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How to make Woodblock print

How to make Woodblock print

If you make a woodblock print from the right picture,
you need to follow the procedure as below.

  • Original Picture
    ( 7 colors content )

At first, the original picture is decomposed to each color’s pictures.
As the original picture has 7 colors contents, 7 pictures will be made for individual colors.
Super technician of carving will make the 7 woodblocks which are accurately carved same as the 7 pictures after reversed. Super technician of printing will superpose printing from 1st woodblock to 7th one, putting on proper colors for each ones.
After finish printing for 7th one, woodblock print is completed same as original picture.
For one woodblock, Super technician of printing is usually repeat printing several times to show gradation and roughly touch.
So, it is not completed only 7 times printing, actually it needs much more times printing.


 Finishing process: Over-printing(3colors:3layers)


At the completed Mt. Fuji ukiyoe wasn't only used 3 colors (color A, color B and color C),
but also overlapping the 3 colors to get new color nuances.
(A + B color, B + C color, and A + C)




To be able to create woodblock prints more efficient, some of the composite colors can be created by overlapping colors.
This technique has the advantage of improving the efficiency of the slicing operation, since the number of
slicing operations is smaller than the number of colors to be expressed.
It also has the advantage that we are able to create pictures without using any outlines, anymore.

An example is the woodblock print using basic techniques with the square part in the above figure as an example picture.
Since this picture is composed of two colors, we have prepared woodblocks as shown in Fig. 1 and Fig. 2.
When the colors are overlapped, it often happens to have slight misalignment, resulting in the picture shown in Figure 3.
As shown in the enlarged view Fig. 3, the gap between the colors becomes white or dark.


Adjust the colors in Fig. 4 and Fig. 5 so that Fig. 4 and Fig. 5 are superimposed on each other and become Fig. 6 (target image).
The color of Fig. 4 should be the same as the color of A part of the target image, but the color of Fig. 5 is different from the color of Fig. 4.
It must needs to be adjusted so that the composite color becomes the B part of the target image.
In some cases, it cannot be adjusted (it cannot be expressed with composite colors).
It is a very effective technique to improve work efficiency and design,
Adjustment of the colors requires a lot of skill!

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