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Tutorials et artistic advices

Wood engraving: markers for engraving a second wood block

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Author : Julia Chausson


Good to know: 

With wood engraving, it is necessary to engrave a wood block for each colour, which restricts the artist to a limited number of colours. But this constraint is also an advantage: it means the artist must simplify the drawing and compose the image differently



Photographie : La profondeur de champ (PDC)

1. Placing markers


Once the first block is engraved, place markers for engraving the second wood block. Use a wood block that has the same format as the first one.

Ink the first engraved wood block and print it on a draft paper. Accurately set the blank wood block on the freshly printed sheet.

Turn over and rub the paper using the back of a small spoon or a Japanese baren. This process enables you to transfer the image from the first block onto the second.



Photographie : La profondeur de champ (PDC)

2. Placing the second colour


A vous de déterminer où vous souhaitez placer la seconde couleur.

Decide where you want to place the second colour.

For this coastal landscape, I used this second block to colour the expanse of water, create white spaces, and highlight the shrubs in the foreground, the boats and the reflections on the water.




Tip: To place the second colour, you can use charcoal to draw directly on the second wood block. But remember to fix it with a fixative. Then engrave around your charcoal drawing.

See also

Making a woodblock print (xylography): Fishermen's huts
Would you like to try woodblock printing like Paul Gauguin, Félix Vallotton, Edward Munch, Hokusai or Hiroshige? By following these simple steps you can make your first ever xylography...

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