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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 73 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Woodcuts (split)  (Read 2538 times)
Thunder_God
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« on: April 05, 2006, 02:06:24 AM »

Anyone knows where one can find free-for-use Woodcuts?
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Guy Shalev.

Cranium Rats Central, looking for playtesters for my various games.
CSI Games, my RPG Blog and Project. Last Updated on: January 29th 2010
greyorm
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« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2006, 03:35:12 AM »

Anyone knows where one can find free-for-use Woodcuts?

Here's the place I used for the cuts in the first "The Way of the Magus" supplement: http://www.godecookery.com/clipart/clart.htm
If you plan on using them in print products, you may have to Photoshop them with various filters to make them look decent, however, many are not of decent print quality.
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Rev. Ravenscrye Grey Daegmorgan
Wild Hunt Studio
greyorm
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« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2006, 03:38:42 AM »

Crap. That was supposed to be "preview", not "post".
I also realize the woodcut subject should be a seperate thread, it is threadjacking here.
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Rev. Ravenscrye Grey Daegmorgan
Wild Hunt Studio
Thunder_God
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« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2006, 06:05:48 AM »

Hmm, than you kindly.
Anyone got any other links aside from that and the Wikipedia one, which has a very small selection?
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Guy Shalev.

Cranium Rats Central, looking for playtesters for my various games.
CSI Games, my RPG Blog and Project. Last Updated on: January 29th 2010
Clay
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« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2006, 06:35:30 AM »

This may be heresy, but have you considered making your own woodcuts?  It's not terribly difficult, and the tools and materials can be had for a very small amount.  To produce commercial prints you'd need a press, but for book illustrations that are going to be used in an electronic document you can make do with a hand-pulled proof.

Modern woodcuts tend to be done on finish-grade plywood, which can generally be picked up from any of the big home improvement stores.  Last time I was in Harbor Freight I noticed that they carried fairly inexpensive carving chisels.  If you were doing a lot with wood cuts you'd want something better, but they're probably fine for starting out.  You'll also need a brayer, ink, and something you can use as a burnisher.  Cheap flat black paint is also a good plan, as well as a light colored grease pencil or chalk.

Roll a quick layer of the paint onto the finish side of the wood.  About the smallest sizes of plywood that I've seen are 2 foot by 2 foot.  That's probably much bigger than you'll need to produce decorative borders or spot illustrations, so get a friend with power tools to cut it down to the sizes that you'll need.

Sketch your drawings in chalk or grease pencil, then use the chisels to cut away the areas you don't want to be black when you print. 

To pull your print, spread some ink on a sheet of glass (an old window works, or you can pick up small pieces of glass at most craft stores).  Roll it out to a smooth, even layer with the brayer.  Use the inked brayer to spread ink carefully on the wood block, lay your paper over it, and burnish heavily until you're satisfied that you have good ink coverage.  Repeat as necessary until you get the appearance you want.
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Clay Dowling
RPG-Campaign.com - Online Campaign Planning and Management
Thunder_God
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« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2006, 06:38:10 AM »

Somehow my body can't translate the clear images in my mind to straight lines in the material world. It's uncanny.
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Guy Shalev.

Cranium Rats Central, looking for playtesters for my various games.
CSI Games, my RPG Blog and Project. Last Updated on: January 29th 2010
John Kirk
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2006, 04:37:20 PM »

I use a lot of woodcuts in Legendary Quest.  My favorite source for these is Dover Publications.

Dover has some minor limitations on the use of their woodcuts.  Their policy is that you can use their woodcuts without royalty as long as you use no more than 10 woodcuts from any single book in any single work (and you aren't a graphics service company).  So, if you need more than 10 woodcuts, buy a few more books!  That's fair.  (I own about 14 of their books.)  And, if you want to use more than 10 from a single book, you can just contact them to get permission (I think it cost me about $20 to get permission to use more for LQ.)

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John Kirk

Check out Legendary Quest.  It's free!
Thunder_God
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« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2006, 11:58:00 AM »

Erm, are these physical books or PDF books?
I've looked at one of the books about woodcuts and it says "Audio book", to which I say, "Huh?"
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Guy Shalev.

Cranium Rats Central, looking for playtesters for my various games.
CSI Games, my RPG Blog and Project. Last Updated on: January 29th 2010
MatrixGamer
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« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2006, 05:57:52 AM »

Use the inked brayer to spread ink carefully on the wood block, lay your paper over it, and burnish heavily until you're satisfied that you have good ink coverage.  Repeat as necessary until you get the appearance you want.

I've done this kind of printing before and it is doable with very little expense (just time). After inking the block with a rubber roller, place the paper on the block and used a spoon to press it down. This saves you having to buy a small press. (I inherited my intaglio press and printing tools from my Dad - who was an etcher.)

The big draw back here is - Can you draw a good picture?

I can't. I can do all the technical part of cutting the block and printing it but heaven help me if I though anyone would want to look at a picture I drew!

I like everyone else turn to Dover publications. Love them dead artists!

Chris Engle
Hamster Press = Engle Matrix Games
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Chris Engle
Hamster Press = Engle Matrix Games
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John Kirk
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2006, 06:27:49 PM »

Erm, are these physical books or PDF books?
I've looked at one of the books about woodcuts and it says "Audio book", to which I say, "Huh?"

They are physical books.  Some of them come with CD's having electronic versions of the book's contents.  I don't understand the "Audio" part either, though.  I would guess it's a mistake.
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John Kirk

Check out Legendary Quest.  It's free!
Thunder_God
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« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2006, 04:55:53 AM »

I need help understanding one thing though; some of these woodcuts are hundreds of years old, shouldn't they be public domain by now?
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Guy Shalev.

Cranium Rats Central, looking for playtesters for my various games.
CSI Games, my RPG Blog and Project. Last Updated on: January 29th 2010
jrs
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« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2006, 05:34:29 AM »

I do not know that this is the case, but my guess is that Dover could argue "value added" for the compilation and re-formatting of public-domain illustrations, i.e., they make it substantially easier for you to find and use what you want.

Also, check out this recent item on copyright, trademark and public domain with Beatrix Potter's Peter Rabbit:  The Tale of One Bunny, Copyright Statements, & Public Domain: A Cautionary Tail.  If that type of thing is not your cup of tea, at least skip down to the Conclusion section for suggestions on handling public domain material.

Julie
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