Personal tools

Image for What Is Wood Engraving

Olivia Painting - 374 wide

Olivia Painting

What is wood engraving?

Wood engraving is a relief printing process known for its small scale and fine line work. An engraving is made by cutting an image into the polished end-grain of a hardwood block. To take a print from the block, ink is rolled evenly on the surface of the block, paper is placed on top, and pressure is applied with a press, or by rubbing by hand with a burnisher. The cuts that were made into the wood do not receive any ink and come out as white, the surface of the block prints as black, and the image is reversed. The tools that are used to engrave the block resemble those used by a metal engraver.

A wood engraving is different from a woodcut. A woodcut, also a relief printing process, is made on plank-wood, or side-grain, using gouges, knives, and v-tools. Woodcuts are generally larger than engravings and less detailed.


Wood engraving tools