Paper art usually only comes in two forms: two-dimensional and three-dimensional. But for artist Calvin Nicholls, that’s a little too confining.
His technique seems to be a cross between drawing and sculpture. With the fine lines of an intricate sketch and the three dimensionality of a statue, these works come to life right before your eyes.
Nicholls uses paper and very sharp X-Acto knives to create his pieces.
The paper sections are glued in place to achieve a 3-D effect.
Depending on the size and complexity of the piece, these can take anywhere from a few weeks to two years to complete.
Now that’s dedication.
Nicholls’ work resembles the scientific nature illustrations of conservationists and explorers of old. The fact that these pieces are void of color gives the subjects a timeless appearance, like marble sculptures…or even ghosts.
Conservation is actually something that interests Nicholls.
He recently completed the five birds of paradise you see here as part of an exhibit for The Society of Animal Artists.
His animal creations are breathtaking.
And some are just so, so cute.
The artist adds subtle colors sometimes to add yet another dimension to his work.
Some of his pieces are less intricate than others, but they’re no less striking.
You can see much more of Nicholls’ work on his website. For using such time-consuming methods, he’s very prolific. If you’re interested in those methods, learn a bit more about them here, and see even more creations on Facebook. His work will also be on display in the Birds in Art show in Wisconsin’s Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum.