Papercut: Illustrating with Layers of Paper

A course by José Antonio Roda Martinez
Illustrator. Madrid, Spain.
On Domestika since 04/11/2014
, Illustrator

Learn to create volumetric compositions with paper and a scalpel

  • Spanish with subtitles in English
  • 98% Positive reviews (112)
  • 1981 students
Papercut: Illustrating with Layers of Paper

Learn to create volumetric compositions with paper and a scalpel

Spanish with subtitles in English
  • 98% Positive reviews (112)
  • 1981 students
  • Online and at your own pace
  • Audio: Spanish
  • Level: Beginner
  • 19 Lessons (3h 27m)
  • Available from the app
  • Spanish, English, Portuguese, German
  • Unlimited access forever

José Antonio Roda -more simply known as Roda- is an illustrator who has lent his talents drawing for brands such as Instagram, WeTransfer, Hyundai, Kiabi or Madrid City Council with creations that go beyond paper: ceramics, textiles and even wood are some of the means in which he has captured his illustrations.

In this course you will learn the basics of the papercutting technique; starting from the previous approach of your drawings and you will discover the way to create volumetric compositions with paper.

About this course

Course table of contents

  • U1
    U1. Introduction
  • U2
    U2. Preparing to cut
  • U3
    U3. Shorten
  • U4
    U4. The portrait
  • U5
    U5. Last Retouching
  • FP
    FP Final project
View details

As an introduction, Roda will show you some of his works and will tell you about the influences that have made him the artist he is today. In addition, it will tell you about the historical context of the papercut and its role in different cultures.

Before starting to cut your first paper, you will learn basic concepts and ways to capture your design on the support you choose, as well as everything you need to know about the materials and tools you will use during the course.

After the preambles, it will be time to reach for the scalpel. You will start by making basic geometric figures, combining them and playing with the negative space to create simple and fun compositions.

Once you have mastered the basic techniques of the scalpel, Roda will propose you to create a portrait from a photograph that will also be the sketch that you will take to your computer to create the roadmap of your final creation.

You will learn to paste and assemble all the pieces of your composition to create a portrait with volume, layer by layer.

Finally, Roda will show you the different possibilities of framing for your papercut work.

What is this course's project?

You will plan, design and carry out, step by step, a pictorial composition with different layers of paper cut by hand.

Projects by course students

Who is it for?

To illustrators, designers, artists and anyone interested in knowing the papercutting technique.

What you need

Drawing knowledge is not necessary, although it will help you have previously used Adobe Illustrator and have some skill with manual works.

With respect to the materials you will need: colored cards, painter's tape, cardboard pen and spray glue. In addition, you should have at hand a scalpel, a large ruler, a cutting board (or a hard cardboard), a cutter or exact, scissors and waxing tweezers.


1981 Students
112 Reviews
98% Positive ratings

José Antonio Roda Martinez

José Antonio Roda has always shown an inclination for everything creative and artistic, although he was not clear that "that of drawing" was viable as a career, that's why he started studying Audiovisual Sciences but, little by little, his hobby has been turning into a profession that has led him to collaborate with brands such as Facebook, Cabify, Refinery29, Ikea or Hyundai, to name just a few.

Roda's work is based, almost exclusively, on the portrait of simple lines, primary colors and kind tone, expressed in different ways: by hand, in digital, with paint, cardboard, wood and even ceramics. A self-taught creative who has decided to teach others about art.


  • U1


    • Presentation 1
    • Presentation 2
    • My influences
    • Brief historical context of the Papercut
  • U2

    Preparing to cut

    • materials
    • Tools
    • Ways to capture your design
  • U3


    • Practical tips before getting to cut
    • Pressure and cut
    • Union, stain and vacuum
  • U4

    The portrait

    • Approach and sketch
    • From the sketch to the computer 1
    • From sketch to computer 2
    • Cut pieces
    • Volume, paste and assemble 1
    • Volume, paste and assemble 2
    • Volume, paste and assemble 3
  • U5

    Last Retouching

    • Details and box
    • Framing possibilities
  • FP

    Final project

    • Papercut: illustrating with layers of paper

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Domestika's courses are online classes that provide you with the tools and skills you need for completing a specific final project. Every step of the project combines video lessons with complementary instructional material, so you can learn by doing. Domestika's courses also allow you to share your own projects with the instructor and other users, thus creating a dynamic course community.

  • The course is 100% online, so once they are published, courses start and finish whenever you want. You set the pace of the class. You can go back to review what interests you most and skip what you already know, ask questions, answer questions, share your projects, and more.

  • The courses are divided into different units, each one includes lessons, informational texts, tasks and practice exercises to carry out your project step by step, with additional complementary resources and downloads. You will also have access to an exclusive forum where you can interact with the instructor and other students, and share your work and your course project, thus creating a community around the course itself.

  • You can now redeem the course you received, just access redeeming page to enter your gift code and redeem it.

Papercut: Illustrating with Layers of Paper. A Illustration, and Craft course by José Antonio Roda Martinez

Papercut: Illustrating with Layers of Paper

A course by José Antonio Roda Martinez
Illustrator. Madrid, Spain.
On Domestika since 04/11/2014
  • 98% Positive reviews (112)
  • 1981 students