Instead Of Paint, This Artist Lets The Natural World Bring These Paper Cutout Silhouettes Of Animals To Life

Beavers, hedgehogs, and giraffes — oh my!

Art doesn't always have to be extravagant — and oftentimes, it's the simple approach that can have the most beautiful results. With just a piece of paper, something sharp, and the world around him, Russian artist Nikolai Tolstyh is making animal-inspired masterpieces that perfectly blend with nature.

Tolstyh — a self-described journalist, bibliophile, art lover, natural craftsman, and crazy heart — is doing some pretty incredible things on Instagram. He makes silhouettes of various animals and holds them up to natural settings. The outcome isn't just clean images of the animal being brought to life, but it also gives the paper a gorgeous frame, too.

While this isn't groundbreaking by any stretch of the imagination and papercutting as an artform has been around for centuries, it's often Tolstyh's choice of the background that takes it to the next level. Just take a look at examples such as the beaver, hedgehog, and giraffe.

The beaver is taken up a notch by using wood — that animal's go-to item — to provide texture. When it comes to the hedgehog, placed against the stump, the lines become the animal's quills. As for the giraffe — which gets a field of flowers as a base — sees the coloring mimic what the animal looks like IRL.

Take a look at some more of our favorite animal-themed art pieces from Tolstyh here:

(H/T: Fubiz)

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