Turtle Paper Happy Ninja Power!

TMNT Leonardo cut paper art by Patrick Gannoncut paper / wood
15 x 10cm
private collection

I have a confession to make. I’m exactly three years too old to have played with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles toys. I am able to pinpoint the time gap because my younger brother, Loki, was the exact right age to play with them. His collection was mighty. Even though I was way too mature, I occasionally deigned to join in on the action figure battle royales. Sometimes I even played with him. After all, what are big brothers for.

Leonardo, Captain of the turtle team, was always my favorite. I’m not sure if it was his serious demeanor or his katana sword that won me over. Even though I was always more a fan of the comic than the cartoon (what kid wouldn’t pick gritty violence over silliness and pizza???) I went with the blue mask here. Y’see, originally all the turtles’ masks were red. No, I’m not embarrassed that I know that. Seeing as he’s all ninja-y, I used some fantastic traditional Japanese paper for the shell. I don’t play with patterns all that much, so I’m very happy with how it turned out.

Coincidentally, the monthly topic over at the El Gran Frikiton blog is TMNT. Go figure.

Illustration Friday


  1. zari’s avatar

    your style is so original!

  2. Alina’s avatar

    AWESOME style!!


  3. Nicole’s avatar

    Very interesting!

  4. froggie’s avatar

    fantastic, patrick! the peekout layers work soooo well! :))

  5. Irwing’s avatar

    You are very skillful with using textures. Congratulations for your work.

  6. Andrew Thornton’s avatar

    I always look forward to your pieces. Another winner, indeed! For someone who doesn’t “play” with pattern much, you’ve used it masterfully. Nicely done.

  7. Mike’s avatar

    Outstanding work…excellent.

  8. Digital Scott’s avatar

    Quite beautiful! I love the composition. Very strong.

  9. patrick’s avatar

    Thanks everyone (and welcome to Papercuts to the first-timers!). Mind you, when I say “play”, I’m not minimizing fun experimentation. I think play is an important part of art. An important part of everything, really. Keeps life fresh and interesting.

    On a side note, the original plan was to have the wood pattern show through the shell pattern. It wasn’t really working, so that’s when the Japanese paper entered the picture.

  10. Paul  Bommer’s avatar

    your work is inspiring patrick
    and absolutely unique
    will definitely check back

  11. fossfor’s avatar

    wow! this is very impressive, great work!

  12. Sarah’s avatar

    This is amazing. The textures work so well and I love the sense of bulk and solidity the layers give to the whole image. If you’re willing to share I’d love to know a bit about your process – also the size of the work?

    And thanks for visiting my blog.

  13. Kim’s avatar

    This is so awesomely cool! Do you ever sell these or prints of it? Or the canvases and buttons?

  14. onesickindividual’s avatar

    that is one sick piece. diggin the detail.

  15. Maarit’s avatar

    My little brother was into TMNT too. He’s eight years younger than me, so I was way too old for them, but I do remember playing a TMNT computer game a couple of times!

    The pattern works well, I think, and I like the way the composition makes the piece look almost abstract in a way. Nice!

  16. michael’s avatar

    that is crazy!! i love the turtles, and that style is v v nice – all your stuf is original and creative. i really like your piece on christopher walken hehe genius!

  17. Alexiev gandman’s avatar

    That good work collage… me guta much… Greetings from Buenos Aires… and very good works…

    Alexiev Store

  18. Manuela’s avatar

    wow I like his skin

  19. eli edmundson’s avatar

    Hell, I used to play the old TMNT role playing game, I was a walrus, damnit! The original comics were definitely the best. Love the movement in this one!

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