Best Wood Engraving Books 2021 [Updated]

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List of Best Wood Engraving Books For Beginners & Experts 2021 [Updated]

wood engraving books
Reading books can help you learn how to complete detailed wood engraving projects Solarbotics / CC BY-SA

There are so many ways in which people use and implement wood engraving methods into their crafts and businesses. Wood engraving is a very beautiful art that may look intimidating to newcomers in the trade, but can be very accessible if you have the right knowledge and tools.

One of the most prominent ways through which people actually learn about wood engraving is reading books on the subject. Books can provide very useful and specific knowledge about a craft condensed into a few hundred pages.

Although wood engraving can be considered a very hands-on craft, it is important to establish good foundational knowledge through reading more about the topic if you are a beginner. Even if you are an expert, you may be able to glean new information or tips on different techniques that you have not used before.

The following list of books includes wood engraving books for people of all skills levels – from beginner to expert. These books each have a unique perspective and approach to the art form that make reading them very enjoyable.

1) Wood Engraving: How to Do It

Wood Engraving: How to Do It
37 Reviews
Wood Engraving: How to Do It
  • Brett, Simon (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 160 Pages - 09/18/2018 (Publication Date) - Herbert Press (Publisher)

Recommended for: Beginners


Wood Engraving: How to Do It by Simon Brett is a practical wood engraving manual geared towards beginners. This manual provide the basic information needed to get start in the trade and create your own wood engraving projects. The content includes everything from printing to the actual engraving process, which is very comprehensive for those wanting a solid foundation in the trade.

The material contained in this book is so great because the author himself is a master artist in the field and is recognized for his fine wood engraving work. The author includes a helpful list of material requirements and tools needed to work through projects. The techniques he discusses are accompanied by variations on these techniques that may even appeal to more experienced audiences.

The author’s years of experience in the trade have also contributed to the helpful and insightful tips he includes in this book. Aside from the many aspects of the book itself, the overall reviews it receives from those who have read the book are overwhelmingly positive. This book is definitely something to have in your wood engraving arsenal if you’d like to be serious about learning the craft with the right foundation.

Pros Cons
  • Great for beginners
  • Author is master in the field
  • Provides list of material requirements
  • Helpful tips and technique variations
  • Not meant for expert wood engravers

2) Wood Engraving and Linocutting

Wood Engraving and Linocutting
  • Hardcover Book
  • Hayward, Anne (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

Recommended for: Beginners

Wood Engraving and Linocutting by Anne Hayward is a great book about the wood engraving and linocutting process. The author reviews the information needed to get started on wood engraving of linocutting projects, making this a great read for beginners.

Although this book does not solely concentrate on the wood engraving trade, there is certainly some value to be gained from reading about the craft alongside another. In fact, the content brings to light some of the differences and similarities between wood engraving, wood cutting, and linocutting approaches. This side-by-side comparison in one book could be invaluable to someone trying to understand the nuances among the printmaking crafts.

The book contains incredibly detailed step-by-step instructions and illustrations that make following along with the book very simple. This is a great feature for those who would like to take their first wood engraving project from the start to finish with very little prior experience.

All of the basic information is covered for the different printmaking approaches, making everything highly accessible. This information includes how to use certain tools, the wood material, and even the ink. You will gain a great understanding of all the materials and how to create an engraving design and print it.

Pros Cons
  • Step-by-step illustrations
  • Experienced author
  • Covers the basics of wood engraving
  • Not solely about wood engraving


3) Scene Through Wood: A Century of Modern Wood Engraving

Scene Through Wood: A Century of Modern Wood Engraving
  • Desmet RA, Anne (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 256 Pages - 05/31/2020 (Publication Date) - Ashmolean Museum (Publisher)

Recommended for: Beginners to Experts

Scene Through Wood: A Century of Modern Wood Engraving by Ann Desmet RA is essentially a historical view of the wood engraving craft. Although this is not exactly a “how-to” guide, it will certainly give current and new wood engravers a deeper understanding of the craft and how it came to be.

The author goes through a very detailed history about the early origins of this craft and many examples and exemplary artists who have been recognized for their great work in museums and art collections around the world. A look at these artists’ work is sure to inspire those looking for different types of projects to begin next and what techniques are needed to reach that goal.

If you are interested in wood engraving, this book is both a great source of inspiration and a fascinating tribute to the art form. The well-written text will take you through a journey featuring prominent people in the industry that have shaped what is has become today.

Pros Cons
  • Detailed history of modern wood engraving
  • Great source of inspiration
  • Best for beginner to expert wood engravers
  • Not a wood engraving guide or manual

4) Wood Engraving: The Art of Wood Engraving and Relief

Wood Engraving: The Art of Wood Engraving and Relief Engraving
  • Moser, Barry (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 112 Pages - 03/03/2021 (Publication Date) - Brandeis University Press (Publisher)

Recommended for: Beginners to Experts

Wood Engraving: The Art of Wood Engraving and Relief by Barry Moser is another great book written by a master in the field. This book is a great beginner and expert book for wood engraving because it covers the basics of the craft along with valuable knowledge from the author’s vast experience.

The author provides a useful list of material and tool requirements to be able to get started on your own projects. The content covered in the book includes information on how to prepare a printing block, which is key to many wood engraving projects. Although the material list is helpful on its own, the author takes it a step further and makes recommendations on which tools or type of ink to use with specific projects.

Despite the well-written text and instructions, the book also includes helpful illustrations provide another level of detail that makes following along with the book a much easier task. This text is very enjoyable to read and it is easy to tell that a lot of though went into creating it.

Much of the information included in the book is oftentimes learned through years of experience, but reading a book created by a master in the field is a great way to learn this tips ahead of time and improve your skillset at a faster pace.

Pros Cons
  • Experienced author
  • Great for beginners
  • Provides a solid foundation for beginners
  • Includes challenging techniques for experienced wood engravers
  • Great illustrations
  • Some of the techniques discussed may be difficult for novice wood engravers

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