Relief is the oldest printmaking technique. The first dated printed book was made in China in 868AD and was created using relief. To make a relief print the artist needs a flat surface, such as a wooden block to cut around the outline of the image so that the shape the artist wishes to print is a raised surface. Then the artist applies ink or paint to the raised surface and presses paper onto it. The image is left on the paper when it is lifted away from the raised surface. This is the simplest printing technique to use because not too much pressure is needed to make the image appear on the paper, so no extra machinery is needed. If you have ever covered your hand in paint and pressed it onto paper you have made a relief print!

image: Water melons, Lino-cut, by Enid Marx [K6188]