My very first diorama was of a movie theater, made in sixth grade. I drew each row of seats and in the back was the movie screen. (I forget what was showing in my make-believe theater.) It was included at the local public library for a display they had of kid’s art, which was cool, but then my friend’s dad took it home and threw it out.
My second one was this one that I do amazingly still have, of “The Old Man and the Sea.”
For this current series, I made little dioramas inside 5x7 card boxes. For each one, I started with a picture idea that would look good in three dimensions. That means I needed a good “frame” around the image, and then some additional parts that will look good poking out. This is sometimes easier said than done. I’ve had to discard a number of picture ideas as they didn’t provide places to “pop out.”
Then you need to draw the layers. At first I just drew the image as a flat drawing and then cut out the parts that would be in front. This is how I did the one of the Train Car. I soon realized that this made it harder to give the illusion of depth, as you wouldn’t really be able to see “behind” the layers. I began to instead draw each layer separately, resulting in several drawings for each final piece.