Thursday, December 20, 2007
Silhouettes were all the rage in the early 1800s and by the looks of pop culture today they are back and in big business. Apple featured silhouetted hipsters grooving to their iPods. Many trucks feature the iconic "mud flap" girl and modern card and wrapping paper designers are featuring everything from silhouetted chandeliers to party girl accessories.
Silhouette artists have been creating cut masterpieces for more than 200 years, using their scissors to capture the image of a loved one without a camera. The process of cutting your way to a masterpiece has just a few steps and the results are simply stunning. You can create silhouettes of family members, friends and pets.
You can cut your image using the traditional matte black paper or show off your wild side with a small striped print or a hot pink glossy paper. Frames and backing papers can be coordinated to your room's color palette. For a cozy look consider attaching your cut pieces to a small canvas covered with a linen or velvet fabric.
If you want to create something a little less traditional like a silhouette of a chandelier, elegant sofa or even an airplane, look in magazines, newspapers and books for images to use for inspiration.
Silhouettes don't have to be tiny! Go big and bold by blowing up your image on a photo copier and use over-sized black paper. Large sheets of solid and embossed papers can be found at art supply and stationery shops.
You will want to work with a sharp pair of scissors and I recommend using a scissor designed for detail work that fits comfortably in your hand. No matter how you cut it, this age old art form is making a bold comeback. So grab some scissors and make the first cut.
photograph of a face or object (simple photos with minimal detail work best)
black paper (the size of the photo)
background paper (size of the frame)
Choose a photo that is simple, preferably with a profile view of a person or object. Using scissors and/or a utility knife, cut around the shape of the subject in the photograph; this shape creates a template. Trace the template onto the black paper (tracing on the back of the paper will keep pencil marks from showing). Use scissors or a utility knife to cut out the traced shape. Apply glue to the back of the image, mount the image on background paper and place in a frame.