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Topic: Papercutting - Dia de los Muertos [Picture Heavy!]  (Read 2619 times)
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henryswatts
« on: August 01, 2013 08:32:28 AM »

When I do papercuts I usually do portraits but for several years I've been wanting to create a papercut in a Mexican style. So this Summer I finally sat down and did it. The theme is Dia de los Muertos. In the following pictures I show the progress of the cutting over several weeks from sketching to the final framed piece. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask! Cheesy


Thumbnail of the final product.


1. I started by sketching out a Mexican dancer in a flowing dress. I gave her a beautiful skull and flower! I'm not the best artist but I try.


2. I added a grid to the background of the subject which is typical in Mexican papercutting.


3. I added flowers and a tail to the border. If you notice every pencil mark is connected. When making traditional papercuts the entire work is made of one single connected piece of paper. So you'll notice there are no "islands". Everything is connected by bridges.


4. I then take a copy of the finished sketch and place an 8.5x11 piece of translucent red paper on top - taping the edges together. I place these on a cutting mat and I use an exacto knife to remove every piece of "white" paper - leaving all the black parts uncut and connected. I start with the smallest, most detailed, and most difficult portions when I start my cuttings. The paper still has a sturdy feel to it when you start so you are less likely to tear or rip something by accident. I felt the skull and dress would be a good place to start and then work my way out.


5. I finished the dress and then I move on to the grid.


6. The grid is finished and now I move on to the flowers and tail.


7. Here is the finished cutting! After I cut the flowers and tail I felt like it looked too "kiddy" so I went back and cut out each individual petal and added some notches to the tail. I was hoping this would give it more texture. The petals were actually the most time consuming and tedious part of the cutting. I then carefully removed the tape and red paper and transferred it to a fresh piece of white cardstock.


8. Here is the cutting framed. Aaaand done!

« Last Edit: August 01, 2013 08:35:31 AM by henryswatts » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2013 08:42:08 AM »

Wow! That is stunning!

So interesting to see your in progress shots too, so thanks for sharing them!
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alwaysinmyroom
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« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2013 09:16:42 AM »

Thanks for the progress shots...I had no idea how these were made...just gorgeous...your image is interesting and beautiful at the same time...
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henryswatts
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2013 01:50:46 PM »

Thank you for the comments.

This is just one of the ways I create my cuttings. There are definitely other ways that other people would prefer to use. I've tried using scissors but I can never be as detailed as I'd like to be. Also, some people will actually have the image reversed on the back side and cut right into the design but I've never been a fan of that method.
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« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2013 10:36:28 AM »

Beautiful! I like how you posted pictures of the process so we all can see how Mexican papercutting is done. This is the first time I've seen Mexican papercutting so it is interesting for me =)
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henryswatts
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2013 07:35:57 PM »

Beautiful! I like how you posted pictures of the process so we all can see how Mexican papercutting is done. This is the first time I've seen Mexican papercutting so it is interesting for me =)

Thank you, although I tried my best to replicate the style of Mexican paper cutting I did not use traditional Mexican paper cutting techniques. I do not have the tools or experience to do that. I used an exacto knife. Papel picado (Mexican paper cutting) uses hammer and chisels. This allows an artist to create many pieces at the same time by chiseling away the pieces of a big stack of tissue paper all at once. I would love to try my hand at it but that may be a project for another summer. Here is a video on the papel picado technique. http://youtu.be/3797kPhyy-k
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Renstar
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2013 12:58:20 PM »

I keep coming back and looking at this.  It is awesome.  OH is almost gobsmacked - a  hard feat!!
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artista83
« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2013 10:51:16 PM »

wow! that looks like it took a long time! i love it! i will have to try paper cutting some time!
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« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2013 06:45:24 AM »

Congratulations! This has been chosen as a featured project!
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« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2013 10:49:18 AM »

This is gorgeous! One of these days, I'll attempt to do one by hand!
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