Sunday, February 22, 2015

Cut-Out Paper Pictures

I love the different ways collage can be used to make pictures. Cutting out paper is so fun and versatile, and it's a great way to explore elements of art such as colour, pattern, texture, shape, and space.

This project doesn't really call for a lot of materials. Here's what you'll need:

A good way to start this project is by doing a drawing of what your picture will look like.

Next, cut out the pieces of your drawing so that each different section is a separate piece.

Trace each piece onto the paper you'd like to use and cut it out.

Once you have all the pieces, put them together to form the picture. This part is like doing a puzzle.

When you've figured out where the pieces belong, glue them onto a background piece of paper.

Add whatever details you like from scraps of paper, or draw them on with a marker.

(Tip: I made the eyes and buttons with a hole punch, since cutting out little circles can be a bit of a challenge.)

Now your picture looks like your original drawing, but with a lot more colour and pattern!

There are lots of different kinds of paper you can use for a cut-out picture. Art stores sell many fancy papers for scrapbooking, origami, and whatnot, but there are a lot of good sources of colourful patterned papers that can be found around the house as well. Of course magazines are a constant source for collage material and it's a good idea to always have a few on hand. But this is not the only place to find cool stuff to cut up. One thing I like to do is save empty tissue boxes. I fold them flat and store them in a box so that I always have a range of different patterns on hand.

A somewhat unexpected place to find interesting patterns is on the inside of certain types of envelopes. Bills and other kids of mail that the sender wants to keep secure often come in envelopes that have a plastic window for the address and intricate repeating patterns on their insides. Before throwing out my old mail, I always check to see if there might be a pattern hiding in there that I could save and reuse.

But probably the best source for pretty paper is the wrapping from presents. It's like getting an extra craft-supply bonus with every gift!

And if you don't have the type of paper you'd like on hand, there are other ways to make your own. I covered sheets of plain white paper with crayons and paint to make these little cut-out chaps.

Henri Matisse was one of the first artists to use this technique. These works are famous for their bold colours and striking shapes. Some of Matisse's cut outs are very abstract, while others contain more recognizable images of plants, animals, or people.

The Horse, the Rider and the Clown

The Sheaf

The Snail

While making pictures with the usual gang of pencils, markers, crayons, and paint is fantastic, they're not the only tools at your disposal. Why not give scissors and glue a chance to show off what they can do?

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