Woodcut art is created by gouging out a design on wood to create a relief painting. Similar to screen printing, this process is often repeated several time to add layers or colors. Throughout history, variations of woodcuts were the premiere way to create multiple images of the same design. From textiles to books, wood cut art has been transformed by different cultures and movements. Keep reading to find out more about the history of woodcut art and to see modern options you can buy.
Woodcuts have been traced back to the 8th century where wood blocks were drawn on, carved, inked and stamped to create elaborate Japanese textiles. But it wasn’t until the 1400’s that woodcuts prints first appeared in Europe. Prolific artists of the field like Albrecht Dürer from Germany, Gustave Doré from France and Tiziano Vecellio (also known as Titian) from Italy transformed how woodcut engravings looked in both complexity and design. And with the need for quick book illustrations, woodcut production propelled into more and more styles. Considering the intricacy of these images and the tediousness of the work, many of these artists would often have their apprentices carve their images onto wood for them. While the concept remains the same, woodcut techniques keep changing.
The Daisy Bouquet is a 20″ x 16″ woodcut print designed and printed by husband and wife team, Valerie Lueth and Paul Roden for their store, Tugboat Printshop. All of their woodcuts are carved on birch plywood and printed on natural kitakata paper.
Live Free and Uncommitted
Live Free and Uncommitted is a 18″ x 24″woodcut print designed and carved by by Erica Lang for Woosah Printshop and Outfitters. Only a hundred prints were made on handmade thai paper using oil-based inks.
La Rosa, Loteria
La Rosa, Loteria is a 19″ x 12″ wood block print that is inspired by the traditional Mexican loteria imagery. While this wood cut is part of a larger series, only 8 of these relief prints were made by the artist at Moonhowler Press.
The Hand is a 5″ x 8″ wood cut print designed and carved by artist Danny Schutt. Every print is made using acrylic paint and signed & numbered by the artist.
Are you a fan of woodcut art? Let us know in the comments!