Cutting Layers


Creative Sketchbooks, Module 1,
Chapter 5,
Activity 5.2.

Cutting layers for design

The idea here is that you select a photo or picture, and trace it, and
trace the design, simplifying it if necessary. Then take two pieces of decorated paper, and the tracing, clip them together with paperclips (with the tracing paper on top), and cut the layers out. Place the pieces on top of another piece of decorated paper and remove the tracing paper. Then remove some pieces from the decorated cut-outs to reveal the layers beneath. You can reveal the middle cut layer, or the uncut base layer. Keep playing around with the design, recording your work with photographs, until you have something you like, and retain that one.

I worked with a photo of pumpkins, cut from a battered charity shop gardening book, and it looked simple, but I think the shape of the basket confused things. The base paper was blue and purple poster paint with alcohol splodges; one pattern was yellow and purple stripes merging into each other, and the other was a tube of orange acrylic.

I enjoyed trying out different arrangements, but I’m not sure it panned out as I expected. don’t think the papers go together. And the pumpkins have become quite unrecognisable – it’s strange that some things are recognisable from their shape alone (like an apple), while others need colour to identify them. Anyway, below are some of the  cut-out arrangements I created. Actually, I like this one better than the one I stuck in this book, especially as the design included a shape on the uncut bottom layer. I even had it balanced on the book when I took the photo, so I must have liked it, and I don’t know why I didn’t go back and recreate this one. An error of judgement on my part I think.

And some more…


About chrisharding53

I'm a former journalist and sub-editor who loves needlework, reading and writing, and is still searching for the Meaning of Life, the Universe and Everything. Until I find the answer I'm volunteering at an Oxfam Book Shop and learning about Creative Sketchbooks!

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