Betsy Bowen

Ed Emberly

A crop of Ed Emberley's art in Drummer Hoff. Click through to enlarge.

Woodcut, Woodblock, and Linocut use ink on engraved wood or linoleum blocks for printing art.

Woodcut/woodblock relief printing is a technique where the artist uses a sharp knife to cut into a block of wood. Ink will adhere to the surface, while the recessed areas will remain clean.

A linoleum cut simply uses a block of linoleum instead of wood; the advantage is a clean surface and no grain, allowing for bidirectional cuts and less texture.



Cover. Click through to enlarge


Actual wood block. Click through to enlarge


Final print. Click through to enlarge.

Betsy Bowen: Tracks in the Wild 

http://woodcut.com, she states, “Cutting an image into the wood is a commitment; it's hard to go back. The direct and bold look of woodcuts, is, I think, partly a result of the way they are made. It is a bold act to cut for hours with sharp tools, a backwards picture, onto a slab of wood and believe it will be pleasing, or meaningful, when it is printed.”

Pictures in this book are woodblock prints, made by carving the design and the big letters backwards into a flat block of white pine, rolling black ink onto the block, and then printing on a letterpress housed at the Grand Marais Art colony. The colors were then painted on each print. (Notation from Tracks in the Wild inside cover)


Cover. Click through to enlarge


Final art. Click through to enlarge


Final art. Click through to enlarge


Final art. Click through to enlarge


Crop. Click through to enlarge

Ed Emberley: Drummer Hoff

“The drawings in Drummer Hoff were drawn on pine boards. All the white areas were cut away, ink was rolled on the remaining raised areas, and a set of prints was pulled on rice paper. The colors were added by using a technique I first tried in One Wide River to Cross (Prentice). Although only three inks were employed — red, yellow, and blue — we were able to create the impression of thirteen distinct colors. This effect was accomplished by taking advantage of the fact that the inks with which most picture books are printed tend to be transparent. Therefore, by printing one ink over another, or ‘overprinting,’ a third color is made. A separate drawing has to be made for each of the three colors, to show which color went over which color to make what color.”

“Since both the method of making the black line drawings and the method of coloring them seem unnecessarily complicated and time consuming, you may properly ask: Why bother? Why didn’t you just draw the pictures instead of carving them and then just color them with water colors and send them to the printer? Why I cut the pictures in wood instead of using a faster method like pen-and-ink drawing is hard to explain in a few words, but I suppose the most important reasons are that the pictures looked better and the method pleased me. It is easier to explain why we decided to use that particular method of printing the color. The sharpness and brilliance of the color in Drummer Hoff cannot be duplicated by any other practical printing process, including any 'four color-fullcolor' process."