Intro to Woodcut: Print Your City or Favorite Place | Leitha Matz | Skillshare

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Intro to Woodcut: Print Your City or Favorite Place

teacher avatar Leitha Matz, Maker

Watch this class and thousands more

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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.

      Introduction to Woodcut Printing


    • 2.

      Class Overview


    • 3.

      A Look at Western vs Eastern Print Styles


    • 4.

      Printmaker Interview: Nathan Holman


    • 5.

      Woodcut Design Planning


    • 6.

      Materials: The Supplies You Need


    • 7.

      The Basics of Kento Registration


    • 8.

      Transfer Your Design to the Board


    • 9.

      Carve Your Design


    • 10.

      Proof & Print Your Design


    • 11.

      Final Thoughts


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About This Class

Prints from woodcut blocks have enchanted people for thousands of years.

In this class, you'll learn all about woodcut printing and create a design of your own. We'll see the differences between Japanese and Western woodcut printing styles, get inspired by looking at some great work from around the world, and have a look at how the tools and print registration work.

You can enroll in this class as a new printer, or if you've already taken my Intro to Block Printing or Linocut Printing classes, you'll have the basics (and some of the tools) you need to dive right into our class project.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Leitha Matz



I work as the head of product at a startup, but when I'm not at the office, I'm always making things of my own. I especially love illustrating, writing and design.

Here at Skillshare, I usually focus on creating classes in printing -- everything from stencils to woodblock.

I find printmaking inspiring because anyone can quickly start making successful prints with very few tools. It really opens the doors to producing a vision of your own on all kinds of materials: t-shirts, walls, stationery, stickers and so much more.

See full profile

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1. Introduction to Woodcut Printing: Hello. I'm like that. And this is my class about wood block printing. This is my sixth class here at skill share, and I've been planning it for literally months. I've been traveling a lot in the past year, and everywhere I've gone to Tokyo and London and New York and soup all South Dakota on, I've been collecting information and ideas, tips of interviews about wood block printing. So for this class, we're going to look at the Western tradition, which relies on oil based inks and then the Eastern tradition that kind of perfected in Japan. And that's all about the water based inks, and you'll see that these are two very different approaches, two different ways of thinking about wood block printing. You got a beautiful print either way, but it just depends on the results that you want to get. What you want to focus on in your print will cover materials and methods, and I'm gonna show you a lot of inspiration to great woodcut prints from the past. And I also have an interview with on artist working in the Western would cut tradition, so I hope that will also be informative and inspiring project this time is gonna be a landscape now, whether that's something in your own personal environment in your neighborhood, something from a memory that you have in a photo or something that's completely made up on imaginary environment, the project is gonna help you get a feel for the tools on the wood on how the tools feel working with that would, once you try your hand, it would cut printing. I think you're gonna find it strangely addictive. I love it on. I hope you're gonna join me in this class to find out what it's all about. 2. Class Overview: people in Europe in the making woodcuts for a long time. This was an especially important tradition for creating images because this was the era before the printing press with movable type, and it was before they're obviously cameras and things. So wood blocks like this were initially used for printing on textiles. I got this elephant at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and it's an example of something that would have been printed on textiles. These were reprinted as stamps, where you would put the ink on top of the print and then impress it into the fabric. Or later on. They would do this with wallpaper as well. What became very popular in the 14 hundreds for doing books and playing cards and tarot cards and things like that. At the time, they were doing like the entire page of a book with the text in the images and everything on the same woodcut block, and you can imagine the nightmare that would have been so They were really happy when movable type came along, and that really freed up people to do more images just for the sake of doing images. Of course, in China had already been doing would block for 1200 years. Before that, there are scraps of material that have been would block printed from the on dynasty, and that tradition was brought to Japan shortly after. But that was mostly for official purposes, like printing seals and texts. What we really think of as the golden era of Japanese would block like thes Yukio E. Prince didn't happen until the 18 hundreds on drily. Then artists can focus on beauty and craft of woodcut. What's you guys? Incredibly famous? Image of Mount Fuji, dwarfed by the Great Wave, was made in 18 31. It was after the major restoration of 18 68 that European artists got to see Japanese woodcuts, and van Gogh was particularly vocal about his love of the form. And even what so far is to make copies in his own style. These days, there's actually no need to do woodcut printing. We have all kinds of other art forms, but I really love the smell of the wood on the feel of it, and you can actually see the wood in the final print. If you look for example here, that's an effect that you can get where you're joining the wood with the print. So I mean, no doubt would cut is definitely more expensive to do than lie No cut printing or Robert printing, for example. The thing about it is you need really good knives if you don't have really good knives or just gonna hurt yourself on what is more expensive to, so it's a little more expensive to get into. But you know, what can you do if you're in love with wood block printing? That's That's the price you pay. So let's talk about the process of the class here. The first thing we're gonna do is envision a design. Then I'm gonna touch on registration, which is making sure that you are prints. They're gonna be straight on meat every time. The next part is the transfer of your design to the wood block. After that, we will carve car of Carved, and then we will apply a little bit of pink and see where things are by making a proof. If it looks good, will print. If not, we'll have a bit more, and then we'll take another proof until we're happy with it. Let's first start out with two very different ways of approaching wood block printing 3. A Look at Western vs Eastern Print Styles: Western wood block printing was traditionally done by transferring a design to a wood block using carbon or chalk and then a stylist to transfer. The impression, then could carve the design out of the block. When the design was ready, you dab on a layer of oil based ink, typically black, and then lay the paper on top of block and press it. They were special pressing machines made for this purpose. Now oil. It takes a while to dry, so the prince would need to be hung up undisturbed for a while. After things were dry, the color could be applied using a stencil on a brush. The Japanese approaches to make the design on a very thin piece of rice paper and impress that paper onto the block. Then the carver would cut the design out of the wood and get rid of any excess paper sticking to the block. To get multiple layers of a complex color, a single print would have to have color separation across a series of blocks, and they would be carved to emphasize different aspects of the design so it could take a month or more to carve out all the different blocks required to make a complex print like this one. The sheets of printing paper would also need to be soaked in a small quantity of water overnight, and that made him soft and absorb it. They deploy a rice paste of paper toe help. The ink integrates smoothly with the surface and the voice in the wood and apply the ink to the wood carving with brushes. So there are several different ways of applying ink, depending on the effect you want to get. This beautiful gradation here is called buzkashi, and it's done by applying the caviar on one end of the board and then gently whisking it away with brushes to create the fade. A print would be printed and then reprinted with different color blocks to build up the design. And in this way you get layered color effects like this. Due to the differences in the printing approach, the Western tradition can give you really bold graphics on that could be really cool effect . Although the Eastern tradition has effects that are more water color like Andi, that can also be what you want. So it really all just depends on the fact you're looking to get in the next video. Nathan Holman, who is an artist working in the Western tradition, is going to show us some of his work and talk a little bit about how he got started in woodcut printing. 4. Printmaker Interview: Nathan Holman: I visited Nathan Holman, an artist who lives in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Here we talk about getting started in block printing and the relationship between carving and printing. Nathan also has a few tips on keeping your fingers when you're working with knives. I started carving a long, long time ago, wiggling on stuff. If my grandfather made a lot of boats and stuff when I was a child, go down Kansas City in the summer. He would. Blackwood. Don't catch yourself bad eso So he trusted you with knives of Yeah, yeah, yeah, he was designing here, right? President was created. Any made models built. That's why I started right? And and so they're not took up printmaking. As a catcher, you can print woodcuts with my using bamboo rice spoon that came with a walk. It and I lost that spoon once or twice. It's like a disaster because I'm so used to That's phone. Yeah, that's cool. You don't do the work without the spirit of your school work, so well, it's just And how long before you felt like those woodcuts that you were making were something that you would want to show the others? a lot of cats don't work out, but after that, Harman Dell'arte 2nd 0 well, my missus, you get harassed. That's making coffee. Is there a self portrait aspect about as well possible? Possible? When you do something like this, do you sketch about on the wood first? Or are you doing a drawing and then transfer to the would? Usually it's drawn on would. Sometimes I think I did this one on paper first. And when you're thinking about light and shadow, you're planning that out in your drawing or you just have it sort of in mind where you're going to be doing deeper cuts, for example, versus the more I guess shallow cuts. Yeah, every boards different out because it would. Sometimes here, you realize you've got a approach way you could Yeah, yeah, right, Mom Arts too strong. Well, maybe we should talk about would like you said Bass would pass with pretty traditional wood grain, and it's pretty even normal now, So that's consistent. You can go, you know? Yeah, can't lay off the board way. It's gonna car best. Have you had any drawings that have taken a drastic course change based on some of the cuts you've made. Or have they all been pretty true to your original, But sometimes, yeah. You racism? Yeah. And then start over. Have there been any of your woodcuts that you had to do, like, several times? You prove him and see where they are. You get an idea what what it's gonna look like but tell you're pregnant, you're never here. And then you pregnant some facts around for a long time. Look, Adam, go back. So there's some of them. Some of them change after you've done a printer to and you decide. OK, needs more of this. Certainly more back. Yeah, that makes sense. You're remove stuff. Try to put it back. So OK, so the things that you would really recommend people are find a good bamboo spoon, if you can. Really flat. Yeah, that's certainly Syria. And is there anything else that people starting out in wood block printing anything that you would advise them of in particular? And you tips that you have that you kind of learned by heart practice, I guess. Like carving? Yeah, yeah, yeah. Getting cattle are kept like love, which Wow. Wow. Just because when you're holding the wood down. You want to make sure you're fully out of the way way? Yeah, Well, you can get those, I guess, for oyster opening and stuff. Right? People use. That's for that. I'll save you 1000 bucks. You are OK. You know you don't have a dead finger, do Oh, no, It's like a chisel. Oh, it's like no nerve now, having scar nerves, throwback over time, they say, you know, a year years. 5. Woodcut Design Planning: So let's talk a little bit about the design of your project. When you start a woodcut print, it's a little different from when you start maybe a painting or drawing. There's no way to pull back the would you know you can maybe glue a piece back in, but once you've started cutting into that, would you are pretty committed to it. So planning helps a lot when I look at my image of the swans on the canal and I think about transferring that to ah woodcut print. One of the things that I need to think about is simplifying the lines and shapes, certainly, but I think the most important thing to think about in the planning process is how many colors am I going to try and represent in the final print? This is going to determine how many pieces of wood you need and how much effort is actually going to go into doing the carving on all of these pieces of wood. So if I decide I want to do something sort of like this where I have green orange, Andi, gray, black, what I'm essentially committing to here is four plates you see that I have black black. I have kind of a gradation effect from the grey black. There's a nor INGE area, and then I also have to think about cutting out an area for all the green of the trees from working in the Japanese style. I can have ah, buzkashi gradation that goes across some of these areas to make lighter and darker sections . But I'm still committing to printing four times on one piece of paper with four different pieces of wood, and that'll make a big difference in how much time you're committing and how much cost. So let's start out with the simplest prints, which would be in one color. Let's assume for this one color that I'm just going to do black and white black will be. The ink and white will be the background. The designs you see here are black and white prints. All the black areas are the raised areas of the wood. All the white areas are the scooped out areas, the wood. This is the most simple path that you can go down, and it's a really wonderful effect. The things that Nathan is doing on his prints are generally in black and white, although he's also going in sometimes and adding color into the white spaces with watercolor afterward. So that's another option. Or you could do ah, stencil over the top of it and get kind of a consistent color on each print by adding the color through a stencil. Those are other options for getting a little splash of color here or there into your print . But think of these primarily as one color prints, so a little more complicated from that is the two color print. Here we have two colors. They're actually both blacks. One is a later black in the shade of gray, and one is a darker black on top of the white. But you have to think of these as two different pieces of wood, so the black black parts are all done on one block of wood and the lighter parts, the gray sections, those air done on another piece of wood. So when you combine the two, you come up with more dimension. These hanging monkeys are also a to plate process, so this is one board going into the blacks on one board that is dedicated to the Browns it looks like what they've done here is they printed the Browns first, and then they printed the blacks on top. You can see there's also the chop here, which is probably another separate, smaller block that they're using for the signature. You have a lot of latitude with two colors, but now let's look at what you can do with three colors. These flying birds are a lighter grey, and that is a separate plate color from the blacks, which are printed on top for the beaks. For example. So you have the grey area, you have the black blacks, and there's also one more piece of wood that goes into making those waves. And what they've done here, you see, is a kind of a clever buzkashi effect across the waves. So it almost looks like you get two colors out of the wave as it goes from this deeper aqua to the lighter turquoise. In this print, there's very clearly three different blocks happening. The first block that they put down is the golden color, and the golden color is then layered with a block of rusty red color. Finally, the last block that's printed on this page is the black on the black overlaps the other two , and it's in perfect registration. This is a beautiful print. This could also be done in a three color fashion. So we're thing. Here's a clever use of buzkashi to make a gradation across this puppy here. Now we have a nice Grabo Kashi effect on this puppy. So this might be too boards that they've used one for the black Blacks printing again with this bow Kashi Gray, plus another board that there may be printing twice to get the bi colored pink orange effect where it might be three. I'm guessing they used to, and we're just very clever with their use of the print. Here's another great buzkashi effect in the background. On this print, we have the black Blacks and also kind of a light beige color for the horses. The buzkashi plate is giving us lovely, great Asian from a yellow to agreeing with white in the center, and so this print actually looks much more complicated than it really is again. This print looks more complicated, but I believe it's actually three different boards, so we have yellow on one board. We have black blacks for the houses, the palm's and the outlines of the boats. And there were also two layers of blue here. Now that might be two different plates, one for the bow Kashi effect in the background for the gradation and another plate or the boats and the shadows in the house is so this one might be three boards, but it's more likely, I think, to be four boards that they're actually using to create this effect. After three or four boards were getting into the realm of lots of colors, the next few prints we're gonna look at are pretty complicated. I wouldn't use thes as an introduction to would cut, but you can see the really beautiful effects that you get combining colors and gradation along with the texture in the print and layering the different plate colors on top of each other. So as you go to plan your own print, have a good look at your initial design and think about your use of color. How many plates do you really need? Maybe you just want to start out with a single color plate and add in a little bit of spot color by hand. Or maybe you want to try to different boards and see if you can get your registration right . I would probably stick to something as simple as you can and try not to exceed 2 to 3 layers on this. But if you're feeling really confident, that go for it. So I hope that helps. And if you have any questions, please post them in the discussions area. In the meantime, the next video will be about the supplies that you'll need to get going. 6. Materials: The Supplies You Need: So let's talk about materials. The more printing you do, the more supplies you gather. So I'm just gonna go through. Depending on the project you do, you might need fewer supplies. You might need fewer knives. And so take this with a grain of salt and just consider what minimum level of supplies you need for your project is. This is a very small block. This block is what the English would call lime wood with the Call Lyndon. Here in the United States, you might find it as bass would. It's a nice soft wood, and I recommend it, although I think the Japanese use cherrywood, and that's their kind of default printing would. But I really like Lyndon Password Lime on DSO. I have both smaller blocks on a larger blocks. Know what's the difference? Whoa, how big do you want to print to be? That's not the difference. This is kind of postcard size. This is more frame it and hang it size. So first, get some wood. Now it doesn't need to be super thick and remember that you can print on both sides and you probably should print on post sides because it's not shape. So do you consider that the linden thicker ones that I have here? You know, it's not necessary that they be this thick. It was just what the carpenter happened tohave on. I got this from local Tischler, a French fry maker. Andi, Uh, you can do the same. You can probably go down to a craft store on they might have Would as well so look around in your neighborhood and see what's available. You could probably even find it on Amazon. So next think about how you're gonna get your design onto the wood. I have carbon paper for that. Andi, you can use carbon paper. This is a dead ball point pen, which works pretty well for getting the design through the photograph for the print that I've made onto the wood. Next, we're going to need to think about how to carve the design out of the wood. I have knives from a company called Kishan, which is German, and in the United States. I think the brand is called two Cherries. Anyway, I'll print this all up and put it into the resource is file so that you can look it up and make your own choices. There are other brands of knives, but the's air Really good hard steel on in the last long time, you can re sharpen them as you go. So which knives to get? I'm gonna recommend that you get a cutting knife of this variety for doing your initial outline. The next one you'll probably need is ah, smaller gouge. So there are V gouges like this one on. Then there are you gouges like this one, and they come in a lot of sizes. I have kind of a medium sized V and you got here, but I also have a much smaller you gouge. The other thing that you'll need is kind of a basic wedge chisel, So this chiseled is gonna be for the larger areas on. You can also use ah, larger you gouge to dig out those larger areas. I also like to have a really tiny little chisel because you have teetsi little corners and small detail that you want to get into. So I mean, how many knives do you need to start out with? Probably not more than four for your first project, but as you get into it, you'll find that you have other knife needs. And so So I have several here. I like to store them with a blank work. And so I just shoved the end into a wine cork, and they're kind of protected that way. You'll also notice that there are a couple of different ways of doing the handles. I like the pear shaped handle because I like to wrap my palm around it and then put a guiding finger onto the chisel and move forward this way. You know, you might enjoy this style. It all depends on on what you want. If you can hold it in your hand and kind of imagine it while you're at the store. That's that's probably idea. Or borrow some and see what you like. Pair works for me. But, you know, for example, I couldn't find this variety of knife in the pear shape. So s O. This is the one that I go with for doing my initial outlines. Okay, so after you have the carved version, you're gonna need to do some printing on the printing you're gonna do, spreading the ink across the carving, probably with a prayer like this one You could also use something to dab the ink across your board. But if you've done any printing of other types, for example, Linda cut printing or river printing humanity hop a prayer. They're not that expensive. This one is from speedball on its relatively soft. I use it for rubber printing for Lionel cut printing and also for woodcut printing. It's very useful. I also use a piece of glass to spread the ink out on with the Breyer on. I just got that out of a picture frame. You could probably use a very flat plate or platter as well. For that, let's talk about inks. In the Japanese tradition, you use water soluble inks. I usually start out with the speedball. Water soluble printing inks on those were pretty well for me because you can get different consistency just by adding a little bit of water to make them a little more opaque, or or rather, make them a little more transparent, or keep them tacky if you want them. OPEC water based ones are very easy to clean up to, and you will find out how easy it is to clean up the water based ink when you start working with oil based inks. So this oil based ink I got at intaglio printers in London and it's it's wonderful to work with while you're working with it. But cleaning it up is just a horrible process. And if you if you get it into your clothing, just forget about it, you just have to throw it away. Its you're never going to get oil based inks in stains out of your clothing, and also, you know they will permanently stain your equipment. The black stains that you see here on my Breyer are from oil based inks, so just be aware of that. If you're going to do oil based printing, I would recommend gloves wearing a pair of disposable gloves on, and you know where those throughout the printing process And while you're cleaning because even during the cleaning process, I find that oil based paints get all over everything, and you just really don't want this stuff absorbing into your skin. It's gross. There are also, you know, Japanese water based inks. If you have on opportunity to buy Japanese inks, you know do so because they are made for Japanese prints, so depending on which way you want to go. Whether you want the kind of Western style with the oil pains or, you know you can do water based and just just have easy cleanup on the benefits of water based banks are in the beautiful translucency, and you could do those gradations and things, so I'll show you that a little bit later. So speaking of paints, you need a way to apply your paints on those brushes. So this is particularly in the use case for the Japanese printing. Japanese printing relies on brushes to control the water that is both on the board on on the print itself. So you would use a wide, flat brush like this to apply water to a page or two aboard. You might use a smaller brush like this one, or a stiffer brush like this one to do a little bit of burnishing around the edges of a design on. That way, you could get maybe some shadow, so you really probably won't need brushes like this in the case of doing Western printing, unless you're going to do some color after the fact. And in that case, you might just want to use something like a watercolor brush and dio either the stencil method or adding a little bit of color after the fact. So when it comes down to actually doing the prince, it helps toe have a baron, unless you have access to a printing press the press of the style that you would use for Western printing. I don't have to have a press here. It help. I use the Baron for both oil based and for water based prints. So my Baron is made of natural materials. It's covered in a bamboo leaf on. That's really nice, but you have to keep it moist. It wants to be oiled. It's gonna split after a while. And then you have to think about recovering your baron with another bamboo leaves. So there's maintenance involved. You could also use of the other barons that are out on the market that are made with artificial materials that maybe last a little longer. And, you know, if you don't have access to a baronet, all then think about using maybe a jar lid to get that even pressure over the top of your paper. So paper is the next topic actually, let's talk about that. I use printer paper, just the cheapest paper I have in the house. We're doing my proofs, but when it comes time to do a print, I'm gonna use a nicer rice paper. The difference in quality you can see when you actually do the print on rice paper is absolutely an essential thing for doing the Japanese style printing because it absorbs the ink in a way that gives you those nice gradations and things. Rice paper is much more expensive. You're gonna find it at art shops, you know, maybe online. But rice paper is what you need to do. Four final prints in Japanese printing for printing with the Western style, you can print on things that aren't paper you can print on fabrics you can print on other materials, and so you don't need to be quite as choosy about the paper you're using for the Western printing. But in the interview with Nathan, he has a recommendation for the Reeves printing paper. He really loves that. So consider that if you're doing Western printing, one last thing I want to cover is safety. So this is a bench hook and then Chuck is something that I've mentioned in my other classes , but it's a really, really nice thing to have. If you're doing a lot of carving. He keeps your piece of wood in place, and it keeps it from moving around. You place your wood here on when you apply the pressure, the chisel will go flying into the bench hook if you lose control of it rather than into your hand and you don't want the chisel flying at your hand. Obviously, that would be the worst case scenario there, so the bench will keep you free from harm as long as you keep your fingers away from that striking zone. And I'll talk a little bit more about that when we talk about carving. Another thing that you could do is you could use clamps to fasten your piece of wood to the surface. Onda use an oyster glove on your non dominant hand on that can keep you from getting gouged with the knives and things. But you know you are working with sharp instruments, so be careful again. I'm gonna post a list of all of this stuff in the resource of section of the class, so use that as a checklist. You can take it to your local prints, supply center or art store, even online on just kind of run down the checklist. Make sure you have everything you need because it's really frustrating. If you start doing an aspect of your project, you find you don't have the right equipment. So that's the rundown of supplies on that should get you everything you need to start your first print. 7. The Basics of Kento Registration: and this. Listen, we're gonna talk about registration, and that is centering your print in a way that you can repeat over and over. This is a technique I call the path of the Tagawa master because it takes a little more time. It takes a little more care, but once you do it, you will have perfectly registered prints over and over again. This is what you're going to be doing if you're doing a lot of prints that have layers, lots of different colors in them or prints that you need to be specific and you want the same location on the paper every time. So that's what registration does for you. The technique here I'm going to show you is called Ken Toe Registration. It's very ancient Japanese technique, although you can do it with tape, and I'll show you that, too. So there's the path of the righteous and then the path of the lazy. So well, let's look at one of master would do. First, I'm going to assume that you're doing a horizontal print. You can always use cancer registration to turn the block in a different direction, but what I'm assuming here is that we're going to be doing ah, horizontal print and that you are a right handed printer. So if you're left handed, just do the same process, but flip it over to the other side. Okay, so we'll start out with your board. The first thing you're gonna want to do is measure out a centimeter border on two sides. I usually do all four sides, but that lower right hand corner is the most important area. You move from there to doing a second border and that border measure out two centimeters. So you've got a one centimeter and a two centimeter border. At this point, you're going to locate your first canto mark. Kitto mark is about 1.5 centimeters wide and so you can locate that over on the left hand side of your board. Our right. If you are left handed, you're gonna put it a little bit in from the edge there. The reason we do this is it acts as a landing place for your page when you put it down and I'll show you that in a second. Now, over here on the right hand side, we're gonna do like 1/2 circle that intersects with the two centimeter corner mark there. And this part is envisioned to be where you pinch your thumb and your pointer finger together to bring the page down and then, of course, online with the other canto mark on the other side. So you're gonna carve these out, carve around the initial canto marquis made, and then within the quarter circle on the right side, this is going to show you where to put your your fingers and the page when you do the printing, and so then you'll get an exact registration every time. You can also just skip the carving and measure this out with tape. Here's some electrical tape that I have put down on the board, and that'll give you good registration to when you do your carving. You'll do your carving within that second border that you created. And then when you lay down your piece of paper, you'll align it to the top of the plateau over there on the left, and then you'll have the piece of paper in your thumb and forefinger on the right side, and you will lay that down on the right corner and then your prints will come out the same way every time, even if you're doing kendo registration on several boards. So that's the idea behind registration. You conduce it really beautifully, like the Japanese masters do, or you could just use some tape to. But registration is going to give you consistent results every time and the next video, we'll be looking at the transfer of your design from the page to the board. 8. Transfer Your Design to the Board: transferring your design from a piece of paper or photo or something that you have on your computer to the board could be accomplished in a few different ways. First off, if you are a pretty good artist and you could just draw directly on the board another way to do it in a way that I typically do it is the carbon transfer, and you can get carbon paper at copy shops or paper stores or business supply stores. This is just like what people used to do when they wrote out checks they would draw on top of it. And the impression goes all the way through to the wood and you can see that's what I'm doing here. I'm cutting out a piece of carbon in the same size as my image. Notice also that I have reversed my image. That's that's very important to do at this point, because the transfer that you do will give you a reversed image once you print it. So if you want your print to come out right, you have to reverse it before you transfer. So I have my reversed print here, and then I just tape it down a tape down both the print and the carbon paper on top of each other, print on top of carbon paper once it's taped down on all corners. Then I just use a dead ball point pen and the ballpoint pen acts as a stylist and pushes the ink through to the wood. And you noticed that I can lift a couple of corners if I just want to have a peek and see how it's going at this point, If I'm feeling good about my layout, then I can just take the whole thing off. And I have a road map for where I'm going to be doing my carving. So this is a really cheap and easy way to do the transfer of the design to the surface. Another way to do this, if you don't happen to have any carbon paper around, is to scribble on the back of your design with a soft pencil and that acts as carbon that you can then transfer to the board. So this is another method on the last method of transfer. This is the Japanese method, which is to put your design on rice paper a very kind of translucent thin rice paper and to apply that design directly to the board. What to do is to either brush your board with this gluey rice paste, or I use acrylic matt gel medium, which acts as the same kind of adhesive. So you brush your board with whatever adhesive you have, and then you apply the image on top of it, and then I give it another brush on top of the image, just to make sure it's all stuck on there. Well, at that point, you are ready to just carve the image directly out of the board, and that's how that works. Now you can see that I have transferred the design successfully to the wood. I can see exactly where I'm going to need to cut, and we will start the cutting in the next video. 9. Carve Your Design: the first knife you're going to reach for as you do your carving is this straight blade here. It doesn't look like any of the other chisels. It's very individual, and the Japanese call this a hungry ato, although I'm sure I'm pronouncing that incorrectly since I don't speak Japanese. The blade is used to go around the edges of the pieces in your design so you'll follow along with your design, and you'll create that kind of outline that defines the areas. This becomes really important as you bring out your chisels later on, because the wood is going to pick up and break in accordance to where your lines are. And if you don't have those lines, it's going to break along its own path and you're not gonna like what it looks like. So make sure that you really take care as you do. This step outlined the parts that need outlining and go along those edges. One of the things you'll notice me doing here is isolating the different shapes to make it easier when I come in later on with the chisels. When you're through with e outlining with your hunky toe knife the next step is going to be to come in with your chisels. I like to start with smaller ones first so that I'm taking shallow lines and being very conservative, you might want to start with your kind of open areas and deeper chisel just so that you can get those open areas worked out. First, it's kind of up to you, but do consider that you're going to need to do both steps. You're gonna need to open up the large areas that you don't want any in con, and you're gonna need to do detail work to make sure that your design stands out. It's kind of an iterative process. I tend to go back and forth between my bigger chisels and my tiny detail, chisels and certainly as I'm doing the proofing process and I'm taking a look at where the design is at, I'm gonna come back in with the smaller pieces to do the detailed areas. So at this point, you can see that I've made a lot of progress on cutting. I've isolated the design in the center here by taking out a lot of the material around the printed area. You'll see that I'm not following along exactly along the contours of my design, because I've made a midstream decision that I'm going to do the trees in the background on a separate layer that is isolated green of a lot of work yet to do on this because I want to make sure that the areas that are not carved that are not touched those are the areas that are going to be the darker black here. And so I need to use black a little sparingly eso that the entire print doesn't turn out dark. That's not what I'm looking for from this print, so work yet to dio. But good progress is being made, and the next video will start. Doing a proof on a proof is going to show you either that you have a lot more work to do on a lot more carving. Or, you know, you might decide at that point that you're pretty close and you just need a little bit of touch up before you do the final print. So that's the next video 10. Proof & Print Your Design: Once you've made some headway on your carving, you're gonna want to stop and dio proof. A proof is essentially just like a print, except it's one of the earlier stages in the printing process. I've done a proof of this carving, and it's it's really not ready. I need to pull out some more material that is bleeding through and causing some errors. You can see that I can then take the block, which now has sort of colored areas in which the mistakes are evident. And I can take that part out when it comes time to do an actual print. That's when I'm going to take the time to blend together a nicer Inc. The way they come out of the tube or jar is typically not the color that I'm looking for, so I like to do some blending. Now you can see here I'm getting a darker green by adding some black to the green that came out of the jar and then a little more yellow, just to give it a little more flavor. So world that out with my Breyer and once I get a good coating all the way around the outside I will roll the ink onto the board. The highlighted areas or the raised areas are the areas that will pick up the ink. And once I put my paper down and I rubbed the Baron across the top to pick up that ink, you can see when I pull it off, I get a design that's a little closer to what I want. Um, I've taken out a lot of the kind of error areas in the free space, and so it's looking better. Here's a vision of progress along three different proofs. You can see the improvements happening as I go, So now I want to show you a technique for doing ah, more interesting background. It's taking a page from the Book of Eastern Printing in that I am applying Ah wash of color directly to a board, and I'm going to make that into, ah, more colorful, watercolor like background so you can see that I have soaked this board in just plain water , and it's been dripping down the side of the board. There. I'm going to mix up some attractive colors. I've got some greens here, some blues, yellows, blacks, and I'm gonna make it look really Foresti, so I can get kind of Ah, a sense of a Foresti background behind my pine cone print. I'm going to apply the colors across the wet board, and you can see that I'm doing this in kind of a sloppy way. I don't want it to look too perfect and the colors I want to kind of blend into each other . So this is a very wet on and organic looking background that I'm going to try and create. Once I have a pattern on the board that I feel like I like, I'm going to put down a piece of the rice paper. The rice paper is going to absorb the Inc. And here are a few of the variations I was able to create. Using this technique, I'll take these pieces, and I will print on top of them with an oil based ink that pine cone. And by doing this, I have kind of the best of both worlds. I have this sort of dream equality that you get from the Eastern Prince and then the clear and blocky pine cone, which is more along the lines of a western print. So Here's the pine cone on that organic background in three different variations. You can see that one of the issues that I'm having here is with proper register. And that's because the Pine Cone board is so small that I really wasn't able to do a proper canto registration on it. So I'm eyeballing it. And really, this is what you get is those gaps between the pieces of the design? But I've split up the design into three boards. Essentially, there's the blurred background. There is the coniferous needles, and then there is the pine cone, and each of these has a different color quality. And when they come together, they create a new idea or an ambience. Now let's switch over and have a look at my larger print the bridge over the canal. In this print, I'm still working along. I have, ah, place where I'm ready to do a proof so you can see I have run over the board with black, and I've just taken a really quick proof on a piece of printer paper. It's not perfect, but it gives me an idea of the places that I need to cut next, and I know that I want to take out a lot of the dark area to really lighten up this print and make it look more like evening or an afternoon rather than the night time seeing so clearly, I have more work to do on this larger board. I'm gonna be cutting out more of those areas, lightning it up and really improving on the design to make it more clear. So in the meantime, if you haven't already posted your project, I would encourage you to do so. Just go ahead and open up a project. It doesn't matter if you have it completely done or it's still in progress. And if you have any questions, please post those in the discussions area, and I will get to them as soon as I possibly can. 11. Final Thoughts: I hope this class is giving you the tools and the confidence that you need to get started on your own wood block print. Whether you choose to do something in the Western tradition, that's bold, graphic or something in the Eastern tradition that IHS more subtle on watercolor like that's up to you. There's a lot of opportunity for expression in woodcut, and I think it's really just enjoyable to do so. If you have already done so, please supposed to project in the Project Gallery. It's really my favorite part of being a teacher is seeing what you guys produce. So even if you just have a starting point, go ahead and get that started. If you have any questions, please post those in the discussions area on. Of course, I'm gonna post a bunch of stuff for Resource is, if you'd like to learn more in the resource is area. And if you find that you're really interested in printing, I have a few other classes here on Skill Chair in Line. Oh, cut rubber cutting and screen printing, and so do check those out if you're interested in meantime, thank you so much for joining me on this would cut adventure happy printing