Woodcuts and Unicorns

Hi everyone! This week I’ll be discussing the process of creating a woodcut, how rewarding carving with wood can be and a woodcut design starring a unicorn.

Woodcutting is one of the oldest forms of printmaking that is still used today. It’s a form of relief printing that really incorporates the beauty and texture of the wood into the print. It is best to carve using a soft wood to start out with, and to always carve with the grain. Carving against the grain can cause the wood to splinter and break, which may ruin your design. Its best to get a piece of scrap wood to practice on to see which wood works best for you. Before you start carving, you want to make sure the blades on your carving tools are sharpened, as a sharp tool compared to a dull tool can make all the difference, and will make your carving much easier and safer with less accidents.

After all of that is figured out, you want to choose what design you want to carve into your block. I chose to carve a scene made up of several pictures I captured from a trip I took to San Francisco last year. I wanted to make it a bit…different, so I included a unicorn prancing up a street (I’m not sure why I chose a unicorn, but I just rolled with it). The first time I carved into wood, I was not extremely fond of it, as it was difficult to maneuver anything that was against the grain. It took me a while to carve because of that, and I did have a few slip ups. However, I did complete it and I really enjoyed how it turned out (finished picture down below!). I really loved the whole process, and love the texture the wood gave my print. I feel if I were to carve this same scene into a linoleum block, it would not be the same. I hope to come back to wood soon because I liked working with it!

That’s all for this week, happy carving, everyone!

Unicorn on Union Woodcut Print

My finished print, titled “Unicorn on Union”

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