This tutorial is all about making die cuts more dimensional and these ideas work with any brand of cutter! It works if you like to hand-cut or if you like to use software to alter your cuts! It can change whole cuts or just specific areas that seem to flatten out. I love die cuts because they are a great starting point with so much of the basic illustration, theme, and style already figured out! The fun is making it your own (and that is where the 'art' is too!)
A few ideas for adding dimension and emphasizing perspecitve:
- Things that would be closer to you in real life should 'appear' closer to you on the die cut. You can depict that by using brighter or deeper colors or more detailed patterns, using pop dots or bending the paper to physically pull parts closer, and creating more detailed cuts. These things are in the foreground.
- Things that would be farther away to you in real life should 'appear' farther away on the die cut (or behind the die cut if you are making a scene or vignette.) You can depict that by using more muted colors, less detailed or less focused patterns, inking to make things seem to recess, or covering the background with something like vellum to 'mute' the colors. For backgrounds, the flatter and more recessed you can make them, the more they set off things in the foreground.
- It doesn't have to be perfect. Imperfections just add to the charm of something original and hand-made.
To illustrate this on individual cuts, I made a few examples...
The die cut when created just as it is on the cartridge (left) is flat, especially the body, with no difference in the knee that is farther away than the leg that is closest to us! By cutting "extra parts" and adding ink (applied with an eye shadow sponge) and sometimes pop dots, the baby has more dimension and looks more separated from the surface of the paper behind it.
For the body, I cut four: one that matched the head so I could steal the hand, and three cut in lilac to make the sleeper. One of those was cut using the 'blackout' feature and would be the base. The other two were cut for 'spare parts' so that I could build up the figure. I simply cut where indicated on the die cut using the marks the machine made.
You can see that the lower left cut was used just for the back knee. I inked it heavily because in real life, it would be more shadowed than the leg closest to us. I also used the rest of the body from that cut and adhered it to the base. I cut off the hand from the flesh-colored cut and adhered it next.
I adhered the arm. I glued it flush at the top, but used a pop dot at the bottom so that the upper part looked more sewn-in and the part near the wrist looked like it was loose around the hand.
The leg was attached with pop dots.
I attached the head to complete it.
This works for all kinds of different figures and styles.
This example was cut from Cricut Pack Your Bags (page 21) at 4-1/2". I liked her because she looks like she is wearing a Derby hat and I forced her to change her drink order from a lemon-adorned beverage to a mint julep in a traditional silver cup for Derby Day today.
I started with two cuts in flesh.
I discarded everything from that figure except the parts I needed and clipped away the unnecessary parts of the remaining flesh-colored figure (left arm, legs, and lemon) and discarded those.
I cut two hair layers, one for the base and one to cut to make extra locks that would be attached only at the top and bent up at the bottom for dimension. I wanted it to be a windy day (as opposed to the rainy one we are having today!)
I placed her extra face on top of the base after inking it. The top was applied flush with glue. Her jutting chin was made by using a pop dot on the lower part.
I added her bangs and inked her arm and chest-- easier to do before the dress is applied.
I added the other details to her face using the regular cuts on the cartridge and a Micron pen (for her hint of a nose).
Next, I added the hat, cutting off the flower detail since I knew I would be using a different color for that. (No one likes to keep lining up those petals that will just get hidden!) In fact, I just used the flower from the hat that was cut as a part of the dress layer. (Why not?)
I cut a second flower and folded it for dimension and applied it on top of the flat flower cut.
Her billowy, wind-blown skirt would need to pull away from page.
I cut a skirt right off the cart and then hand-cut a separate skirt (without a hand cut out) that I applied to the dress. (I wanted her hand free, otherwise, I could have just cut two from the card and bent one for the top layer.) Honestly, I think it would have been okay either way.
I glued her arm on at the shoulder only and kept her hand free. Last, I colored her shoes in and inked her legs. The shoes were an experiment. I was hoping to make them recede even more by making them less bright than the hemline. I used a little black ink on the folds of the skirt, placing the sponge applicator wherever the shadow naturally fell to emphasize them.
This idea can also be used on cuts of inanimate objects. I think ink does wonders for home decor cuts.
For this example, the bed was cut from Cricut Everyday Paper Dolls at 4-1/2". (The pillow above was cut from the same cart at 4"). I think this is a great cut, but with only one layer, it really is flat even with the foreshortened perspective. We get more dimension just by cutting the same shape in a printed paper for fabric elements and an extra brown cut for extra parts. The extras include posts at the head to be inked and applied flush and a popped up foot board that we will give extra decoration. I hand-cut the elements apart, using the die cut's own lines that were cut in-- very easy!!
By using a printed paper for bedding, I lost some of the foreshortening, but I liked the pattern and didn't want to give it up!
I inked anywhere on the bedding where I thought a shadow would naturally be, or to recess the shape, such as on the sides on the bedspread.
After I applied the foot board, I realized that the bedspread that was tucked into the end would be closer like the foot board so I popped it up too. (In the end, I think it would have been fine either way. Sometimes it is just about guessing.)
Then, I cut decorations to look like wood carvings on the bed from Something to Remember (page 51 phrase-shift). I inked it and used a Micron pen to add details. I only put it on the foot board, hoping to help pull it forward... not sure if it did the trick, but I really liked the way it decorated the bed.
I liked it... .until I took pictures! Something wasn't right... The pillow was too bold and pulled forward visually. I cut a piece of vellum to soften the pattern and color saturation a bit.
So those are the basics!
Are you ready for a little drama? This is perfect for turning a silhouette (like those on the Suburbia cartridge) into a dimensional figure!
I started with the woman on the beach from the Cricut cartridge, Suburbia, cut at 4-1/2". For illustrative purposes, I made it just like the cartridge handbook shows. Then I made her again with dimensional layers and inking!
A silhouette necessarily flattens out any object. All die cuts without layers really are just silhouettes. Altering the cuts, cutting 'spare parts', adding layers that get popped up, and inking, as shown above, will transform a cut so that the perspective is clear and dimension is achieved.
I started with multiple cuts of the same figure.
I cut two in the color I wanted to use for the swimsuit/hat and two from flesh. I used the arm and head/neck from one flesh cut and applied it to one red cut. I hand-cut hair, inked, and added facial features with a Micron pen. I didn't add an ear, but I did cut the hair in a way to make a silhouette of the ear. Since the head is recessed, subtle features aren't required anyway. From that same flesh cut, I cut the top leg and inked it.
From the second flesh cut, I only needed the bottom leg. I inked it heavily and glued it on top of the red figure I was working with. From the second red figure, I only needed her hat band, which I attached to her with a pop dot in the center and gluing flush on the ends, to curve it.
I applied the top leg by gluing flush at the hip and thigh but popping up at the foot.
And speaking of the foot, you are probably thinking, gee, her foot is the closest to the viewer, why don't you have a very detailed foot drawn in with painted toenails? Well, I am horrible at drawing feet (like most people) but I couldn't ignore them so I put a few dots to hint at detail. (Just a bit of cheating!)
I realize that I have ignored a big point when it comes to adding dimension and that is atmospheric perspective. I thought this figure might be a good one to move from 'example' to 'finished project' so I decided to make her into a card. (Is it weird that my project for National SCRAPBOOK Day is a card?!)
So, here's the thing, if I put her on a detailed background, it would lose the effect so I decided on a simple background, though something more realistic would have been just fine too, as long as it didn't have lots of details. After all that attention to detail, it is kind of fun to tear some paper so that is how I made my beach.
Then I trimmed it down and glued down my figure.
This mat was then adhered to a card I cut to fit. I tucked her bent leg in under the paper layer a bit on the finished card.
You can see that by altering the digital and cartridge cuts, the images become less 'Cricut' or 'Silhouette' and more YOU as it shifts from craft to art in this way. ...And it is just more fun too!
OK- so I promised a give-away! I have a $20 Hobby Lobby gift card to give away in honor of National Scrapbook Day to one randomly-drawn person who comments on this blog post! Only one comment per person will go into the drawing (just to save you and me the trouble of multiples!) The cool thing about Hobby Lobby is that they have an online store so you can use your gift card even if there's not one in your town... and they have sales on shipping from time-to-time as well. You don't have to be a follower of this blog (unless you just want to) in order to enter. You do need to provide an email address or other way for me to contact you if you win, so please don't forget to do that. (You know if I can't find you, it will kill me to have this gift card in my possession so let's do us both a favor on that, okay?) I will draw for a winner next Sunday, May 12, 2013 (Mother's Day)!
Now if you don't normally swing by my blog, but want to find me again in the future, you can follow me using the nifty "Join This Site" app on the sidebar so that I show up in your Feedly or other reader.... or you can follow my page on Facebook (click here) or you can follow my board on Pinterest (click here) or you can sign up for email updates (you will find that on the sidebar under the Members app).
And lastly, there are several of us who are participating in the Circleville NSD Weekend who are also posting our tutorials and/or challenges and/or prizes on our personal blogs.
Everyone is invited to join in the fun! Here is a list of participants and the times you will find their posts on their blogs (all times are Eastern Daylight Time):
- Around the Block with Scrapalette - 11AM EDT Saturday, May 4, 2013 "Tic Tac Toe Challenge and Blog Prize!
- Col's Creative Corner - 1PM EDT Saturday, May 4, 2013 "Ease on Down the Road" Blog Prize- $15 Michael's Crafts Gift Card!
- Paper, Craft and Scissors - 3PM Saturday, May 4, 2013 "On Pins" theme and Blog Prize - $25 Simon Say Stamp Gift Card!
- Stamp, Cut, Create! blog - 4PM EDT Saturday, May 4, 2013. "Tin Is In" theme and Blog Prize!
- All Scrapped Out - 6PM EDT Saturday, May 4, 2013 "What's It Owl About" theme and Blog Prize!
- The Non-Crafty Crafter - 8PM EDT Saturday, May 4, 2013 "Let's Split- CCR Tutorial" (Learn to create a split letter monogram) and Blog Prize!
- Scrappin With The Bug blog - 10PM EDT Saturday, May 4, 2013 "The Crazy Bs Challenge" and Blog Prize!
- Sara W. Andrews blog - 9AM EDT Sunday, May 5, 2013 "Go Big or Go Home Challenge" and Blog Prize - $20 Hobby Lobby Gift Card!
- Scrappin With the Bug blog - 11AM EDT Sunday, May 5, 2013 "Tropical Sunset Color Challenge" and Blog Prize!
- I Came, I Saw, I Created blog - 6:30PM EDT Sunday, May 5, 2013 "Did-I-MENSION???" Challenge and Blog Prize!