How to Trim Your Artwork Perfectly Every Time – Tutorial

by Wendi OBrien

Trimming Your Artwork

Today, I am going to share with you a short tutorial on how to trim your artwork.  You can also view the video below for a visual instruction with voice over.

You can use these techniques before or after you complete your artwork.  I normally like measure mine out prior to starting my artwork then tape it on all edges so I have a nice clean edge around my art.

Since this piece is a watercolor/wet media piece, I decided to keep it on the block and work the entire piece so there are no clean or white edges.  Therefore, I am doing this after the fact.

When I planned this piece it was for an 8 inch x 10 inch finished piece.  My paper is 9 x 12.  I like to keep about ¼ inch boarder around the entire piece.  This allows room for handling and mounting.

Gathering Supplies

So the first thing I did was gather my supplies.  I use a self healing cutting mat, pencil, ruler I prefer a metal one, utility knife…you can use an xacto, but I find that I have less control with it so prefer my Olfa L Snap off Blade utility knife and my art work.

Deciding on Dimensions

 I then did a little math to figure out how much I was going to need to cut off.  My final dimensions will be 8 ½ inches by 10 ½ inches.  Since this is a 9 x 12 paper this means that I need to cut of ¼ inch from the top and bottom and ¾ inch from each side.

So I measure this out and use a pencil to mark the edges.  I only put tick marks as I don’t need a line going across the entire sheet. 

Preparing for the Cut

I then place my ruler matching up the marks that I put on my artwork.  The ruler goes on the side of the artwork to the edge you are cutting off will poke out from under it.

The reason for this is IF you slip or get off line then it doesn’t cut the artwork itself.

Cutting the Artwork

Once it is lined up, hold down the ruler and take you knife and run it down the edge with slight pressure.  There is no need to push hard as it is better to make a few passes than one and not have a straight line.

Keep pressure on the ruler and take additional passes if necessary.  Be sure to check that you are cut all the way through BEFORE lifting your hand.  This will ensure that your ruler stays in place. Realigning your ruler exactly isn’t always the easiest.

Repeating the Process

Once you finished the first side continue doing the same thing on the three additional sides.

Finishing Up

And, that’s it…easy peasy….Is there something you would like me to demonstrate?  If so leave it in the comments below and I will be happy to give it a go. 

Until Next time…keep on arting!

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