Realistic Papercut Landscapes in Procreate | Laurie Russell | Skillshare

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Realistic Papercut Landscapes in Procreate

teacher avatar Laurie Russell, Digital Artist | Illustrator | Educator

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.



    • 3.

      Setup and Colors


    • 4.



    • 5.

      Papercut Layers


    • 6.

      3D Effect


    • 7.

      Paper Texture


    • 8.

      Sharing Your Art


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About This Class

Let’s create beautiful, unique 3D papercut landscapes without any scissors or glue…join me in class to learn how to create digital papercut artwork in Procreate!

In this class, you’re going to learn the basic technique for creating 3D papercut art in Procreate, by working through a full design together.  You can either follow along with the sample piece, or choose to create your own design!  After you complete this class, you’ll be able to take what you’ve learned and create your own digital papercut artwork to share via email or social media.

What you’ll learn

  • How to plan your design and sketch in Procreate
  • How to use Layers, Clipping Masks, Adjustments, and Groups in Procreate to create 3D cutout shapes
  • How to choose the right color palette and theme for your project
  • How to utilize different Blending modes with textures to get a digital paper effect
  • How to export your final artwork to share digitally


Is this class for me?

Newbies and seasoned artists will enjoy this class and the project can be adapted to any skill level.  To succeed in this class, you should have a basic working knowledge of your iPad and Procreate, but we’ll be walking through each step of the process along the way.  You’ll learn some tips and shortcuts as you watch my workflow.


Materials & Resources

For this class, you’ll need an iPad with Procreate, and I recommend using an Apple Pencil or other stylus, although it’s not absolutely necessary.  You’ll receive a digital paper texture as well as the color palette I'm using in the sample piece, and access to a curated Pinterest inspo board that I've set up.  I've also included 2 different color guides to help you out.  You can access all the resources HERE.

Let’s get started!

These designs are so unique and fun!  I can’t wait to see what YOU create, so make sure that you share your designs in the Projects area of the class.


Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Laurie Russell

Digital Artist | Illustrator | Educator


Hey there, I'm Laurie!  I’m a Graphic Designer, Digital Artist, and basically a lover of all things creative.  I've been drawing since I was big enough to hold a crayon, and I haven't stopped since - now I do art for a living!  I'm based in the beautiful Pacific Northwest (Washington State, USA).  I’ve worked with a variety of clients, from large companies to small startups, to individuals and small businesses - in many industries - over the past 15 years.


I have a passion for the union of Technology + Art. My mission is to help your ideas take flight by sharing tips, techniques, and tools to empower Creators of all ty... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: Paper Art has always been one of my favorite things. And ever since I got my iPad, I've had so much Ben creating realistic Papercut Art in Procreate. In this class, I'm going to walk you through creating your own papercut landscape with realistic shadows and textures. All you need is your iPad and the Procreate app. I'm going to show you how to choose your color scheme and theme. Create your layers, and add the 3D and Paper texture effects to your scene. Make sure you watch the next video on how to access all of the class Resources. And then I'll see you for the class project 2. Resources: Let's briefly go over how to access the resources for this course. The link to the course resource page will be in the description, but I'm going to put it on screen here as well. Once you follow that link, this is what you'll see. You can get the free Paper texture and the Procreate color palette that I'm going to use in our sample. By clicking this button below. It's just going to take you to a Dropbox folder. You can download that to your device. Below that, you'll see information about the Pinterest board that I've set up for the course. There's a bunch of different samples on here. Some are more basic and some are more advanced. And you can take inspiration from whether that's a theme, color or a layout, and just create your own unique Art. Tapping this button should take you to Pinterest and open up the board. I've interpreted the word landscape a little broadly here. Basically is something that incorporates different layers and something to do with nature. Looking out into the distance. As you can see, we have some different ones with the clouds. We have some underwater ones. This one's in the desert. Some of these are a little more basic. Some are more advanced. Is different color palettes and themes here. I just want you to see what speaks to you and what you might be interested in creating. Of course, you never want to copy someone else's Art exactly. But drawing inspiration from them, It's absolutely okay. Below that, we have similar resources regarding color. I have a couple of different options here. This one here is a free guide to basic color psychology. It says, use color in your marketing, but basically has color psychology that is helpful for anyone. You can put your email address in there and it will be sent to you right away. If you want an easy button for choosing colors, I do have a new eBook that just came out. It's called from pixels to Palettes, and it has 50 curated professional color palettes that you could use right away in any creative project. You can't learn more by clicking the button right below. It will take you to the information page for this book. You can get all of your questions answered there. I have a little video explaining it and all of that information is here. Now let's go ahead and dive into this project 3. Setup and Colors: Here we are in Procreate. Let's go ahead and set up a new canvas by clicking the plus sign. I'm just going to go ahead and use my screen size, but you can use whatever size you'd like. Remember that you can either follow along with my example or you can go check out the curated Pinterest board that I've set up, or even just look for paper cut landscape and see what inspires you. Make sure you think about your color palette. Usually five is a good amount. We call this a limited color palette and it has a lot of benefits for art and design. The first one is that by limiting your colors, you ensure that your viewers eye isn't distracted. And this creates a more focused and visually appealing piece of art. In addition, since colors can evoke different emotions, you can control the mood or feel of your piece by limiting the colors you use. Remember I provided a couple of different color resources for you on the course resource page. The last thing you need to do is choose your theme. You want to have a basic idea of what your design is going to be before you get started. For this one, I'm going to use shades of blue with some yellow highlights and white, and my theme is going to be Moon and stars in the sky. In the next lesson, we're going to sketch out our design. 4. Sketching: Now that we've got our theme planned and our color palette, remember this is available in the class Resources as well. If you want to follow along, it's time to start sketching our design. It's really important because we want to mark up the general layout of it and plan out our layers ahead of time. I'm just going to grab the regular Procreate pencil for sketching. Just draw a few rough layers. You can decide if you want them to be equal or if they can overlap a little bit. So it'll be something like that. Then I'm going to have a moon. And three stars. Wanted big one and the couple of little ones. And these are going to be hanging. The last thing I'm going to have in this layout is some clouds. This one will be behind the moon. And a couple of these will be in front. You don't need to take a lot of time with your sketch. It's really helpful to see a layout of where everything is going to be right from the start. The next lesson, we're going to actually set up our papercut Layers 5. Papercut Layers: Now that we've got our sketch, we're able to move on to setting up our papercut layers. Let's rename this layer sketch and turn down the opacity to about 30%. Go ahead and add a few layers underneath that depending on how many you want, I'm going to add about five. I think I want five layers for my frame. This is where we're going to start building that outer frame. I'm going to grab this darkest blue on the top here. And my monoline brush. And just roughly make an organic shape here. Doesn't have to be perfect. Just wanted to have a clean edge on the inside. Then we're just going to color drop on around. It. Can take your transform tool and stretch it out a little bit. If you feel like it's not close enough to the edge. And go to the next layer below it, the next lighter color. And continue that process. However you want that to look. And then color drop on the edge. If I isolate this layer by pushing, holding on that check mark, you can see what we have. So I'm going to repeat this for the other three layers and I'll be right back. Alright? Because I'm using some darker colors here. It's a little hard to see my sketch. I'm actually going to invert it. Tap on the layer, choose Invert. Now I can turn that opacity up. We're going to change the color of the background. I'm actually going to do it on its own layer rather than changing the background color. There's actually a color right here. It's hard to tell in my dark interface, but it's a super dark blue. We're going to drop that on the background. Now we can see all of our sketch. And we're gonna add one layer above that. Grab this yellow. You may not have a star brush like this, but you can do a similar effect by hand if you wanted as well. I'm going to change this to add, to brighten those up. That's changing the blend mode. And then I'm just going to group those taco first layer swipe right on the second and group. Change this to background. Then I can close that group. Now we've got the layers of our frame and we want to build these other elements. And I like to put them all on top and then move them down later so I can see it I'm doing. Let's go ahead and add a layer for the moon. I've already got my yellow selected. I'm just going to roughly draw this shape, fill it in, and then take my eraser, pushing hold to erase with the same brush. And just clean up this edge a little bit so it's a bit sharper. Now, we can go ahead and make our stars. I'm gonna do these each on their own layer so I can move them around later. I think I'm going to use a smaller brush for that. I'm gonna go into isolation mode and clean these up and I'll be right back. Next thing we need to add is the chords for the stars. I'm going to put these on separate layers to start and then I'll combine them after. I'm going to do these in a very light gray for now. We might lighten those up later. I want you to be behind the stars. That's why I'm doing them on a separate layer. When I'm happy with the placement that I can take two fingers and pinch them and combine it. Making these kind of long because I'm not sure yet how far down they're going to hang I'm going to rename these. So when I'm moving them around and know which one moving. Last thing I need to add is the clouds. I think these two can probably be on the same layer. This one will have to be on its own because it's gonna go behind the moon. So I need to layers. I actually have a different brush that I'm going to use for this, but you can enforce just draw these by hand as well. I have this circle with an outline that makes really nice cloud shapes. It looks like you used a paper punch on it. Alright, Those are looking good. I'm going to rename those top clouds. And clouds. Let's go ahead and make this one real quick. Slow the c1c2, but we're going to make, make it the right size. I think we can go ahead and get rid of our sketch now. You can either hide it with the checkmark or just swipe to delete it. So we've got all of our layers set up now you to decide what order they're going to go in. This Cloud obviously needs to be behind the moon. And all of these need to be at some point behind the frame, except for these clouds are at the top. Let's just start moving the frame around. We know this one is to be right under those clouds. That's already looking cool, having those hanging back there. I think those stars should all be maybe on a different layer. Let's grab the left one, drop it here, the middle one here, and the right one here. And we obviously need to move them down a little bit. Left one is looking pretty good. Maybe it will nudge it over a bit. Smoother. One needs to come down. And then we just need to move our moon and the other Cloud back. So just thinking about what layers they would be behind. Sometimes you just have to play around with it. This one should probably go almost to the back. And then maybe this one above that. I think it needs to go up one more. We want to see the top of the moon. Maybe it's nudged him behind this wedge there. Yeah, like that. So you just gotta kinda play around with it in the Layers panel until you get the layout that you'd like. Now that we've got all of our layers that we're gonna move on to the next lesson where we're going to turn this into 3D 6. 3D Effect: Now that we've got all our layers in here and ordered how we want. We're going to do some magic and make this into 3D Art. The process is pretty simple. We're going to start with the frame. Swipe to the left to duplicate. When you do that twice, always duplicating the bottom layer. Then we're going to swipe right on the other two and group them. Let's go ahead and name this top frame. And go ahead and collapse it for now. The word going to duplicate and group all of these layers in the same way. This is going to keep us nice and organized and help us as we're making our 3D effect. I'm gonna go ahead and do that and be right back. Alright, Now what about everything? Duplicate it, and need to go ahead and open these up. Now. You can see what this many layer is, why it's really helpful to have them grouped and organized. For the bottom layer in each group, we need to alpha lock that and turn it black. Can either tap on the layer and choose Alpha Lock. You can see that checkerboard pattern in here. Or you can tap on the layer and swipe right with two fingers. Now we need to fill all of these with black. Come to your color wheel and double-tap close to black to select solid black. Starting at the bottom, we're going to tap the layer and choose Fill and then turn alpha lock back-off. These are going to be our shadows. Now we need to make a highlight layer. It's ultimately going to be the middle layer of each group. But I think it's easier to see if you actually start at the top and then move it down. Grab the top layer. Come to your magic wand, your Adjustments menu, and go to hue saturation and brightness. For white, you're just going to turn the brightness all the way up. We wanted to be solid, bright white. Then you're going to take that layer and drop it into the middle of the group. Come to the next group down to hue, saturation and brightness. And you want to bump it up maybe 60 to 70%. Somewhere in that range. There shouldn't be a noticeable difference between the two helpers. Slide that down to them, and move on to the next group. We're going to continue that for all of these groups. Now that we've got all of our highlights and shadows setup, it's time to move them and create the 3D Effect. Make sure that you can see your whole Canvas. Then we're going to use multi-select again. Start at the very bottom with your first highlight layer. And then swipe right to select all the other middle layers, all of the highlights. Now come over to your arrow. That's your transform tool. You're just going to tap a few times right off this top right corner. You can start to see a little bit of the edge showing up here. That's going to be the edge of your paper. It doesn't take very much. You can decide how thick or thin you want your paper to be. The shadows we're going to go in the opposite direction. Starting at the top. Select your first shadow, and swipe right to select all of the other shadows. Come to your transform tool and come off of this bottom left corner. These can be a little bit more dramatic and we'll adjust them individually later, but we want to get them at least started altogether. You can already see this is starting to look 3D, pretty cool. Now we need to tweak and adjust the shadows and blur them individually. So here's the top clouds. That's These ones. If we want them to look like they're a little bit further away from this frame. We can come to our Transform tool. Move that shadow over a bit. Now come to the Magic Wand to Guassian blur and slide that over. We have a really nice 3D shadow effect. We're just going to continue this for all the other shadow layers. And you can adjust how deep the shadow is and how much blur. You can even come over to the layer and change the opacity by touching this little end right here. If you think the shadow is a little too harsh, can play with that right there. Once you're happy with that, go ahead and close the group so that you know that it's done. I'm going to do the rest of these layers and come back. And now we've got a really nice 3D effect on our layers. In the next lesson, we're going to add a Paper texture to our design 7. Paper Texture: Now that we've got our Papercut Landscapes setup with our 3D Effect, last thing we need to do is actually added the Paper texture to our piece. There's two different ways to do this. We can add one Paper texture that covers the entire piece, or we can add different paper textures to each section. I'm going to show you both ways. First way is to come to the very top and add new layer. You can use the texture that's provided with this class. I'm to add and either insert a file or insert a photo depending on where you saved it. That's going to import the image. And you just want to stretch it and make sure it's covering the entire canvas. Now we're going to come to the N here and change the blend mode to overlay. As you can see. We have this beautiful Paper texture throughout our whole Canvas. That's the quickest and easiest way to do this. As you can see, the shadows don't look quite as realistic when you do it this way. The alternative is to add different paper textures to each layer. It does take a little bit more time, but I think the effect is really worth it. Let's go ahead and turn that off. Now the way that you'd do this is you'd open up the layer, tap the top layer in that group, and add a new layer above that. Click on that layer and tap clipping mask. Now you just go through the same process. You would import your texture. But now it's only going to show up on that particular layer. You can see this is just showing up on those clouds. So now you can resize it. You can rotate it, do whatever you wanna do. Then change the blend mode to overlay. You would just go through and do that for every group. And you could use the same texture and just rotate and resize it. You could use different textures, but I think it gives it a lot more realistic look that way. I'm gonna go through and do that for these groups. And then I'll come back and show you what the final piece looks like. Now you can see what it looks like. Having different textures on different pieces of yard gives it a really nice effect. Now you have your completed digital papercut landscape 8. Sharing Your Art: I hope you found that helpful. I love showing people how to combine creativity and technology. If you enjoyed this class, I would really appreciate it if you took just a couple of minutes to leave me a teacher review, I can't wait to see the papercut landscapes that you're going to make with this technique. So make sure you share them with us and the project area of this class