Fox Woodcut print | Joe McMenamin | Skillshare

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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

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Tracing the fox


    • 3.

      Cutting the block


    • 4.

      Test inking


    • 5.

      First print


    • 6.

      Final print


    • 7.

      Printing without a printing press


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About This Class

In this class you will learn how to make a woodcut print by carving into the wood, inking it up and making a print. I'm going to use a fox design as my example.

I will explain every step of the process and give you lots of tips and ideas along the way. You will need a few tools to take this class such as a piece of MDF 3mm wood, some woodcut tools, a roller, some printing ink and paper. I will show you how to print with both a printing press and a baron if you don't have a press.

Woodcut printing is a lot of fun and I encourage you to give it a go!

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Joe McMenamin

Artist - Illustrator - Teacher


I am an artist, a teacher, a dad and creativity is something I apply to all of those things. For 14 years I was known as Mr Mac the art teacher, getting teenagers amped up about making and learning from them as much as they learnt from me.

Then in 2017 I did something I had dreamt of in those ‘what if?’ moments we all have. I stepped away from being a secondary school teacher and I put on my artist hat full time. I have pursued my love of organic, flowing patterns, diving into painting, drawing, making a beautiful mess with dyes and printmaking.

In my Feilding studio I follow a few different creative pathways. I might pick up an ink pen and let my mark making lead me to some intricate doodling. Native birds take flight – my pen imagines their song and nau... See full profile

Level: All Levels

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1. Introduction: Hi, I'm Joe McMenamin. I'm an artist and teacher based in fearing New Zealand. In this course, I'm gonna show you how to make a woodcut print off Fox. We're gonna look at how to use the carving tools to cut out the fox design from the wood. We're also going Teoh make a T spring so we can see what else we need to come out to make it look really good. And then we're gonna do a final print using a technique to rub that some of the ink around the subject and make it look really, really interesting in the background. So I hope you looking forward to taking this class and hope you learn a lot. Thanks. 2. Tracing the fox: Okay, so we're starting off today without Fox Image, which I found on Google images sitting for on image that can be used with modification. So it means it's not a copyrighted image. So we're going to We're going to be making a woodcut today on three millimeter indie. If which is nice and smooth and flick I'm gonna do is we're gonna take an image and tape it onto here, and we're gonna be using this lovely carbon paper in carbon paper is fantastic for transferring images. Sometimes it's called transfer paper. We put it on here like this, the black side, and we're just gonna be tracing over image and always just started. Start off a little bit in the cheek. Yep, that is coming through. So that's good. So now I'm just going Teoh trace around the image. You want to be using a nut shop pizza where you can do it with a Penis. Well, with this pot, Okay. All right. That looks great. So now we're gonna take off that image, and we're gonna use it is a reference while we're doing the cutter 3. Cutting the block: the Knicks deeper is that we're going to start cutting out would cut. Now, I've got these beautiful tools here from Yoshiharu and Japan and we have different shaped things. We have a small V here, which is great for a sharp lines. We have a medium V and we have a small gouge which is gonna be for larger areas and what we need to do, right? Start as we need to decide which parts off the fox that we're going to leave in which parts we're gonna cut out. So the easiest way to do this to think about it is the white butts are going to be cut out in the black boots are going to stay, So we're just gonna stop by working through working around without small V and just cutting out some of the areas that we know we want to be pure white. So I'm just going to start here, here. So what we're gonna do is we're going Teoh work into those areas that we know really nice and white and once was on some good at lines. We can start using the gouge and cutting away some of the areas because it's much better for those flat areas. Okay, so So we're working into this area which has got the the lovely What cheeks? - Okay , so what I'm gonna do now is I'm just gonna work my way around the outside of the fox, and I'm just gonna try and create the out while enduring. So, really, this is just about, um, a little bit of fear that are on the outside. This will help us suit get it seen, sof the shape of the design as well. You notice what I'm doing is, uh, just doing little way cuts. I'm kind of angling in with my finger here on top in the and I'm lifting it up to come out . The reason I chose a fox actually is because I love doing woodcuts with animals that have for because all those little bits of for you can create his little pieces of texture in the in the outwork. So all these individual little capsule enough looking like for hopefully So I want to start to find the eyes a little bit and what I need to do here, there's a need to cut very fine outline. Like, sir, I mean, there's a larger area of white in the middle of us. I just need to work my way around that like, So now I'm gonna carry on around the rest of the body, and I'm just going to working with my small V. And I'm looking at all these little like pieces of food here. So I'm just going to try and do some directional cuts like this and like this up around here, and I'm gonna let it fade out of it here. So where it's gray, they'll be least cuts under here. So in this Syria and here they'll be least cuts. But over here, I'll sort of aim or and there were fading like this so you can add some pizza and to just give yourself a bit of ah, a visual cue to what you're doing. 4. Test inking: Okay, so now we're gonna put some ink on our print. So we're using this lovely ako it ink from speedball, and we're gonna start off just by grabbing a little bit out like this. Now, the cool thing about this thing, because it has really beautiful, buttery texture, we're gonna roll it out like this, spread it out a little bit. We get a nice even amount of ink. And what this is going to lead us to is see how the how the print has come up. So we're just gonna roll it on, right? I just want to start off with just a nice, even a man of think like that. And we just want to have a look at the woodcut and just see if there any areas we need to work on to improve it. So it looks like the snappier is looking good. The nose, but the ice need a little bit more work to kind of be even. And I think we need a bit more kind of here around here. A few more cuts and a few more cuts it around the middle of the body like this so we could go here now, and just also the tail looks of it disconnected. So we go here and just keep making some more cuts and get it to the place that we're really happy with the print on. Then we can start doing some printing. 5. First print: Okay, So what I did after rolling on the first layer of ink was to wash it off, dry it, and then I've made some more cuts into the prints. I've tidied up some more of editing Samore for and tidied up some other parts edited, but more grass and here as well. So I'm ready to do my first print now, So I'm just gonna roll. Great might think. And one of Rome gonna start off with a, um just a flett print black print. So I want to roll my income here. You don't want to hit too much ink when you're rolling it on because you don't want the ink to sink into the into the cuts that you've made on the wood. So it's important just to get a nice even flow. Okay, so what I'm gonna do now is I've got my piece of India. It's going to place this in the middle like this and gonna take my piece of paper, lay it down over the top like son, and I'm gonna come and put it into the priest. Now I'm using the hydraulic printing preschool, the Yellow Express, and basically put it in and jacks up like this family preset down there in the late the pressure off of it. All right, so we're just gonna open it up, and here we have a print. 6. Final print: All right. So the next thing we're gonna do to get out final print is we're going to have a bit of a play around with some of the background. So we have got a bit of a faded background in here, but I want to have a really dark colors through here and some really nice faded, um, tones in the background. So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna start off. How did Before. And I'm gonna roll some income, Making sure get it nice. And doc inside the folks and in a bit lighter around the edges. What I'm gonna do, I'm going to use a couple bits screwed up newspaper, and I'm going to just wipe away some of the background tones just like this. This is the great thing about printmaking is that you've got a lot of control, a lot of manual control over how you apply the ink. I'm trying to just rub it so that way, keep the dark tones inside the box because we want the fox to have a nice high contrast. All right. Just sort of faith in out. Make it feel like but the bet ground instead of focus. We don't want to rob a worthy and cough, but we just wander up some of it all a little bit. Here we leave most of the ANC in the grass at the bottom. Okay, so let's try putting that through the priests, and we will see what that looks like. All right, so let's look out. This has come out. So now you can see if we come back to original picture, you can see we've managed to create some of those soft, kind of out of focus areas in the background just by rubbing away some of the ink. So I'm really happy with how this prince looking Now I'm really liking the duck contrast of the black and the white, and there it really makes the your you're kind of view off the face. Really? The focus point? Um, yeah. So that's that's come out looking awesome. 7. Printing without a printing press: now one of the things you can do if you don't have a printing priest is you can make a manual print by using a barren. Now, this is called the Re Baron, made by Speedball on USA. And it's just a simple place that with a curved base and it has a handle so you can press down firmly on it and I'll show you how to use that. Basically, just place your paper over the top like this. I've already inked it up and just fool e in a circular motion. Go around the whole print person down. Not too hard. You don't want to damage the paper, but you just want to make sure that you're giving every part of the print. So you're working and way down. Now. This works especially well for liner prints, because Lina was a bit softer, but you can do it for these would cups woodcut prints as well. All right now, you can take longer if you like, just just to make sure that you have covered every area. But I'll just show you what it looks like. Peel off Prince and this. Here we go. So that's a simple way off. Making a print using a barren instead of using a printing priest