I’ve been obsessed with houses and architecture since I was a child, always staring out the car/bus/train/plane window, paying attention to what the buildings look like where ever I go. I never actually studied architecture, though, so it just became an observational past time. When Brian and I moved to the east coast about 10 years ago, it was pretty mind blowing to suddenly be surrounded by historic homes and buildings, some of which pre-date the formation of the United States. Extra mind-blowing, there are buildings from that era that are used for things like housing college freshmen! Anyway, I love looking at buildings. When I started working on my paper house portraits earlier this year, I began by focusing on the big picture, figuring out perspective, and making sure the house ends up being the right shape—I added some details here and there, but it was mostly about the shape/form of the house and the dramatic shadows for the windows and other cut-out elements. With each piece I created, though, I found myself adding more and more little details, and wishing I could add even more! But when you’re trying to create a whole house in an 8×10″ or even 11×14″ space, there’s only so much detail you can add with bits of paper! As I’ve been observing all of the different architectural styles in my neighborhood and on trips this summer, I realized that one area where buildings really show their character is in their windows, so I decided I would experiment with creating pieces that show a window and really hone in on all the details. My long term plan is that by making larger versions of architectural details, I’ll be able to make them more detailed when they’re smaller as part of a paper house portrait, too. I began by researching Victorian era window styles*, and collected inspiration images from real windows as well as doll house window designs. Once I had my reference material, I designed the basic elements to create the multi-paned window, the moulding around the window frame and up the sides, and the decorative pieces above and below the window. I’ve been using those same building block pieces, and then adding additional pieces or modifying pieces, to create a series of Victorian-inspired paper windows. *To be clear, by “research” I mean I did a Google image search and collected some of the images that popped up with that search.I try to keep one or two of these in my Etsy shop, but since they’re all one-of-a-kind that can be a little tricky as we approach the end of the year. If you’re interested in a window and there’s nothing in my shop, email me and I will let you know what I have in stock, or make one special for you!
Latest Instagram posts:
I've been learning a lot, creating these house portrait silhouettes! For my 3D house portraits I've been in the process these last few years of getting better and better at capturing every.single.detail. With each new commission I've challenged myself to add more layers, more levels, and get increasingly literal - if there's a piece of wood or stone, it's probably represented as a separate piece of paper.
I made a thing! Well, technically I made this thing a "thing", in that what once was a vague idea is now a fully-organized and structured product that is available for purchase on my website!
True confession: I use scrapbooking paper to contain all the pieces of my works-in-progress mostly so that I have the occasional photo op that is something besides my cutting mat! I don't know when or why I bought this teal paper with architectural drawings on it, I think it pre-dates my time making houses out of paper, though, so it's either a happy coincidence or foreshadowing! 😂
Isn't this background color the best thing you've ever seen?? (Just me? 😂 I know this one can be a little divisive) It also might look a little different, since this is the first time I've shared this funky background option here, but since I love this color I decided I could add it to my palette!
Windows! The house I'm working on this week has twenty gorgeous windows, with fancy trim and shutters and three of them are dormers. One thing I hadn't fully appreciated when I started on this paper house portrait adventure is that the houses that take the longest to draw, often then also take a good chunk of time to get ready to cut, then the cutting machine takes a long time to cut them out (sometimes over an hour!), and after all those hours I still haven't even glued two pieces together. I'm very overdue on this one, so I'm hoping these windows come together without being too fiddly!