John MacDonald was the first to develop this art form and coin the term "Digital Woodcut." In order to create such a piece, he begins by first completing a series of sketches and tonal studies done from on-the-spot sketches. The artist then paints the image in white gouache on black Arches rag paper. The resulting image is then scanned onto the computer and into digital image editing software, for instance, Adobe Photoshop. The artist then follows traditional woodcut methods by building each color by layers, applied by hand with digital pen to the black and white foundation. An average image may have approximately twenty layers of color and may be adjusted in tone, saturation, or value before the final product is formed.
Etching developed as a very important historical technique. The process begins by taking a metal surface, typically a copper plate, and covering it with an acid-resistant wax product. The wax is then scraped away with a pointed etching tool where the artist desires line to be visible. The entire plate is then immersed in an acid bath. Because the wax resists the effects of the acid, only the expose metal plate is engraved. After, the remaining wax is removed from the plate before the ink is applied. Excess ink on the plate is then wiped off, only remaining in the incised lines. The plate is the pressed on paper through a high-pressure press, picking up the ink lines. This process can be repeated many times using the same plate.
Etched prints are part of an edition. The artist will decide how many prints to make before retiring the original plate. Often, when etching as an art form began, the plate would wear down and no longer make clear prints, thus rendering the plate useless and due for retirement. Thus today, editions are used in order to limit the number of prints made and as pieces are sold, the price of the remaining prints in an addition increase.
Tom Slaughter’s works are like a Pop version of the Matisse cut outs. He hand cuts images from paper, utilizing both negative and positive pieces in his creations. These images are then coated with opaque Flash Paint and then mounted over a white or colored ground. With the cut images slightly raised off the underlying surface, the works take on a three dimensional presence.