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Step 1: Starting your document and design
Start by creating a new document in your chosen design software; I’m using Affinity Designer in these screenshots with a document sized to match the cut area of my cutter.
To the mat, I add an A5 blue rectangle (210mm wide and 148.5mm tall). This is my background layer so the colour isn’t important, but something other than white will help you.
Switch to an oval tool (or shape) and size this to match the width of your background piece and narrow height-wise as this shape becomes our shoulders. Line it up so the base of the background piece aligns with the middle of your oval.
Step 3: Drawing the head and welding
Use a simple oval to start with; you can always get more fancy as you get more confident. As you can see from the screenshot, the neck is virtually hidden by the shoulders and head. The width of your oval will really change the look of your card, so spend time getting the proportions right.
Once you are happy, select all three flesh shapes and weld/merge/add them together. All design software can do this step.
Step 4: Tidying up
Before continuing onwards, we need to set in stone the design of the body…
Tidying up the shoulders is the first task. Add a rectangle that is the same width as your background and align it to the base of the background. Subtract this rectangle from the head shape to give a straight base to the head shape. At this point, you can also use corner rounder tools that are available in some software titles, but this is down to personal preference.
Step 5: Starting the Hat
Start by drawing the lower edge of the brim of the hat; remember that in most software, you don’t have to complete the brim all in one go.
I drew the lower edge of the brim using just four clicks; click on the left hand edge of the background at the height you want you brim to start. Next, you move a third of the way across your page (and down a little) and click and drag to the right to form the first part of the curve; repeat at the next third and above the original point. Finally, click on the right hand edge level with your first point.
I stopped once I got to the other side of the card; this enable you to check the left hand and right hand points are level before continuing (you can use the align tools to check this in most professional design software).
Step 6: Completing the brim of the Hat
Clicking back on the end point of your line continues the line so you can complete your brim. You can repeat the same process as the lower edge but in reverse and be sure to close the shape. Even Canvas Workspace has a button you can check this with when you are in node mode.
Step 9: Creating the back layer
With the back brim selected, stretch the nodes to fill the gap between the brims.
Duplicate the front brim and head shape and send them to the back. Select both back brims and the duplicated head shape and weld the three together. This layer should sit directly above the background shape.
Step 10: Decorating the cut file
Firstly, you need to add hair: do this in two layers. The foremost layer of hair should be the fringe and front side pieces; do this as one piece if possible. The back-most layer fills in the gaps of the front section and should be welded with another copy of the head shape.
Eyes are a little cheat if you have a program that can do varying line weights (otherwise known as line width or pressure). Draw a simple arch (click, click-drag, click) and apply a varying line width; you want your stroke to be broader towards where the nose should be. You can repeat this for the eyes themselves (again, you can zoom into the photo if it helps). Select both paths and Expand Stroke. If your software doesn’t allow varying line widths you will need to draw the shape with the pen/path tool instead.
As these pieces are so small, you want to subtract them from the head shape.
The mouth is created in much the same way, using the line width function, but this time on a closed shape which is like a sideways D. Duplicate this shape and fill it with white and remove the stroke. Expand the original lip shape.
The finished card
I added two holes for earrings to be slotted through with I subtracted from the Head shape, the hair, the back layer and the background.