Relief Printmaking – Wood Engraving

This post is the last in a series of different relief printmaking techniques that I have tried over the last twelve months. I spent a year on this for two principal reasons – firstly to experience the technique and secondly to decide what I would continue to use. Wood engraving was the last technique described by Susan Yeates in her “Introduction to Printmaking” course.

Tools & Materials

  • End-grain boxwood engraving block (Lawrence Art Supplies)
  • Wood engraving tools:¬†spitstickers (fine & medium), lozenge graver (fine) and square scorper (medium) –¬† (Lawrence Art Supplies)
  • Relief printing ink – oil-based (Hawthorn’s Stay Open Dense Black)
  • Palette knives
  • Narrow roller (55mm)
  • Glass slab for rolling out ink
  • Newsprint (smooth surface)
  • Wooden spoon for burnishing
  • Pencil
  • Leather sandbag on which to rest the block


In addition to the course book and videos, I recommend Simon Brett’s book (Note 1).


Here are some images of the five blocks I prepared together with the subsequent images. I used ordinary newsprint with Hawthorn’s Stay Open Dense Black ink mixed with a little extender. The ink was quite stiff due, I think, to the low temperature in my studio. The extender helped to soften the black ink. The blocks were from a sample pack from Lawrence Art Supplies and measured approximately 4 cm x 4 cm.

Image 1







Image 2






Image 3






Image 4






Image 5






Note 1: Brett, S. (2016) “Wood Engraving – How to do it”. Published by Bloomsbury