Matt Roussel Blends Woodblock Printing and Painting Into Beguiling Portraits

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#Matt Roussel #painting #portraits #printmaking #woodcut

A woodcut painting of a woman with a bird hat.

“L’Oisleuse.” All images © Matt Roussel, shared with permission

An avid printmaker with a love for experimentation, French artist Matt Roussel constantly craves new challenges. In his series of painted woodblocks (previously), he starts with a traditional printing block and carves away the negative space, but rather than applying ink and transferring the image to paper, he transforms an element of the process into the artwork itself.

As Roussel carves each piece, the gouges reveal a tantalizing texture. In his new works, the faces of his subjects remain smooth and rely entirely on painting to bring them to life, while the grooves are reserved for enormous flowers, ornate garments, and dreamy surroundings. “I wanted to put myself to the test of painting,” he tells Colossal. “I’m quickly bored when I make same things.”

The inspiration for his subjects starts with a series of prompts that he plugs into an AI tool, generating arrangements and patterns. “For me, it’s a work base that allows me to do by hand what I see…This is a new tool which helps me, like the computer, when I started to make 3D (work) in the ’90s,” he says. Each piece takes between three to six days to complete, depending on the size.

Roussel regularly makes prints, too, and several are usually available in his shop. This fall, he will be in a number art fairs, including Affordable Art Fair Singapore. Find more of his work on Instagram.

A woodcut painting of a woman with an ornate flower hat.

“Blanche 2”

A woodcut painting of a woman with an ornate flower hat, with a fish on top.

“Le Poisson”

A woodcut print of flowers.


A woodcut painting of a woman wearing a colorful coat.

“Le Manteau du Prince”

A woodcut painting of a woman wearing voluminous flowers.


A woodcut painting of a woman seated among lilies.

“Le Bourgeon”

A woodcut print of a wolf among flowers with heart in its mouth.


A woodcut print of a scarab beetle.


#Matt Roussel #painting #portraits #printmaking #woodcut

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