Tools & Techniques for Decorative Embossing:

There are various “decorative” effects you can use in paper sculpture. Interesting effects are generated when pastel is then added on top of these embossed areas (post on adding opaque color).

front and back scored and folded.jpg

After I had selected these two pieces to work through in these posts, I realized that they were fairly large consistent pieces that would not employ much decorative effects. I've included some othe recent pieces, therefore, to demonstrate other decorative effects. 

embossed fur on sloth.jpg
llama decorative embossing.jpg
pattern on top of snake.jpg

Some are (not an exhaustive list!)

Decorative Scoring (as opposed to shaping scoring): deliberately, either to add a pattern, or randomly (as in fur) to add texture.

 

Decorative embossing – The possibilities here are endless.

Poking: Going from either behind or on top of the paper sculpture to add a pattern of raised/indented circles. The different sizes of small paper tools are very useful for this effect. Varying pressure can also add variable depth of embossing.  A straight pin can also be used, if the paper is pierced through. 

 

NOTE: be careful because it’s easy to inadvertently poke through, especially with the foam core behind.

poking tools.jpg
score and poke.jpg
snake showing embossing techniques.jpg
thumbnail embossing.jpg

 Edge Indentation:

 

You can also add some decoration/definition on the edge of your piece by creating indentations with your thumbnail. This can emphasize important interior lines. You can see in the above Llama image the indentations on the edge. 

Joni Nemeth is an author-illustrator living in Chandler, AZ | All images shown are © copyright 2015-2021 Joni Nemeth and/or respective clients. No reproduction of images permitted without written consent.