Relief Printing


A linocut is a form of relief printing produced in a manner similar to a woodcut, in which a sheet of linoleum is used instead of wood to cut out the design. The soft linoleum can be cut away more easily than a wood-block and in any direction (as it has no grain) to produce a raised surface that can be inked and printed. The raised, uncarved areas represent a mirror image of what is to be printed. The slightly textured surface of a linoleum sheet absorbs ink evenly and allows for a clean impression. The physical impressing can be done by hand, or with the help of a printing press. After linoleum was invented in the 19th century as floor covering, it became popular with artists in the 20th century due to it being relatively cheap, easy to obtain, and extremely pliable.


Woodblock printing, often confused with woodcut printing, refers to the type of relief printing that is used widely throughout East Asia, originating in China in antiquity as a method of printing on textiles and later paper. As a method of printing on cloth, the earliest surviving examples from China date to before 220, and woodblock printing remained the most common East Asian method of printing books and other texts, as well as images, until the 19th century. Ukiyo-e is the best-known type of Japanese woodblock art print. Traditionally a key block is cut and inked, which defines the outlines of the images. Prior to the 18th century, woodblock prints were hand coloured but was later replaced by printing the colours, one colour at a time. After printing several impressions of the key block, allowing for at least one print for each colour, the prints are then pasted onto other woodblocks and carved.


Woodcut is a relief printing technique and one of the oldest forms of printmaking. It is made from a design cut into the surface of a block of wood so that an image stands out in relief. The surface of the block is then covered with ink by rolling over the surface with a roller (a brayer) before placing paper over the block. The raised areas that remain after the block has been cut are inked and printed, while the recessed areas that are cut away do not retain ink and will remain blank in the final print.