The Drama of Découpage

Seema Aery’s home in Gurugram is a gallery of three-dimensional paintings. Each painstakingly layered, they come ‘alive’ as you view them. 

The artist’s interest in Découpage got ignited during her husband’s posting in Kuala Lumpur in 2003 when she saw her Korean and Japanese neighbours learning this art form from an American lady. 

‘I spent the next three years imbibing and mastering this detailed form which requires intricate cutting, pasting, and painting multiple layers for the 3-D effect. Each canvas takes two to three months to complete, depending upon size and layering required,’ says the Découpeur who has created over 50 canvases.

Describing how she tackles the intricacies of her delicate designs, Seema elaborates, “I start by taking 6 to 7 lithographs of the same painting and analysing the ways I can bring out the details of depth and perception in the painting. The idea is to layer and contour different parts of the subject in such a way that the 2-D lithograph turns into a three-dimensional artwork, bringing it to life. Next, cut-outs are made of each and every object, down to the smallest detail possible. Then I curve out or shape up the cut-outs using dedicated tools, and layer the pieces using silicone and glue. This exercise is repeated, starting from the background and sculpting the layers, upwards to the foreground. The final touch for completion is by applying glaze to the paper tole/ Decoupage to highlight the 3-D effect.” 

Time spent on each work depends on the size and intricacies of the base painting. Typically, Seema spends a few weeks on smaller and simpler pieces, while the larger, more detailed Decoupage can take up to two-three months. Each attempt requires at least three to four hours of continuous, diligent, focused work with deep concentration during each sitting. The artist prefers to work on one project at a time, with the completion giving her immense satisfaction.

Currently, the artist’s portfolio of themes comprises panoramas, street scenes, flowers, animals, and Japanese geishas. Seema is now increasingly innovating Indian subjects commissioned by clients.

Contact Seema Aery –
Tel: +91 9812433398
Email: iaeryseema@gmail.com

Amita Sarwal
Amita Sarwal

After an erratic 10-year practice as a homeopathic doctor, Amita took to writing in 1973.  Her 45+ year career encompasses contributions to a very extensive gamut of magazines and newspapers- in India and abroad-on lifestyle, travel, architecture, personalities, book, and restaurant reviews, etc.  
During her 21 years based in Singapore, she was an Editor with the renowned publisher Editions Didier Millet and completed six pictorial encyclopedias on Indonesia and Malaysia among other coffee table books.  Her personal passion was writing ‘The spirit of SKV’- Chronicle of a Girls’ School to mark the Golden Jubliee (2006) of her alma mater Scindia Kanya Vidyalaya, Gwalior.
Now Amita has an increasingly strong focus on featuring Changemakers/Unsung heroes of India who are helping make a difference to society-“because the world needs to know about their exemplary work.”  Yoga, social work to help the underprivileged, reading and collecting forms of Lord Ganesh also keep her busy.


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Picture Credit : Seema Aery, Gurugram


14 thoughts on “The Drama of Découpage”

  1. The article gives a detailed insight into an art form which not many know about.it was indeed interesting to learn about the painstaking process it involves.A good subject & a well written article.

  2. Congratulations Seema ji….what a talented and gifted artist you are….

    Thank you Amita ji for giving an insight into this intricate art form which requires great amount of patience and perseverance…

  3. Extremely well written by Amita Sarwal. The paintings are really beautiful. It feels like they come alive when viewed. I have never before seen such a technique in art. My best wishes to the Artist, and to Amita, for starring this article with me. fleurFleur Latouche.

  4. Wonderfully written article about this very special artform. Seema is such a talented artist and can see the kind of hard work that must be going in each painting. Thank you Amitaji for the detailed insight on this stunning artform and its artist.

  5. Seema is a very hard working lady and a such talented artist, I saw her and her work in Kulampur in Malaysia. She is hard working lady.Thank you Amita ji for you insight into this artfrom and its artists. Thank you very much .

    1. Absolutely beautiful…such an amazing talent and dedication .
      .Wish you ll both Success Seema & Amita!

  6. Congratulations Seema ji. Came to know about your focussed and dedicated work and your talent in this decoupage art through your pictures.god bless you. Thanks to Amitaji for the detailed insight given through the article.

  7. Simply stunning! Seema’s work is very unique and a perfect example of the phrase ‘God is in the details’. Amitaji has beautifully expressed her work and talent through her simplistic style of writing that covers every aspect of the artists work keeping it intriguing for the reader! Looking forward to more like this!

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