I've been working on a few pieces for my home recently and decided I should do a tutorial showing some of my process with these pieces. If you test it out, feel free to share your work!
Start with a thumbnail...lots of thumbnails until you get something you like.
Draw a template at size of the piece of wood you are using. (You can also use glass or terra cotta)
Choose your paper colors & start cutting the larger shapes out. I'm using nice construction paper you can find in craft stores like Michael's.
Use a softer graphite pencil to trace the design on the back of the template. I used a 3B, but a 4B would have been better. 6B gets too smeary.
You should now have the design on both sides of template. Line up the template with the cut shape and retrace the design to transfer the graphite onto the colored paper shape.
Lift template to make sure design is being transferred enough that you can use the design to paint on.
Using a palette, acrylic paints and brushes, start mixing the colors and painting the design. I use between #2-4 flat and round brushes. Alternating brushes, depending on what type of strokes I want.
Cut and piece together the other larger pieces.
Rolled tape will help keep the larger shapes in place while you cut out the rest of the design.
I like to work large to small when doing paper cut pieces. I start with cutting the biggest shapes, then work my way into the details like leaves and flowers.
Leaves are pretty easy for me to free hand cut, but the flowers were a bit tricky. I made sure to lightly draw my flower design on the paper, then cut it out.
Keep fitting all elements together to make sure things are to your liking.
How I cut the body & arms- the skin is one solid piece with precise cuts made to make arms, etc.
Apply a thin layer of modpodge to the back of the pieces to glue everything down to the wood.
Glue down small pieces too.
Start painting in details using acrylic paint and brush. I used #3 round on the flowers and skirt.
Keep painting & cutting & gluing details until it's to your liking.
I realized I didn't like the paper color of the character's skin, so i mixed up a batch of skin colors and fully painted her.
Once everything (paint & glue) is dry, use a wide flat brush, like one you'd use for house painting, to apply a thin coat of hard coat modpodge. Make sure to cover all the surface with even strokes. Pay special attention to glue gooping up on the side edges and smooth that out.
Modpodge goes on milky but dries clear. Let it sit overnight in between full coats so it really has time to harden and seal your design.