Monday, 23 July 2012

Papercut Art: Iron Man (Tutorial)

Hellow cool people who read my blog :D
A friend told me about paper-cutting art and it sounded fun so I decided to try make some pictures of everybody's favorite superdude, Iron Man :D 
I took step-by-step photos of the first one so you can see how to do it :)
*Some of the photos are horrible quality. Sorry, my camera was new*

I started by downloading a whole bunch of Iron Guy images. Then I Photoshopped them until I was left with pictures made of very basic shapes, with very few colours or shades of black and white. I chose the picture above for my first ever attempt at papercut art because there's not much detail in it.

I printed the pictures on A4 paper and then got supplies together:

rubber cutting board
art knife with a snap-off blade
pencil and eraser
masking tape
tracing paper. 
cardboard and paper

I traced the Iron Man mask
And labelled it according to which pieces should be cut from white paper

Then I traced the correct shapes onto each colour of paper, cut it out and glued the shapes and layers in place. 
Pretty simple.

I wanted more contrast between the white and grey so I re-did the whole thing from scratch, using darker grey paper, as you can see below

From here on I only took a few pictures of what I was doing since you're probably sick of reading by now :)
I chose this colourful picture for my second try because it looked easier than the next two  :)
I decided not to include all the background detail in this picture, so I just made up my own random lines for the picture's background when I traced it. 
I traced and cut one colour at a time, and laid the pieces out in more or less the correct position on a sheet of white paper so I wouldn't lose track of where they should go. All the tiny curves in this picture were traced and cut as straight lines because giant art knife blade is giant.

I used white, blue, 3 shades of yellow and two shades of red. 
Everything is glued on a black sheet of paper.

This one's my favorite! 
Also, it's more like the typical papercut art that you'd see around the internet because the design is cut from a single sheet of paper on a contrasting background. I used a super detailed picture for this because i wanted it to look interesting even though it has no colour.
So I traced the picture, making sure that all the black areas were joined so that the whole picture would be cut from one continuous sheet of paper

I traced it onto white paper so that I could see the lines and then taped it to a sheet of black paper and cut through both layers at the same time. Here you can see I started to cut small pieces from his shoulder.

 This picture took much longer than all of the others because of all the tiny cuts and fine detail

Here's what it looked like when I finished cutting along all the lines and separated it from the white sheet. Some of the cuts didn't go through both sheets of the paper and so I had to cut the pieces loose.

By the time I got to this one I was confident enough to try and cut tiny curves and also go for a proper layered effect. I edited the picture until it could be done with black, white, and 3 shades of grey.
I traced out and cut one layer at a time

In order to cut the dark grey paper I traced the shapes onto white paper again and taped the two pages together so I could see the lines.
The final picture is on a sheet of black paper, with the first layer in dark grey, then medium grey on top of that, then light grey, and white on the top layer.

Thank you for visiting!! :D

Update: I got a bit better at it and figured out how to do it without tracing anything. Also, it turns out a scalpel works WAY better than a huge art knife blade. So I even copied a photo of actual people's faces and some other stuff. You can see it here here


  1. WOW. This must have taken forever do do.....

    1. About 4 days or so :) I did it in the evenings after work :)