Papercraft Art: A Cutting Edge Guide to Paper Illustrations | Laura K Sayers | Skillshare

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Papercraft Art: A Cutting Edge Guide to Paper Illustrations

teacher avatar Laura K Sayers, Illustrator, Paper Artist

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      The Potential of Paper


    • 3.

      Tools & Materials


    • 4.

      Basic Techniques


    • 5.

      Choose Your Colors


    • 6.

      Sketch Your Scene


    • 7.

      Create Your Background


    • 8.

      Build Your Character


    • 9.

      Craft Your Objects


    • 10.

      Assemble Your Scene


    • 11.

      Share Your Work


    • 12.

      Final Thoughts


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About This Class

Join artist Laura K Sayers and explore the delightfully simple world of papercraft art! 

Laura K Sayers loves the possibilities of paper! She has wowed Instagram with her meticulously detailed creationscolorful paper scenes with characters who jump off the page. Now, in her first-ever online class Laura will share her love of paper art and reveal what it takes to create colorful illustrations with a few simple tools.

You’ll create a paper illustration focused on a story you’d like to share, whether its a profile picture for social media, an ode to your favorite room, or a fond memory from your childhood. Laura will guide you through her unique process of scene building, and she’ll share techniques you can use to create polished, dimensional, and eye-catching pieces.

With Laura’s playful teaching style, you’ll learn how to:

  • Practice basic paper cutting techniques 
  • Create bold color palettes 
  • Plan and prepare your paper scene
  • Build characters and craft objects
  • Assemble and finish your layered vignette

Plus, Laura will share her techniques for photographing and framing paper art so you can capture the unique features of your finished piece. 

This class is for anyone looking for an art practice that requires minimal experience, and tools you can find at the grocery store. All you need is a pair of well-sharpened scissors, a pile of colorful paper, and some tacky glue.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Laura K Sayers

Illustrator, Paper Artist


Laura is an English illustrator and paper artist based in Scotland. Her distinctive way of working, which involves a simple pair of scissors and a lot of layers of paper, developed in her time at art school and since then she’s been honing in her skills and seeing where paper will take her next. Through making bold images that focus on colour, scale and shape she has worked on a whole host of projects with writers, musicians, paper makers, dancers, animators, and magicians, with particular clients including the V&A Museum and Puffin Books.

Characters play a big role in her work, often exploring people and places, and when she's not working on client led projects or bespoke artworks, she is thinking up new ideas for children's books, pairing her own writing&nbs... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: I love working with paper because it's really immediate way to create something. I just loved tactility of it. The fact that you're working with shapes in your hands. You're layering things that can put on a podcast. You can put an audio book and just lose yourself in whatever you're making and come out with something amazing event. Hi everyone and welcome to this class. My name is Laura and I think artist and illustrator. My style involves a lot of color and a lot of character. I don't make cord, but it takes itself too seriously. So today's class is all about paper out. And we're going to be making a vignette of a scene from your imagination with lots of different details, but the main focus is the character. So in this course we're going to cover the basic techniques and paper craft I'm building a color scheme to work with and then going to look at making that character, building a world around it. And in the end you'll come out with something that is a piece of art as much as is just bits of paper. I want to stress that this class is really accessible and easy to get on with his going to take you a while to really find confidence in working this way. But this is a starting point for this class. You're going to need a pair of scissors, a stack of paper, and some glue to start off with. So I'm really excited to teach this class T and show you a new way of working with paper in a way that uses color layers to bring lots of personality, story, and joy into the pieces that you're making. I look forward to what we'll make together. 2. The Potential of Paper: Hi guys, Welcome back. I'm so excited that you've says, take this course and I'm looking forward to getting started. So as we get started with pay for arts and paper crafting, I want to think a bit about the different way of working, the differences between this and drawing and all sorts of other art forms. And for me, one thing that really stood out when I was getting started was going to an exhibition of Matisse's paper cutouts. And he was well-known for being a painter, but in his later life he tend to paper cutting. So my T7 a letter, it is no longer the brush that slips in size over the canvas. It is the scissors that cut into the paper and enter the color. The conditions of the journey, or 100% different. The contour, the figure springs from the discovery of the scissors that give it the movement of circulating life. This tool doesn't modulate, it, doesn't brush on it in sizes in underlying this well, because the criteria of observation will be different. I just think that says so well about how different is to work with a pair of scissors. You have to be really sure that you're going into the paper cut with confidence and cotinine that you're going to cut a shape that we can go back to later. You can go back and eating it up, but you have to just go for it that first time. I don't tend to pencil thing out. I just enjoy that kind of way of working where you're just being confident and you're just cutting shapes and seeing how they fit together. So paper out is sometimes considered quite crafty, quiet, childish in some ways I remember going to a family get together and my aunty asked me How am I cutting and sticking was going. But it's so much more than cutting and sticking. There is so much kind of intricacy within that work. And there are so many paid for artists who work in such intricate ways or in such different ways as well. If you give any artist as you paper, they will do something different with it. And they all have their ways of molding and shaping it to be what they want it to be. So paper art can be used for all sorts of different things. I learned a lot of people who use it for advertising because it tends to bring out a product if you have a physical product in the middle surrounded by paper, or it can really bring it to life. But you can also use it for many things. In books and magazines. Any kind of format that needs an illustration. I think paper art can be a really good avenue for that. Can bring all these different layers to a piece that may be a drawing or a digital piece doesn't have the same effect. And I think when you make something out of paper, you do have that depth that you don't get with a flat image, even when it's printed, you can feel it jumping off the page if you get the shadows just right. I really loved that element of working this way. This class is going to be well-suited to really anybody. So if you've tried working with paper before and you feel really confident in that, hopefully this will be a new way for you to work with paper and figure out some different techniques that if you've never worked with paper before, this will also be perfect for you because it's a simple skill working with scissors. I'm going to show you exactly how to start from the basics. So just building up shapes. And if you're intimidated by the level of detail or the idea of making a whole scene, then we're just going to start from the background and build it up. I'd really encourage you to take this way of working and make it your own. Find you're in visual language, find your own style that suits you and suits your interests, and take this up to another level. So today we're going to work on a paper cut scene. We're gonna be making a vignette with a character and a background, and lots of details within this scene can be whatever you want it to be. I'm gonna be making a scene that's based on an nostalgic memory. And I'm going to build on characters that are related to the people around me and things that are familiar to me and things that are inspiring to me. But it might be something completely different than inspires you to build up a scene in your head. And we're going to work on it together and figure out all the intricacies of that and pull it together to make something that has really bright and fun and true to yourself. In this class, we're going to start off with the basic techniques and then we're going to move into a bit of color play. We're going to play around with the colors and have fun with that. Once we kinda warmed up to using scissors and using different sheets of paper, we're then going to plan out our scene and get going with it. So we're going to planet work on the background first. Then we're going to play a bit with the character, figure out how that's going to look and figure out how to get the most out of that character. And then once all of that is created when to put it together, assembly or very neatly with glue and our different layers, filling it all up and finishing off our scene. And then I'm going to show you how to photograph it so you can share it with friends and family and put out into the world as your new piece of artwork. And don't forget that you can also share what you've made with the rest of us and upload it in the project gallery and share with the world what you've created. I would absolutely love to see you wherever you've made and see how you're getting on along the way as well. So join me in the next lesson and we'll walk through the basic techniques of paper art as we get started. 3. Tools & Materials: So some of the tools that you're going to need for this class are you, first of all need a pair of scissors? I use these ones that are by a brand called viscous who finished. And they are the needlework scissors. So they've got a really good point at the end. And they're quite nice and compact and they're really easy to control. And then particularly sharp, which I like. But when I started off with pay pressing, I was using this pair of scissors which I think were 89 pence. They were so cheap. Jeremy quite well for a long time. So you don't need to be too picky about this. Is that E is just something that you feel like you can control and something that is particularly sharp is handy. You also have the option of using a knife. It might be easier for you to control for different shapes and things. I just prefer scissors because you get a cleaner cut with a knife, you kind of get a little raised edge on the edge of your pieces. It's not very obvious, and let's pay for artists will use a knife. This one is by a band called XL blades. I've used it so much that you can't tell anymore. This is just a standard knife. There's also another brand called swan and Morton, who are quite famous for making craft knives or scalpels. And this one you can replace the bleed which you need to do quite frequently. So by some spare bleeds, if you're using a knife, you're going to need one of these. You're going to need a custom map, any kind of cutting mat at something that's self-healing so you don't get those bumps over it when you're using it, that is really handy. Sometimes the paper selection, you want to be finding a whole stack of paper to choose from. You want to be looking for nice papers that are brightly colored and around 120 GSM to 150 GSM, which is the grams per square meter. And that is the thickness of the paper. That thickness is a lovely thickness to cut with. If you go anything that's too thick on the side of the card, then you're going to have trouble cutting in your hands. It's going to look a bit messy in a bit rough around the edges. So your local craft shops should have a good paper selection. Some of the brands which I really liked to use, our G F Smith, which is a UK based paper brand, Maya paper, which some of these are from a couple of others, Canson and can fit. But anything that your craft shop has you can use and you can even recycle various things. So I sometimes just use nice colored envelopes or wherever I can find if it's a nice color that I'll cut it off and use it in a project. So you're going to need some glue as well as this one. And it's called high-tech or purpose. So this is why I use all the time. It's really good for paper because it holds it really strong. And you don't need a lot of it at all. You need a tiny pinprick of it. So hopefully that this fine, which is called a neat as tacky glue, which I think is a US based brand, as well as an option for sticking things together. You could get some double-sided tape or some sticky foam pads. I'll show you at the end of this project how to use them, but they are optional and an optional extra if you want to add a bit of texture to your pieces, is using some paints. So I often use gouache paint just to add details like eyes or mouth or any kind of texture on their cheeks. So if it's a person or sort of texture on the hair texture on clothes, patterns as well. You can paint with gouache paint and it comes up really nicely. If you're doing that, you'll probably needs a white, a black, and a red at the very least for what we're making today. But if you don't want to bother with that, we can use paper all the way and that works just as well. 4. Basic Techniques: Hi guys, Welcome back. I'm gonna be showing you a few of the basic techniques for paper cutting. In this lesson, we're going to start with your scissors. Whatever paresis is you're using. I really want you to focus your paper in the middle of the V of the scissors. So note where they overlap. You want materially sharps so you can bias as the sharpness or you can just buy any viruses is, they should be quite sharp. And with that, you should note that the paper should do more moving than the scissors. You should be quite still with this is in your hand, but moving the paper to guide it into the shape that you want. So if I'm discussing a wiggly line here, I'm going to need to shuffle method. So this is a long, quite often. But you'll see the paper is moving my hand. This is a really rough shape. But the beauty of working with papers, you can go back and need some things up. So at this point I'm just going to round off those edges that are not very happy with. This isn't meant to be needed at all. This is just a practice, so just cut a random shape to begin with and practice, neaten it up. So likewise, if you're using a knife, he wants to get up, get your paper on your cutting mat. Use a nice sharp blade is quite similar. You just want to practice gently taking the knife into the paper, getting the right pressure. It takes a bit of time to figure out most of these my knife for cutting straight lines. So in any sort of piece I'm making, if any, is a straight line and my knife comes in and that point, I will cut every other shape out with messages more or less. So for that you're going to need a metal ruler. I've got very small one here, but you can get bigger ones and just spend some time practicing cutting a straight line. It's very simple. You just have to make sure that you're lining up perfectly. It can be really helpful at this point to have a cutting mat with squares on. So if you're trying to get a good right angle or something, you have that not to practice from. I have always used pins for applying my glue to the end of a paintbrush, which can also be a good thing, right? Even you use a triangle of paper, but that tended to get quite Louis after awhile, found the pins work really well. You only need a teeny tiny amount, so I've just got a small dot on the end of my pen. You just need to dot that on the back of your shape really neatly. Don't use a lot because otherwise it will come off at the side. You can even like brush a little bit of it off if you think you've got too much or sometimes I dab it on the back of my hand to get any excess off. And then you can just stick it down like that. I tend to guide the piece of paper down to the paper on the pin as a way to not get your fingers in the way when you're making something as well, clean off the end of your pen. And if you've got any glue on the edge, you can just run it along there and it will pick up any excess glue. This is quite a large shapes, so you probably just want to dot the small bit along the edge of each bit of the shape. You can dot it and then pull it along as well. That will stick it nicely to what you're sticking it to. It's always better to use too little and too much. You don't want to overdo it. If you've got an edge that is maybe sticking up a bit, you can always go in with some more glue rather than sticking it down originally with too much, you can just go in like that and stick the edge down. If you do have a sort of glue ear problem, if there's a bit of a mess, you can get a wet paint brush and just lightly brush along any kind of gluey surface to get rid of it, but don't do that too much. Otherwise, you're upset the fibers of the paper and it will end up tearing a little bit. So a nice way to add texture, which is completely optional, is using a bit of gouache paint for Girish pain. You want to watch it down just a little bit onto the paper smoothly. What's quite nice is just to directly paint onto the paper, let it dry and then cut it out. That's the thing I tend to do. Here. I'm just doing some rough lines. I'll show you a finished piece which is quite handy. This little old man. I've used quite a lot of painted details. So in his face you can see his eyes and his mouth. And I've added a bit of color on his face. He's got a little bit of color to his cheeks and its nose in his ear. And then on his turtleneck jumper that he's got these sort of lines that I've just cut out from painting onto a piece of paper with gouache paint as well. You can see in his jeans and his shoes, details that I've been uncouth paint. Little features like this are really nice to add in there, not necessarily toy. You can totally do things just with paper. So now it's your turn. If you grab a sheet of paper and start cutting out, just start playing around. Try some wiggly lines and straight lines, either with your knife or with your scissors. You can try cutting out a circle and then going and neaten up. Circles are notoriously hard. So don't worry if it takes you for you guys to get it right with the shapes you've got. If you stick them down, figure out the glue that you need to figure out how to apply it neatly with the pin. And then you can play around a bit with textures, with some paint. If you'd only use paint, you can also use pencils. You can do whatever you like. Just experiment with one sheet of paper. So we're not wasting a lot. But try some of these techniques out just so you're warming up to them. Sometimes you've got to grips with these basic techniques. I will see you in the next lesson where we'll be figuring out one of my favorite parts of any project, which is the color schemes. So I will see you there. 5. Choose Your Colors: Welcome to this next lesson. We're gonna be looking a little bit of color, which is one of my favorite parts of any project. Just figuring out a color scheme, figuring out how it can really lift your illustration and bring something fresh to it. Working okay for is actually sometimes easier than I can digitally in terms of color because you are limited to a few different colors. Whereas if you're working digitally, you have the whole spectrum to choose from, which might seem like good thing, but you're going to get stuck fiddling around with different colors and being really picky. Whereas with paper, you just have what's in front of you and you can see it in front of you. You can lay up next to each other and figure out what works well together. So what I tend to do when you've lost your paper, just to cut out a small square from each corner of each sheets and gather them all up. You can lay them all out and figure out which ones work well together. Figured out the ones that are trying to get the right kind of message across. And by that I mean, what sort of vibe do you want your illustration to put across? Do you want it to be fun and cozy? Warm joints be slightly cooler or slightly moodier. Whatever you're looking for, you're kind of have this whole scheme of colors in front of you to choose from. And I ended up making a swatch like this, or a group of swatches, which will give me something to relate back to when I'm making my piece. So I can kinda see that these colors are working together for I'm after. So I wanted something kind of summaries, something that was bright and had a good range of colors. So I would say that you need to focus on five main bright colors. So here I've just gone with this red, this mustard, yellow, There's really bright green and orange and a sort of lime green as well. You want to find those really bright colors to set your color scheme off. You want them to match well, but you can also have some slightly caching. So I would say some of these don't necessarily go together super well, maybe the yellow and the green Cash slightly, but that's quite nice. Clash. Another example of that would maybe be like a corollary pink with the green or something. So once you've figured out your bright, so you can then figure out a couple of muted options. So this is a slightly lighter version of that orange. You've got a slightly lighter version of that green. So I've got an eyes cornflower blue, and then I've got some more sort of turquoise colors. I really love working with these three in particular, the kind of minty green as well. Then some light pinks. You want some sort of neutral tones which are really helpful for highlights for each they need a white tone. I've gone with sort of an off-white tone. If you've got a character you want something for their skin tone or the hair color. So going for some neutral colors here, I really tend to not use black and my pieces. It's just a personal preference. You're more than welcome to use black. But I tend to find that dark color. There is dark but it's not black. So for this one I've gone with a called Claret, the color paper, but it said maroon color is very dark, but it is slightly per police like slightly read. Another one I use quite often is a sort of, I've got this other color palette here, navy blue, which is really nice. This color palette, It's actually quite handy to show you some of the different papers you can use. So sometimes I throw in a bit of a colored tracing paper, or I will sometimes go and paint a piece of paper to get the color that I want. If you're struggling to find inspiration for your color schemes, you just need to look around. You can figure out color schemes based on anything that you come across. A nature, walk to work, the clothes in your wardrobe, the stuff in your home, everything has colors that work together and don't work together. And you can just be noticing these things, even packaging and supermarkets, that sort of thing. Just find inspiration from around you instead of going online looking at other artists, stealing their color schemes, which I know is very tempting and I have taught myself. But sometimes it's just better to look around you and figure out something that works for yourself that is a really pure form of inspiration. So in order to have a bit of a play around with the colors that we've chosen. I'm going to ask you to make a sort of abstract compositions. We're going to cut lots of different shapes out from the colors that we have, see how they work alongside each other. You can also practice your cutting skills at this point. Get used to cutting those shapes really nice and smoothly, and just assemble them in a nice abstract pattern. It doesn't have to be neat. It can just be a bit of fun. And I want you to see our colors are working together. So here's what I came up with with some of these colors from my swatches. But I love seeing how they all work together when they're not all laid out, regimental like this. So it's a bit more fun. It's got a bit more movement to it. I hope you enjoyed this little activity and I look forward to seeing you in the next lesson, which is all about setting our scene and figuring out what we're going to illustrate. 6. Sketch Your Scene: Hi guys. Now we're going to be planning out the scene that we're going to make. We're going to figure out the background and start cutting that one tip I would give you if you're really struggling to figure out what to make, you can base your illustration on a past memory or something around you in your day-to-day life. Because then you're basing it on things that you really know for yourself. In your mind. You're not basing that on too much reference material. It's true to you, it's nostalgic to you. And that will make it more successful because it will be something that is from your world and not somebody else's. So the first part of setting your scene, it's important to just get a sketch down on the page. You might find sketching is not your thing. You might feel like it's a bit of a drag. It is helpful to just plan out where things are gonna go, how big things are gonna be. Nowadays, I normally sketch on my iPad just because it's a bit easier to get all the colors in the right place. I know my color, my sketch after I've drawn it out. But that is mainly just so I can see how things are heading. And especially if it's for somebody else, I can send them that and show them. Okay, here's how the colors are going to look. But first project, I'm just going to sketch in my sketchbook because we just want something that is a bit rough that is going to show us where we're heading. And we don't need to worry too much about our colors because we can be a bit more experimental and figure out where they're gonna go as we go along. Okay, so I'm gonna get started on sketching my scene. And I'm going to stick to a rectangle is roughly seven inches by nine inches just because I've got a frame ready to go and I want it to fit nicely in there. So you can do it in any shape you like. You can be in a square, rectangle, circle wherever you like. It's good to have something that you're basing your peace within. And sometimes it's nice to find a frame at the start so you knew what you're aiming for at the end. So normally I start by drawing out my character is just because I want them to be the main focus of the piece. So I'm going to make something that is inspired by some holiday. My family holidays weren't particularly glamorous, but we would always have ice cream. So I'm gonna make a little scene with an ice cream shop. It could be honestly, it could be anywhere really. I'm going to make it more sort of imagined. I don't want it to be specific to a place because then I'll get stuck looking at images of Italy and I just want to go to Italy. We're going to just draw the character first, which is gonna be based on me as a child, I'm drawing with pen. I got taught in school how strong pen and I just always have done but joy pencil drawing with crayons, whatever you like really. And also you can hopefully see it a bit clearer. I've been illustrating kids and characters for a long time. So I've got a bit of confidence with the way that I draw things. But you might not feel that. You might feel intimidated by just drawing a face. In particular, they're quiet, scary to get going with. So if it helps, you can just draw a very basic shapes. Just draw instead of a face, draw a circle, instead of a body. Throw a stick like it is just to plan out where things are gonna go. So don't be too precious about it really going to give her some sunglasses and kids have big heads and little bodies. So I'm going to give her little friend who's just going to be the small sausage dog. I would just encourage you to find your style with your drawing. You don't need to be basing it off anybody else's. You don't need to be doing it like this. You can really find your own visual language and urine voice. Okay, so those two in the picture now I'm going to flesh out a little bit more with some sort of background. So I'm going to have a sort of archery down here. And then I want them to be coming out of this ice cream shop. So that's going to be down here with lots of ice cream, a Sharpie, details in the window. For your backgrounds, you want as many different colors going on as possible. You want to have lots of things to draw the eye to different parts. For instance, I'm going to just put some steps in here, a bit of a floor. This bit is going to draw the eye out to this peachy scene. And there's gonna be lots of colors going on in here. So that'll be a really nice area for to add some interest to this background because I could just make this all a wall and that just wouldn't be very exciting. I wouldn't draw the eye to anything at all really. So yeah, just add interests in different ways. It could be through windows, that could be through arteries like this. Or if you want to play around with perspective, that's a whole other thing, but please just feel free to go for it and experiment. And then it's just a case of adding lots of details into the shop so they can be rough for now, I'm just going to draw a sort of table for people to come to at the beginning of the shop. And then this can be where all that ice cream is. I'm going to fill that out more when I start to cut it really, I think that's the joy of this bit is that you've got the basics and you can just fill up the rest with whatever you like. And that can come quite naturally when you're making. You don't have to plan this out in advance really. This is my finished sketch is really rough and I want to encourage you that that is okay, that's good. We're just making a rough sketch to figure out where things are gonna go. It doesn't have to be neat in any way because the neatness is going to come when we do the paper stuff. And that's the point where you can really get bogged down in the neatness. Whereas here we're just trying to get started, get something that is going to lead us on to the next stage. So just have a play around with a few compositions. If you're struggling with this scale, try and do them as tiny thumbnails, try and just draw them out and see where things are gonna go. And then you can maybe draw something that is a bit more to the scale that you're going to work. And you're welcome to work at any scale, you don't have to work. This baby. You can do it as big as you like really. I just love making small details, so I'm gonna make it this size. So once we've got our sketch sorted, we're going to bring our colors back in. So I planned out these colors. And I'm just going to have a little think about where they could go within this sketch. Once I've figured that out, it might be helpful for you to do a digital sketch and put the colors in. But if you don't have time to do that, just have a little think about where the colors could go and what colors would work well for different pieces. So as an example of how your digital sketch could look if you decide to do one and add all your colors. Here's a printout of one, dahlia, which is still a rough sketch, still quite quick, but I've just taken time to add all the colors in because I really wanted to see how this was going to work for this lesson. Let's just an idea of how colors can balance. How I've used the same colors throughout. So there are pinks and pinks here and here, but also the same blues come into the shop. So you want everything to be cohesive, but you want lots of color and lots of variety. And once we figured that out, we're going to get onto our background, which will be the first thing that we're going to cut out. 7. Create Your Background: In this lesson, we're going to start with the background and make some of these shapes and put the objects together. I'm going to base my background on this piece of mount board. You could use paper or card. But I quite like the depth that you get with mount board. It's a little bit raised up, so I'm just going to use this as my base, so I'm not cutting out huge pieces of paper. I'm going to save my paper in that sense. So for example, I've already cut out that top of the scene and that's going to go just there. I'll add a bit of detail into that later. The same with the stuff behind the archway. I've just cut out a piece for there. Now. I'm going to cut out the archway and show you That's going to go and how to add a little bit of detail to that. I'm just measuring things up just to see that I've got the right size of paper to work with. Can go with. This is why it's helpful to have a sketch because you can sometimes kinda line things up quite nicely. So I'm just going to make a small neck in the paper where I need to aim for. So that's why the arch is going to go. I'm going to get these out of the way so they don't get cut because I'm going to use my ruler and my knife just for this little bit. I've got a sort of straight dish line. I have to be too accurate with things. You can just use your eyes and go for it. Especially with straight lines. Sometimes your eye is more reliable. Lining things up and give myself a bit of space to work with. So it's easier to cut too much paper and then go into things instead of cutting too little because you can't go anywhere from there. I'm just going to go for it and cut the archway. This might take you a couple of times to get something like this, right? But his message just give it a try and get a feel for things. You can always cut things again, doesn't have to be right the first time. This bit here is not particularly straight, so I'm just gonna go with my knife and straighten that up a little bit. But I've got a nice curve here and I'm happy with that. Okay. So you've got part of the archway there. I'm just going to go back in with another bit of that same color and add a little bit of this detail. So just this kind of extra bit of the archway just so it's not just one piece of paper. I quite like layering things up that way. So for this, I think I'm going to stick it down first and then go and cut it. And we can just always be kinda worried that you want to save as much paper as possible. So just stick things kinda close to the edges. So I'm just going to cut straight down space to work with. I think that's also good tip is if you've got a huge sheet of paper and you're trying to cut and it's quite tricky, so maybe just cut things down. So you've got less area to work with. So here, I'm just going to cut along this bit. This is a bit tricky because kind of curved edges are always a bit tricky to nail down. So just take it really slowly. You can always go back in afterwards, but I'm just going to guide the paper through my scissors really carefully to get it on edge. Because this last bit is straight. I'm just going to come in and my ruler and finished the last bit off with my knife because it will be quicker and stricter. You've just got your actually, which now has a little bit more depth to it. It's very subtle from there, I'm going to add in the details of this shop. I'm going to bring back in my mount board for the background and the rest of the bits of the scene. So I'm just going to line up things and see how they're looking. So we've got this here. This is gonna be my shop here. And I cut this out earlier for this piece which is gonna be, can't really see it in this printout, but it's gonna be a sort of shadow on the wall from the door. And I've used the same paper, but I've painted it very slightly darker. So that will work really nicely to just give a bit of depth to that piece in the composition. And then the door will go over the top. So I've started off this canopy for the ice cream shop and have layered these. These are all different small rectangles like this. I'm just going to show you the last two so we can finish it off together. So I've just got these rectangles and I'm going to round off the edges with my scissors. Doesn't have to be exactly the same as the other one. I want them to look illustrated. I don't want them to look too stiff of glue to these bits down, but some others, I'm just saving for the end for the cell, we can assemble it altogether. It's quite helpful to just have everything in pieces so you can kind of mix and match and measure things up to each other. So I'm going on a thing that's got a pattern or a detail. So for example, that archway or these stripes. So I use this rectangle at the back to it to stick these altogether. So that's not going to be seen. But it's just a nice way to get things all in a neat line. And now that I've stuck them all down, I can go from behind and just trim along this edge. I'm going to measure it back up to my sketch. And that's looking good. The last bit of this background will be the steps and the floor. And I've added a bit of detail in here. You can see I might go back and add some more. That's my background that's coming together nicely. So I haven't stuck too many bits down. But I stuck any of the things that are important for all these pieces to be kept together. I've stopped those for now. And we're going to assemble it all at the end. Just have a play around with these shapes. They can be overlapping, they can be over the edge. It doesn't really matter. I'm going to trim it all nicely, stick it all together at the end. But for now I'm happy that we've got the basics are sorted. So now it's your turn. Start cutting out the big shapes, start lining them up. Don't be too precious about having them all sorted at this stage, we're just getting things together and getting started. So I would really encourage you to just go for it and see what happens. Once you've done that, you can join me in the next lesson and we'll be building our characters, which will be the main focus of our pieces. 8. Build Your Character: Hi guys, welcome back. In this lesson, we're going to be looking at characters and how to build a character successful. So my journey with making characters has been quite a long journey. I've been trying to figure it out for a long time and I think I'm still figuring it out. It takes quite a lot of practice to get the character is looking the way you want them to look. It's not really about simple features like their eyes and their mouths usually stay the same. It's the shape of their face and that's the shape of their nose. What shape is their hair? What are they wearing? Things like that can really bring out a character. And I would just encourage you to take inspiration from those around you and to see the different ways in which they are formed and to work that into your illustrations based sketching, be playing around with the paper until you find something that really suits you and something that really suits the characters that you're making. So if we're going back to my sketch from earlier on, I've created this character is based on me as a child. It's not really how it looked as a child, but it's got my hair and it's got some clothes I would probably wear. But I want you to notice that it's already simplified. So we've got the proportions are right for a child. So the head is quite big and the body is smaller and not as tall as an adult, obviously. But we're not trying to make something that is anatomically right. We're not trying to get everything in the right place. We've simplified things like the hands, the legs are very triangular. So I really want you to play around with that and have fun with the proportions and figure out how things might look a bit different if you're illustrating something versus drawing something on atomically write, figure out the things that are important to your characters. So for me it was what she's wearing, the hat and sunglasses, and what she's doing as well as to striding along in his way and holding an ice cream, scoops of ice cream. So just go for it and have a bit of fun with that when you're trying to figure out what your character is going to look like. So starting to cut out my character, I'm using the soap, nice peachy color. I'm just going to cut a small bit of this is really tricky thing to cut straight away and get it right the first time. I'll be honest. I work upside down, start with the forehead. So I'm just going to pretend for now she doesn't have any hair, going to cut the forehead. And for children they have a very pronounced forehead and a button, he knows. And that's the way, that's the way I illustrate them anyway, if we're going for more of an adult face, they may be more pointy, maybe a bit more defined. Children have very round faces. So that's just kinda what I'm gonna, what I'm going to go for casting and just to get the nose shape and then going down for the chain. The chain is something I always kinda come back to you. I tend to just cut it the first time and it's way too big or too pointy, whatever. But I just curl it round into more of a circle shape. Then I'm not being too neat here, I'm just cutting the air and doing that as a small circle. It might come back and make that a bit smaller later. And then coming back around hairline, but we're gonna come back to that later as well. Okay. So that's the basic face shape, but it's not very good. I'm not, I'm feeling like it's not, it's not got the right sort of characters. So I'm gonna go back and needing some things up. And at this point, I'm not adding any features or anything. I'm just cutting the face shape and the features that sometimes the bit where things go wrong. So I will draw or paint an eye on the top and sometimes it takes fingers, but once you've got your basic sort of face shape, you can easily go and cut it again. Some kind of happy with how this is heading. Now, you need to use your imagination a bit to kind of think about what it's gonna look like with eyes and with her and that sort of thing. So just stick with it as it is because we're going to add in some features to this. I am using pink for my features, but if you want to use pencil or even cut some very small bits of paper out for the features. You're welcome to do that as well. I just quite like the way that the garage paint works on top of the paper. And it gives you a bit more of a delicate feature when you work with it that way. So I'm just going to make a sort of gray color because I don't want it to be really dark black. Test your paint out on a little sheet of paper before you go ahead. Okay. I'm gonna go for the eyes sharp looks, so I'm just gonna do a little U-shape. I'm just kind of figuring out where it's gonna go. Okay, Scott bombard lives. That's good. I'm just going to go back in and neaten up and add a bit more to it. The mouse, I'm just going to do that with a little bit of pink and white. Again, just going in really carefully and try drawing the mouth. Okay, so for the hair of the character, I'm just going to add it in behind, which doesn't feel like it naturally makes sense. Probably naturally you would think to add the hair right on top of, but I've always just added it behind. I'm not really sure why. It's also easier to stick it that way. And you can add things then on top of that to make the hair look like it's supposed to be there. So I'm just going to use my face and measure up to how big I need the hair to be. Just turning it as she can always come back and trim it later as well. Sometimes I like to add in a bit of darker paint to just to get some sort of lines on the hair. But it's up to you if you want to bother with that or not. It works either way. It's just a way to add a bit more texture. I'm going to just stick that down there. And then I'm going to add a fringing, which is just a simple leaf shape. You'll be basing it on one of the hair your character has. So this may be completely different for your character, may not have any error at all. That's also fine. You can paint the hair on if you're more comfortable doing that or draw it on, just be creative with it. Doesn't have to be complicated. So one part of your character, which is really important is just getting the eyebrows. And so I've just calm and quiet simple straight eyebrow because they're just quite zone and quite happy. But if you want them to look angry, you can point the eyebrows in a different direction, or you can make them bigger and make them smaller, whatever you like. It's just a good way to add character to any face. I've got all my bits of my character together. I'm happy with how I've tweaked them and I've added a few details like on knows there's a little bit of color just to give her a little bit of blush TO face. And I've had a sunglasses and then for her clothes, I have added some paper stripes to the top. So I've got two separate pieces. So that is just a case of cutting some really thin stripes carefully glowing are in place. If you want to do any pattern with the clothes, she is quite a nice thing to spend some time doing that. So floral patterns work really well with lots of sort of leafy shapes or as well if it's too much, you can just make a plane codes that will also do perfectly fine. I've made this sort of plentiful to go on the top of that and I've just lined up so it fits nicely. And that is just very simple. One shape with a bit on the top and then the buckle and a pocket with a small circle for a button. And then the other bits are very simple. They are just basic shapes, but it might take you a little bit of time to get the hands or the arms in the right sort of position that you want. So just have a play around with that. I've not bothered with any fingers because it can get a bit fiddly. Sometimes it just works as well to give your character mitten fingers. And that will just do find to get the idea across that they have hands. And the same with shoes and that sort of thing. I might add some details to the issues later, but for now they are going to do the job. So I'm just going to assemble this character. And if you're unhappy with anything at any point, you can just pull things off from the high-end very carefully. So I wasn't really happy with the way that was sitting. So I'm just going to pull off and add it in again. So if you look on the back of this, you'll see how much things overlap. And that's a really important thing is just to give things a lot of space so that you're not just sticking things really edge to edge. Want to give things a bit of leeway. So when you're making all your pieces, feel free to make them too long so that you can go and trim them back. But when you see it from the front, everything should line up nicely and you don't even notice any of those big long necks are long arms at the back. So I made this area, I'm going to add this into my teammate, my character, who she is. She's just walking out the ice cream shops just to buy some glue to the back of her hand. And then what can be quite nice if you've got thumbs, is just to shuffle that behind and have the rest of the hand on the front. So it looks like she's holding the ice cream. I'm just going to pinch that down until it ethics in place. Now it's yogurt. If you have a play around with your character, figure out what you want them to look like, what they're wearing, and what is important to them as a person. You can then start making so you can work on the face, work on the clothes. And once you've done all of that, drew me in the next lesson where we're going to craft all of the objects in our scene which will make it come to life. 9. Craft Your Objects: Hi guys, welcome back. In this lesson, we're going to be figuring out all of the objects in our scene and the ways to add lots of nice details to it and make it come alive with all of those small things that will draw the eye to different parts of your illustration. So coming back to my sketch, the objects I've gone with a quite generic ice cream shop objects. I've not looked up any pictures of an ice cream shop with just base these things on my memory and ideas from my head. And I would really encourage you to do the same thing. You don't need all of the details of this theme to know that this is a poster, this is a milk bottle, that this is a scoop of ice cream. None of those things I've based on actual images. I've just kinda made the buffer my head. And I've really simplified them because we're not gonna be able to get in too much detail, but we just want to get the idea of them across are the essence of them across. So a good example of this is I once had a project and making lots of musical instruments. And I was getting so bogged down in what those instruments to look like in reality, that when I made them, they literally stiff and they looked basically like they were in real life. And I don't think you need to do that. You want them to be free and fun. So once I stepped away from my original sketches and just thought about what does the double bass look like? I made it and it became something that was in my style, something that was a bit more fun and got the essence of a double base across, but wasn't too detailed or too bogged down in the small intricacies of that instrument. And the same goes for this piece here. We're not needing to put all the numbers on the clock or all of the other word milk and the milk bottles. We're just needing to put the very basics so that you can see that they're seen as ****, but it's not too busy. So now I'm going to go ahead and make some of these shapes myself and put the objects together. Again, it can be measuring things up to your sketch if you would like. Just to check they're the right size. Sometimes it's quite easy to make these things too big and then the spaces kinda gets cluttered. I'm just making sure my corners and nice and soft just to give a level of softness to the illustration so it doesn't have kinda pointy edges. So here are a few of my objects. I still got a few to make, so I'm going to come back to center them later, but most of them are coming together nicely. So they can be as simple as you like or any that maybe doesn't look like much out contexts, but in context, it will go next to a pink one and there'll be a small source for your ice creams. And if you're making, you're seeing, I would maybe suggest making me around five to seven objects if you like. You can make as many as you like or have even felt that I've seen if you want to. But if you're just practicing a few different objects that will bring something different to your scene. So you might want to put a little animal in there. You might want to add some more, so signage and some bits and pieces around just to add those details that will bring it to life. So I'm going to come back and add some details here and also some highlights on the door and that sort of thing. And I'll show you them when I'm assembling my final scene, you can see those small things that will bring it together nicely. So now it's your turn. If you go and have a think about the objects that you want to include, make all the details, add all those layers in. Take time over this small details, but remember to simplify things, keep things quite fresh and illustrative. So once you've finished making all of your objects, if you gather them all together. In our next lesson, we're going to be assembling our final piece. 10. Assemble Your Scene: Hi guys. This is the most exciting part where everything comes together. So we're going to spend this lesson assembly are pieces. I'm going to show you a couple of different ways to do that. And by the end of it, we should have a finished illustration. So there are three main ways that you can assemble your piece. One of them is just a simple glue that we've been using all along. So you can just go back to your pen and use tacky glue and assemble it that way. You could also use some firms sticky pads, which you can get from most places you just want a thin one, nothing too thick. And with those you can create a little bit of depth in your piece. So you can raise some of the larger pieces or maybe your character up from the background. And the third way is using some double-sided tape. Any kind of double-sided tape will do the job. You just need a little bit on the back of your pieces. And sometimes it can just save you a bit of glue, save you a bit of time, especially if it's a larger piece like maybe my archway and this bit I'm going to use my tape for. Now that's all sorted. I'm going to go ahead and assemble my piece just to reminder that I'm using a piece of mount board as my base for this. You can use anything like card or another piece of paper. But mount board for me is quite a steady base. I'm just touching my background to that base of the art board. You can cut the sticky foam pads and a half if you need a smaller ones, that works really well and you can even cut them as small as you need them to be. Okay, so that's my piece finished. I stuck everything together and assembled it all nicely. It's very sturdy. I can always go back and re stick anything if it comes off. But I'm quite happy with how things are looking is not exactly the same as my sketch, but that's totally fine. So throughout that some of the things that I did differently that you might have noticed, I used a lot of these foam pads, but some of them I stopped completely wrong. So I went back and I took them off and changed it. I wants everything to be on a similar level. So I have got foam pads on this, but, but not on this, but it's helpful to just add an extra bits of paper if you're unhappy with the way something sitting out as a bit of paper here and I sat as some highlights and the door, you can add small details like the leaves and the bricks. They really help it to come out as soon as that of those bricks in that, or just kinda came to life a little bit. You can spend ages tweaking it, but sometimes it's good to just say stop, I'm done. That's what I'm going to. Okay, so now it's your turn. If you assemble your piece using the glue that you have on the tape and sticky foam pads, assemble it all until you're happy with it. Then in the next lesson, I'll show you how to photograph it and present it as your final piece. 11. Share Your Work: Now that we've finished our pieces, I'm going to show you a couple of ways to share them with your friends and family. There are two main ways that I do this. I either take a good photo of the piece and that's the best way to share it online or to keep it in my portfolio images. Or I would frame the piece and put on the wall, show it to everyone that comes around. If you're really proud of your piece, that's a great way to do it. And I'll talk a little bit about frames that really suit the pay for art style. So feel free to graphing your work. You don't need anything special. A lot of people will just use their foreign and that is completely fine. I don't have the best camera on my phone, so I usually use my actual camera, which is just an old DSLR. And I just with a 50 mil lens, which is very common and very easy to use, kinda gives you a nice depth of field. If you're taking a picture from the side, you can see all the layers of the paper. In that way. It doesn't really nice job of bringing in lots of light. So when I photograph my pieces, I always use natural light. I will just put the piece next to a big window. Use my camera, let as much light in as possible because natural light captures the texture of the paper, the shadows of the paper and the colors come out quite naturally as they are. I see as well. That's just a really simple way to get a good photo, whether you're using a phone or a camera. I normally just shoot my pictures from above, have them on a low table, stand above it by that window. And take the photo from there. It's quite nice to get a kind of behind the scenes look at how the layers are forms. So sometimes get shot from this sort of angle. And just to see how these layers are all kind of coming up and down from the page because sometimes from above you lose that a little bit. But if you've got the right shadows and if you are repositioning things by the window, you'll eventually get photo that gives the same message across as your piece in real life, my one random top tip for taking a photo of your paper piece is sometimes a camera doesn't pick up the paper very well because it's quite flat. So if you're taking a photo, you're taking it from above. Sometimes it's good to just like put your scissors or a pencil or something nearby because then the camera will have something to focus on. It's helpful tip if you're trying, if you're struggling to get those really sharp lines of the paper onto your camera. I would recommend editing your photos, so I use Lightroom for all my editing. But my main reason for using that is because you can go in and pick out every color and edit that vary slightly. So if you're being picky on how the colors look in reality, and you can't get them to look quite the same in a photo. Editing it that way is a really good way to bring out the best of the colors and even sometimes change them a little bit. If you're not happy with them in reality, you can tweak them a bit, tweak the hue and saturation so you don't have to use Lightroom. You can use whatever photo editing program you've got. Even if you're on your phone, you've probably got a way to edit a photo. That way you're just trying to tweak all the settings until you've got something that really makes the piece saying and really makes the piece jump off the page. So whether we're photographing a piece of framing it, we want the fact that it's made of paper to be the main thing. We want that to really be able to be clear to the viewer. So if we're framing it, we don't want to squash it against the glass like some frames, we'll just have no space between the glass and the back. So you're losing all the layers are there, you're losing a lot of the shadows. You just want something that is going to give your piece a lot of space and space to stand out. So a frame that's deeper has maybe a spacer in it, which is just a bit of a gap between the glass and the back, will allow your paper piece to really stand out. So you either want a nice boxy frame, which I've got for my piece, or you can also get these bras frames which have two sheets of glass. They are sometimes bigger than this. This is just a small one. But those are also quite nice because there's a bit of space between the two sheets of glass and you're not being distracted by any sort of background. So those work really well for paper pieces. So I'd really encourage you to find a way to present your work in the best way, whether it's framing it or taking a photo or both. You can then present it to your family. You can share it online and just really celebrate the work that you've done during this course. 12. Final Thoughts: So congratulations if you've made it this far, you've made a really lovely, painful piece and let's come together really nicely. I hopefully you can use his skills again. You can build on them, come back to them, Come back to your piece and add more to it. Absolutely love it if you would share a picture in the project gallery below. So I can be inspired by you and that we can both carry on making things together. So if you want to find more of my work, you can find me at lowercase a is on most things and our website is And it's the same for Instagram. Thank you so much for taking this course and see you soon.