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Paper cut printmaking

The way that I make my prints is a little unusual but very hands on and has an element of craft to it. I do a lot of drawing - mostly of flowers which I love - and then I use these drawings to make paper cut stencils. I make one stencil for each colour in the print, and then print a whole edition with one colour, then the next and the next until I have completed all the colours and the print is finished.

Forget me not paper stencil and finished print

I started using this technique partly out of necessity. I had completed an art degree specialising in photography and printmaking. In my twenties, living in a shared flat in London I wanted to continue with printmaking but had none of the fancy equipment of an art studio. I wanted to find a really simple hands on process that I could do with limited resources and space. So I turned to this technique which I had done a little of at university. With just a screen, a squeegee, some paper and ink, I was able to create art in the simple style I liked.

I'm always interested to see other artists who work in the same kind of medium, and I thought you might like to see some of those artists too. So here are a few ideas for a paper cut artist you might like to take a look at.

Ricardo Roig

Ricardo uses the same technique as I do - making hand cut paper stencils and using these stencils to make handmade silkscreen prints, pushing the ink through the stencil and on to the paper beneath using a squeegee.

A fine art print of a landscape including fields, trees, a lake and a mountain
'Hidden Lake' by Ricardo Roig

His work features beautiful and intricate landscapes, all hand carved out of paper. His paper cut art has a level of detail that is fascinating to look at, coupled with a simplicity of form that comes from the paring down of the image in the cutting process. There is something of an impressionist quality to the work, with scenes reminiscent of the work of Van Gogh.

A fine art print of a cafe scene in Hamilton Park USA
'Hamilton Park' by Ricardo Roig

For me as a paper cut artist I love the pared down nature of the lines and shapes, but which, when put together, create a fully formed image.

With Roig's work, each new colour that is layered on the print adds an extra element like a piece of a puzzle, adding depth and texture.

He is very much inspired by the community where he lives in and around New York, but undertakes commissions too, and is also inspired by Japanese woodblock prints.

Find out more about his work here:

See a vido of his studio and his process here


Kathryn Fox

Kathryn Fox is a printmaker using paper cut stencils to make her screen prints.

She describes this process as 'Offering great scope for exploring colour and shape to create vibrant designs and images, representational and abstract'. Some of her work is on the abstract side, making great use of overlapping shapes and colours.

While she works with a range of media and processes, her focus is on printmaking and abstraction.

Paper cut artwork - original prints by Kathryn Fox

She has exhibited locally, nationally and internationally and now continues to create art from her studio in Wharfedale, Yorkshire.

See more of Kathryn Fox prints:


Rob Ryan

Rob Ryan has become well known all over the world for his distinctive paper cut style, and is one of the leading paper-cut artists working in the world today. Rather than the printmakers who use paper cut stencils as the means to make a print, the cut paper is the final artwork in itself for Rob. The designs he makes are then used as negatives for making photo emulsion stencils on a silkscreen, through which prints are then printed by hand.

a red and white fine art print of birds making a nest
'Other Planets' by Rob ryan

I was lucky enough to meet Rob recently at a small print exhibition at The Art Workers Guild, London. I confess it was like meeting a celebrity for me!

It was so interesting to hear him talk about his life in art, his processes and commissions which are really extensive. However, it was also reassuring to discover that he didn't reach this level of fame overnight - it was 20 years before his art was noticed, and then came a meteoric rise. His original art pieces have been transformed into many things from window displays to jewellery, to illustrated books and a fantastic mural and Grand Central Station to name but a few.

a yellow and green paper cutout of  two people in the boughs of a tree reading a book
I can't forget by rob ryan

He is well known for his simple drawing style which is often accompanied by pieces of text. These are sometimes romantic, poetic, and in some cases political. For me I love to see the simplicity of form and also of concept - something that looks beautiful and conveys a simple message.

Find more of his work here: Rob Ryan

If you'd like to see more of my hand made silkscreen prints using paper cut stencils, you can find them on the website here.

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