Woodcut is a relief printing process in which the areas around the image to be printed are cut away from a wooden block, leaving the image in relief. 

 
The block is taken from the plank of a tree, cut lengthways, usually a soft wood such as pear or beech. The artist draws the design, either directly onto the block or onto a sheet of paper attached to it, and then cuts it themselves or hands over to a professional cutter to prepare the block for printing. Today this can also be done by a laser-cutting machine. The block is inked and placed on a flat surface with a sheet of paper on top. It is then worked over by hand with a tool called a baren or the back of a wooden spoon or put through a printing press, so that the ink from the blocks transfers the image onto the paper.