R E D U C T I V E   W O O D C U T

The Spanish artist, Pablo Picasso, was the first to
really promote the use of reductive relief
printmaking in his work and his choice for making
and carving of an image was linoleum.

A reductive woodcut printing process is a
contemporary technique. It uses a single piece of
wood carved in stages, to provide color within the
print. The reductive method relies on a layering
process of one color on top of another, until the
entire surface of the wood block has been
exhausted. Because multiple blocks of wood are
NOT used to build color areas and shapes in a
reductive print, as done in Japanese woodcuts, the
artist must plan ahead in stages, which areas he
needs to remove first. All relief printing as with
woodcut, is a subtractive process and “process” is
the key to creating a successful reductive woodcut
Editioning must be done from the very start, as
there is no way to go back and add colors or
texture after a section is removed by carving. The
reductive process is a one way street. But that is a
good factor, due to the fact that it forces the
printmaker to finish the entire edition up front, as
the image is carved in various stages and printed
sequentially in layers to reveal the final print.
Usually it is best to keep the idea simple, as the
entire process is tricky as one has to carefully plan
each color cut.
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(Click       to watch a slideshow
below of Ron Garrett's prints)
(Click below to see
Ron Garrett's prints
in each technique)
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