Papercutting Respect

I have wanted to try this particular art form for quite some time but two things held me back:
1. I was worried I would end up just copying someone else’s idea if I didn’t get inspired myself, and that was not acceptable! (here’s why)
2. I find intensely detailed techniques to be very hard to get myself motivated.

Yet, along came the day when I needed to make a poster and it needed to be b&w, so what better chance to test out this particular style. It would work perfectly with another idea I had for head silhouettes to go on the back of the production program.
So off I went..

Drawing it out was a little complicated; whereas, normally I would simply draw and paint on top, instead I had to concentrate on which parts would be seen (cut out). As my piece was meant to show light shining out of a wardrobe and silhouetting 2 figures this made it particularly important to cut out the right areas. The paper also needed to stay as one piece.

I made a few hiccups and slipped a little, but all in all it went well. This is a picture of it stuck on my bathroom wall to show how a papercutting technique works.

So it came out ok but without the detail I was hoping for. The main problem with detail was.. well, how much detail can you put on a wardrobe door (inside). I was pleased with the light on the floor though. The whimsy worked rather well and although I would definitely need another knife for more work like this, it came out.

Editing on my beloved Mac was a must though. So after a bit of tweaked fonts, colours and sharpness (as well as getting rid of the few smudges still on the paper), my final product is below (shamelessly plugging the wonderful production of Shadowlands).

7.30pm, 24-26th Feb 2012, The Barron, St Andrews, Scotland.Tickets are £5 sold from shadowlandstix@gmail.com

Other people to check out are By Charlie’s Hand, Rob Ryan & Paper Panda. They are awesomely talented and inspired me to at least try my hand.

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7 Comments Add yours

  1. Charlie says:

    Hi Elle,
    Well done on your first attempt! I thought I’d comment directly on here instead of on my page so you could refer to this more easily that having to search through my page feed for you comment in the future.
    I use pastel paper for my cuts, it’s quite thick around 140-160 gsm but I know other cutters who use normal 80gsm paper it’s all about personal preference I find 80gsm too thin but I know Louse at Paper Panda prefers it.I wouldn’t use card as it is very hard to cut and you will blunt the blade so quickly it’s just difficult and weirdly it may come out more ragged than paper and you risk the blade slipping because you are using lots more pressure.
    If you want to avoid pencil marks draw the image on the reverse of the paper and do it so it is backwards so when you look from the front it is the right way around and your cut will be nice and clean and all the messy pencil will be on the back.If you look at the video I put on my page last night all the drawing is on the back (my mac flipped it so the writing looks like it is the right way around but it’s not check my photos to see)
    Keep your blade sharp a blunt blade is useless.
    Thanks for linking to my page too!
    Hope this helps and good luck!
    Charlie x
    By Charlie’s Hand

  2. amy says:

    That’s pretty good for a first attempt, well done!
    Was just thinking myself I want to finally give papercutting a go.

  3. Karen says:

    Wow, after being inspired by Charlie and Nic (Supercutetilly) I really want to give it a go. You’ve done a great job I love it! And I know what you mean about not wanting to copy. Hope you have another go and I need to go paper shopping! 😉

    1. EKMCronin says:

      Know what you mean! Asked Charlie about paper which was really helpful and so hopefully next time I am inspired I can get to it 🙂 Must keep sharp things away from husband though 😛 x

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