Thursday, June 11, 2009

Woodcuts and Linoleum

A black and white woodcut print has a particular quality. Not only is it only black and white only (IF it is printed on white paper!) but it has no shading: no grey areas. It is not like a drawing, say, a charcoal drawing, or a pencil drawing, with shading. A woodcut print has more or less broad areas of black, usually, juxtaposed with broad areas of white. With a certain sensitivity.

Or course one can render any subject matter that one pleases in woodcuts, but whatever it is, it will have that characteristic of being only in dark black, and white. (Or red, and white, or navy and white, or turquoise and white, you get the idea.)

An orange, for instance - the fruit - might possibly only work in a woodcut as a solid shape of an orange, or as the shape cut out from the middle with only a black outline. (More difficult to do.) A cut-out white crescent moon would work, for instance, but only if there is black left all around it.

Linoleum cuts are also made, using woodcut tools, and printed out exactly the same way. What is fun is to study different artists' renditions - or different illustrators or commercial artists - done in this graphic medium of black and white.

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