Saturday, 19 May 2012

Silhouette Potraits

I made silhouette portraits of my kids some time ago. It is a great alternative to boring photographs. Silhouette is an image of a person / object / scene represented by a solid shape of a single colour, usually black. It was popular in the 18th and 19th centuries before the invention of cameras and at the time when paintings were luxuries. Classic silhouette portraits usually come in oval-shaped frames. Here are some inspirations I found on the internet.


So I decided to have a go. First, I looked for suitable frames. I tried to find oval frames but couldn't find cheap ones. These I got for RM1.50 each from BST shop. I spray-painted them in black.

Then, gather all other supplies. I bought thicker art papers in black and white and a good quality, high precision pen knife. Then, I snapped the side views of my kids. I intended to do just the head and half body silhouette. The photos need to be taken against a bright background or white walls to highlight the outlines. Print the photos on normal papers. The photo size depends on the frames. Then, cut the outlines. Carefully trace the outlines on the black art paper with white colour pencil. Once again cut the outlines very carefully with the penknife.  

Next, pasted the silhouettes on the center of the frame-sized white paper. I chopped my daughter's ponytail a little bit to make her portrait more balanced. I also also trimmed her head shape a little as I felt it looked too much like an alien's head (I hope she doesn't read this!). However, I wouldn't recommend the trimmings since it is better if we keep the exact image for memory.  I coloured her hair ribbon with the same white colour pencil. The finishings are quite detailed actually - it is not visible here but we can see my kids curled eyelashes. So pretty. I wrote their names and ages in pencil underneath.

This project can be done as the kids age as a testimony of their growth. You can do this on anybody and anything ... family members, pets, wedding pictures, house, etc...  And not limited to papers but on ceramic plates, or using papers from other colours, or patterns, etc... Just experimenting your ideas! It makes great gifts too!

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