White Line vs Black Line

There are two basic methods for creating an image with a block print.
Both have their place and artistic merit, but in this blog I want to share my thoughts on the two.

With white line carving you carve away the lines that will remain on the paper un-inked.  The paper reveals the image.  The result can look similar to a photo negative.  Everything is printed except the lines of the picture. 
Black line unsurprisingly is the opposite.  We carve away everything except what is printed with the ink on the block. 

There is a tendency for beginners to define their images with white carving strokes.  I started that way.  It’s easier!  Although this method can be effective, it leaves a very dark image.

My block prints took on new life when I learned to carve around the lines and leave positive line images. Though more time consuming and difficult, it is like bringing the light of day into your artwork. 

I have seen some really nicely done white line prints, but learning to leave positive lines transformed my block printing journey. 

An Example of White Line

An Example of Black Line

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