Miniature Crosshatched Paper Dioramas by Matthew Pleva

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New York based artist Matthew Pleva has a talent for finely detailed crosshatched drawings as well as a knack for dioramas, which I first discovered on his Instagram. In this series there are a range of layered sketched works in found objects and containers that all miniature. He sources these containers to be used and from there the development of what is to be “placed inside” begins. Through the development of his crosshatched sketch work, he then breaks down the drawing into smaller pieces, rendering each layer as well as their elements, some of which aren’t visible in the final composition, and assembling to create these interesting scenes.


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Through the process of creating these dioramas, he transfers the pieces onto good paper, inks, colors and cuts out each part. Once each layer has been cut out, he reinforces each layer and its elements with a sort of skeletal structure. To do this, he mostly uses brass rod 0.20 inches in diameter. From there he assembles each piece, sometimes trimming along the way, but for the most part the piece is done.

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“I have been making dioramas since I was a kid and repeatedly signed out of the library “The Trip” by Ezra Jack Keats. The boy in the book would build his own dioramas in shoe boxes and disappear onto the worlds he built in them. Included in the book were directions on how to build your own. I made sooooooo many of them. Fast forward past art school and all the different media i had been using there but no access to after I started drawing/illustrating again. The led itself back to dioramas and I haven’t looked back since.The only thing that has really changed is size. I started using mostly cigar sized boxes but the pieces were taking way too long so I have strived to make them smaller and smaller. Working as a jeweler for 10 years after college was incredibly useful in learning how to work in a miniaturized world.” – Matthew Pleva

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images courtesy of Matthew Pleva via submission

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