We’ve shared our own Printmaking 101 post on White-Line Woodcuts, but here’s an explanation in the artist’s own words:
Like any piece of art, a white-line woodcut print begins with an idea. Using the natural world as inspiration, I create a drawing on paper. This drawing is then transferred onto a piece of wood. With my lines visible on the surface, I carve an outline of the drawing with a knife. The carved lines will become the “white-lines” in the final print.
The wood left untouched now stands in relief from the lines. I attach a piece of paper to the edge of the woodblock to ensure that it lays on the wood the same way each time I place it against the block (this is called “registration”). I then “ink” one shape with watercolor using a brush, flip the paper down on the block and rub the back with a wooden spoon to print that shape on the paper. I repeat this until all of the shapes are impressed
on the paper.
When I am satisfied with the image, I remove the paper from the block and get ready for the next print. The block can be printed several times, but no two will ever really be alike, so each piece becomes a combination of print and original painting.