Sunday, July 6, 2008


I found this interesting video on u-tube showing a different way to make a cut paper image. Click on the title of this post and it will link you immediately to the video. COOL! This gal cuts out a figure from a photograph and backs it with colored paper (most colored paper will fade, so make a wise choice if you are going to do this). Then she cuts through with an x-acto knife small shapes that define the figure. Checks the colored paper side frequently to see what she is getting. When she is done, she removes the photograph and mounts the colored paper image on another interesting piece of paper. You could do this same thing with your own drawing or painting rather than a photo.

After several false starts, I finally finished another cut paper idea. First I took a piece of 300 lb watercolor paper and splashed it with color to use as the background for the cut paper image. Then I traced my original sketch onto another sheet of 300 lb paper that had been previously painted with random color. My idea was to cut through this paper and mount it onto the first. What was I thinking? You can't cut through 300 lb paper with any ease at all!!! Dumb. Set that aside. Next, I decide to use some of my hand painted tissue paper. I can cut through that easily enough! It was double thickness because of a mistake I made in painting it. I have a pair of very small, sharp cuticle type scissors for just this sort of work, so I slowed down and carefully cut out the image. I didn't like how it looked on the background I had prepared so I had to rummage around to find a suitable one. White worked well but I wanted something more interesting. I found a sheet of Tyvek I had messed up so I spread the Tyvek with matt medium (full strength) and attempted to attach the cut-paper tissue sheet. This was fairly challenging and I had some of the pieces shift around but over all I was satisfied. If I decide to do this again, I would use paper heavier than coated tissue for the cut paper part. Something that would glue down without shifting. How one goes about designing for this type of art is probably the biggest useful idea for the future. Working bigger would also make things easier. While I was working on this project, I also had another painting started on Tyvek. While one was drying, I could work on the other.

Maggie sent me the link for the National Portrait Gallery's portrait competition site. After looking at the 2006 winners, I decided to give it a try. Many of them were not your typical portrait. None of them were watercolors, but what the heck. I am going to enter my "Reflection on turning 65" painting. I only have the entry fee to lose and everything to gain. The entry deadline is the end of the month. is the website.


Nava said...

Wow, that style really makes you look at shapes and value!! So - are you going to call this series "Does this X-Acto knife make my butt look big?"? :-)

David Lobenberg said...

If your painting does not get into the portrait show, I'll swallow a #12 kolinsky sable watercolor brush!!!!!!

Myrna said...

Nava, You are on the right track. I am doing a more traditional version of this image with a small buffalo in the background, titled "Endangered Species" (and it's not the buffalo)

David, I'll fall over in a dead faint if the painting gets in. Just send me the Kolinsky.

mary Crowell said...

I found your cut out very interesting and did watch the u-tube video, maybe I'll try one of my epi photos, should be interesting.

Elflling said...

Thank you so much! I just viewed some of the SCVWS member's gallery and feel like there are so many wonderful painters I could learn from! I wanted to take a workshop with you since the first time I saw your self-portrait in this year's Artist's magazine article, and was astonished by their fluidic beauty. Meeting an aritst I admire greatly is so exciting. I can't wait for this day to come!

Anonymous said...

Myrna, congratulations on your acceptance to "Stroke of Genius". That book is one of my favorites that you shared with us. Think the cut-out technique could generate a number of creative ideas(foundation for light/shadow areas,etc.) when translated to a painting.

Maggie and Hilda, learned a lot from studying the changes in your progressive portraits. Reminded me of the Mike Bailey idea of painting the same set-up twenty times, focusing on design elements. Artistic growth happens that way!
Thanks for sharing,
Carol Smith

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