How I make leather pictures

To create my scenic artwork I arrange varicolored pieces of real leather, chamois, and fur. I created my first leather picture in 2007 (see photo). Today, my international customers buy them for their own enjoyment and as gifts.

My design inspiration comes from the beautiful Crimean landscape of mountains and the sea. Working from a photo of the Crimean landscape, I graphically edit the picture in back and white and take away shadows. As a result I get lines only: outlines of the horizon, mountains, and hills. Then I draw the foreground by hand. After all these manipulations I get something the artist calls “cartoon,” in other words, a pattern. I print the pattern sheet in actual size and cut it into details. Using these paper patterns, I scissor out leather and chamois to match the pieces and glue them.

I use two glues in the process of making pictures: white glue (PVA) and superglue. The wooden frame is covered by leather or chamois. Frame’s width is 2 cm (near 0,8 in). The backside of all pictures is a sheet of very stout carton covered by fabric. On the backside of every picture is a photo of the “model” landscape from which I drew my inspiration.

I am often asked “How much time does it take for you to make your picture?” It is quite difficult to reply to this question. It depends on how long I draw a sketch for a new picture. There are times when the process takes one day or two, but it is not an infrequent situation that picture design develops over several years. But when a cartoon is ready and I have all the materials needed, the picture is made in three to six days. The length of time depends on the structural complexity of the chosen picture.