Hey, Cut it Out!!

I have always loved to cut things out of paper . When I was a kid, I always liked cutting out little paper people and I was constantly collecting pretty bits of wrapping paper and fabric. I still love to use cut up paper when I start a design..

I love to look at  Nikki McClure portfolio! Her work is amazing!! Very inspirational.

I can’t always do an entire composition using just  out of one piece of paper. I often end up cutting off someone’s head  or  hand I have to go back and reconnect it or cut it out again.

Later in the process I often digitally eliminate elements or add things. I do love the handmade quality I get from the cutting paper and I think that even after I scan it into the computer and add the colors and patterns it maintains a graphic, rough quality. I find it more difficult to get that quality if I do the whole piece on the computer.

The process for me always starts with drawing.    First I draw out the composition or ideas with a pencil  or pen on a piece of sketch paper. Then I set the drawing down on a piece of black paper and a cutting board. I alway start with a very new blade and I continue to replace them throughout the cutting process. Dull blades make it really hard to do any details.

I start by cutting out the obvious negative spaces. Then as I get further along I might start popping out the paper to see what I have left.

Then at some point I become more interested in the black paper. I peel back the white paper and start working on the black paper.

The advantage of this is that I can start moving the head around a little. You can play with the gestures of the people. This process is very similar to the way you can play with elements in the computer.

As I get further along with the image, I make mistakes. Like notice how the little boys head is cut off. Whoops!
I  was not feeling the love for the figure on the left. So I cut him out completely and added a few frying pans.
I also cut out the cook book on the table, because it did not make sense visually. I added the light fixture up top for fun.
After awhile I start using rubber cement to lightly glue down the black paper image to a piece of white paper.
I still move things around a bit. I like rubber cement because you can just use a touch of it  and the paper  stays on slightly raised.
Then when I have things about where I want them, I take it and scan it into my computer.
 The final step after I load the image into my computer is to play with color and add elements. In this case I added some images that I already had in my graphic library. Like the cheese grater.
I still have work to do. I want to play with other color combinations, but I wanted to blog about my paper cutting process. Try it at home, but be careful with the  blade.

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