you have to clean your glass here, going to clean glass face just from the side where you're going to put the The color isn't right. Then we are going to clean out our desks just with tissue. It's OK. The EQ is going to come out. It's okay with our paper because it doesn't scratch Roller. Brady, I'm going to put my gloves on. Okay? How? I'm ready to go. I think I'm going to do this guy here. Right. So I'm going to take the red. He go after some color. This is a little Salah graffiti. So I put last way of it. Now, I could go directly with these on and go and go. But if you want, you can also use one of these two. Put the collar More equity distributed. If you find a little peace off drive car put in. Okay, I think we're agreed to go. So now we go, Uh, you have to the quarter on your last until it stopped Teaches. And this means your other is full, of course. But it is actually disagree tid and not too much corn so that it will just add color to your booed. But not Metallica. The good will just absorb the color. If you have any questions you can put on, the comments are happy. Okay, I'm going to go. I have these my thing to block it. You have just wrote you throw a bold so sometimes they're not perfecter. They could really beat time. Okay, You see, the food doesn't take the car in the same way every it's never peace. See that some places in the face and that the our signs in which white between collars have a nice from I don't know what these, but it's really trying to call the old. It is better to use your roller one way and then the other way. You sick because you have what should be flat but not always is flat. So sometimes it is better to use different ways to go. Okay, I think we are. You ready to go yet? So this is really I'm going to put it here. Okay, Now we have our first real print block fandom to print it. I'm going to take the tissue paper. He's one in Italy is called Vilena. He's one, and I'm going to boot over my drawing. So this is it now. I can do two ways to print it. To transfer the color on my paper. I can do with my hand or I could do with a spoon. A wooden spoon is nice. You could use also a metal one, but I like the food and spoon better. So I'm going to use this one. You can go in the same way for all of your work, or you can go in the secret way I prefer going for in the the same way you can see that baby is like a gluing to the wood. It is because off the ink, the ink is a touching itself to might prefer. I can't touch species have already pull it the color without pressing too much. Otherwise, I would put more emphasis. More color into that area is pretty easy and fun. And it is something you can do at your home. Everywhere. Have a nice smooth. You can actually check how the work is going doing something like days. If you're happy with it, it's OK, but if you want to go more about it, you can. I think I will be fine with this. Okay. Okay. So our print is ready. Did it So I'm going to move to the other two works by 13. Printing the the flowered block and printing with handpressure: for this one. I want to use a violent car. So I've put on my glass a more Geronimo, Red, Prussian blue. I'm going to mix them to produce a violet. Yeah, Okay. I'm going to use my bigger. This would be all right. This is bigger. So I will be faster in using it. So, like before I'm going to rock. I have to work more with my glass because this is bigger. That put a lot of car. All right. It's nice. I think if it is a little bit more violating here and we're reading here, it's okay. It's nice for disciple work. I'm just going to be sure. Car I think I am. It's really full of color. So I think I'm going to Oops. That's I think I'm good to go. Okay, so here. Yeah, whom? It's a really dark Call it. It's OK. You see the difference between my flower with this creatures. I actually use my knife. Just a tip. And then these different use off the knife. I used the knife even here, but I used the technique which you take out from left and then from right to take out a little bit. So food. It's okay. Ready? Is this ready to go? I'm going to use and I have to shoot paper on. I'm going to take off this one too. Do a mess. You can see if it is more or less central. Usually you do days in geography. When you put your paper, our yard food block should be more or less in the center and also that there should be less white space up and more on the downside. Okay, So I'm going to show you this one with my spoon and then this one and I like this because it seemed left to, um when I was doing my when I was okay . I think this is great. Okay, you can peel it off. Not too fast into right. This is what the wood block looks like after. And disease. Um, okay, this is it. I'm going to Frink it with my hand with hand pressure, so I'm going to put again calls. Okay. I'm going to again. Doesn't need to be like before. You can put it faster because it's like the second. Anyway, you you have to be careful, but they think everyone so Now I'm going to use a little piece off to shoot her just to try . Okay, here we go. I'm going to to like this. Then I'm going to use this part. Also my hands I have to be careful to. Well, I have to put it down. Okay. Now it's glowed to the people. Just stuff too. Move my hand. I'm going to put more pressure on here because I think it's needed more calls. I think we already go. Yeezys our results Queen thing, we and pressure. I'm going to show you the difference between both off our prince. 14. Printing the wood mushrooms on Poplar: I'm going to do the last food block. The I put more that I want to do. You have to protect your table with something, baby. Okay, Okay. For the full much. Okay. I think I'm ready to go. - I wanted to show you how with hand printed print how you can push more in some areas to hot, more coral. So I'm going to I just thought the regular amount. Of course. I think we have something. Yeah, I have to take it out. I think it's a little bit soft dried call. I have something. Waas Now I would like to do more. It's already really dark in here. I said white. I want to try. If I can put a little bit of Kara in this are I want to try that can put a little bit of a car in here. So wave my hand. I'm going to press more as to and for ties The little bit of coral that it's in there. I have my gloves duty at this point it especially if you change your gloves if you have them like mine. But my mom was finished, so I think Okay with this Yep. I just a little beetle signs. Usually after you print you can put it on the flat surface to let it dry. In half a day, it will be dry. If you want to be more sure, you can just touch it and see if they're still ink that remains on your finger. And then if it doesn't remain, it means it's right. Okay. This is our last print, okay? 15. Cleaning the wood : I'm going to show you how you can clean your full block. You could just dry it clean with a tower. You can use bleach or you can use any type of deal. Meant that it's all right to take out Inc from food. I'm going to use this one, but I'm going to do it near my window because it's not good to nail this one. And you need it to fresh. I'm going to put this on the food. My two fresh to take off the car. He's all right. - Now . The first step is done. I'm now going to use this thing, this one to make it wide disease. Fishbone, you have to take out the hot spot on the phone. Leverett. Lisa White. Thus, that is going to clean more. What? This one. Now I'm going to take off with us on. This is clean. This is clean. Now, the same way you have the best. This is what the world looks like when it's clean. Now, this is how you print your roadblock.