from the group: Relief
Carved, Gouged Line Quality
Woodcut prints are created using a chisel or gouge to cut a relief image into the plank side of a block of wood. These prints exhibit a lack of fine detail and have a carved appearance. Wood grain may also be apparent in large flat areas of printing.The primary difference between a woodcut and a wood engraving is the direction of the grain in the original printing block; the image of a woodcut is carved into the plank side of the wood (along the grain of the wood or in the direction of tree growth) and a wood engraving is carved into the end grain of the wood (perpendicular to the grain of the wood or horizontal to the direction of tree growth).
Reilef Process: Squeeze Out Edges, Lowered Ink
In the relief printing process, the negative space of the image is cut out of the surface of the printing plate. In other words, the craftsman carving into the plate will remove material in each place where there will NOT be a mark of the printed image. Therefore, the lines that hold the ink destined for the print are raised ABOVE the non-image areas of the printing plate. When the inked relief block and the paper are pressed together, ink will transfer from the block onto the paper, creating the final print.
Squeeze Out Edges
A distinguishing characteristic of relief prints is a build up of ink around the edges of the lines or dots in the image, caused by the pressure of the raised printing surface against the paper. This “ink-squash” as it is know by some printers can also be called “squeeze out” (especially with half-tone relief processes) and it best seen in high density areas surrounded by low density areas or the corner of prints.
Because the image (and ink) carrying areas of a relief plate are pressed into the paper during printing, the ink on relief prints can be lowered below the surface of the paper. This difference can be negligible or difficult to perceive by eye but under magnification and raking light the appearance of a relief print is distinct from an intaglio print. Compare with the raised ink of an intaglio print.
|Magazine Illustration 1765 (click to enlarge)||10x Magnification|
|Book Illustrastion 1937 (click to enlarge)||10x Magnification|
|Prospectus 1986 (click to enlarge)||10x Magnification|