Before starting the carving process, it is important to have a clear design transferred onto the block. Although there are some cases that initial design is not needed, because of the nature of the work, mostly, a clear design is essential especially when working on a print with multiple layers.

I use two different processes to transfer my designs onto wood, that are ‘Pencil drawing transfer’ and ‘acetone transfer’. In this post, I’m going to show you the full process of the pencil drawing transfer.


First I start with a pencil drawing on a piece of paper. Usually, I use regular 90GSM printer paper. I find a 4B pencil ideal for drawing because it is dark enough to transfer clearly onto wood. The aim of this drawing is not to look perfect, so no need of unnecessarily shading and rendering. Outlines and solid shapes work just fine.


After the drawing is finished, I place the drawing face down onto the wood surface I will be carving. Using a burnisher, a plastic baren or a pencil, I rub the back of the drawing. The pressure will transfer some of the pencils carbon from the drawing onto the wood’s surface.


After removing the drawing, I use a pencil to retouch some areas if needed. This process can also be used on Linoleum mats.

Video of the whole process: