"The Collector," hand printed in 2011 is approx 15x18 and uses 2 woodcut plates(above). "The Waterfront" (below) hand printed in 2011 is approx 20x26 and used 1 woodcut plate. I used virtually the same carving techniques for both prints, but each had different visual goal.
"The Collector," uses 2 plates as shown below, in sequentially carved order. Here is my basic setup: I am using found plywood, not very high quality, and not recommended for ease of carving. I clamp my plywood plank to my workstation. The cutting is extremely difficult on low grade plywood. It is heavily grained, so each time I'm cutting in a soft, light area the cutting blade on the chisel digs into the wood deeply, then as you are cutting into the dark grain the chisel feels the hard wood and stops you from making any sort of smooth cut. So there are a lot of chisel skip marks(or unintended cuts), and cuts through the dark grain areas were cut twice to even the look. This wood is also hard to cut when you are close to a knot, or working against the grain. My suggestion is to get a clear(of knots) and finished plywood as I use on all my woodcuts now.
gesso. I specify "thin," because I do not want to fill in any of the finely carved details.
Yes, this is a very slow and time consuming process, and I often print for a few hours and leave it to the next day. The time involved in printing, "The Collector," is about 15-20 hours to get one copy.
The print above is the completed first print from the 2 plates. The top image of this blog is the second printed copy. Below is how the blocks look after the first printing.