Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Happy Valentine's Day ( a little belated) I wanted to do this for Brad's gift over the weekend, but we were so busy cooking and prepping for a dinner party, that it had to wait. I've been thinking about trying my hand at silhouettes and this is my first attempt. I've always loved them and my parents have black silhouettes from our toddler years. There has definitely been a revival lately and I think maybe even a market for these paired with calligraphy?
Next up will be my nieces. Katherine loves purple and I'll do one for her for her room. Ansley's favorite color changes, so i'll have to ask when i see her this weekend.

I researched a little bit about this unique artform and found several folks that do this. One fellow has done it for years, Karl Johnson. He sounds incredible and actually does not draw out the figures, but looks at an image or live model and starts snipping away!! I am not that confident yet.
I am sure there are some that use a computer to create a perfect silhouette, but I decided to use a photograph the same way I would use photos for painting reference....as a reference. So, these lines are not perfectly accurate, but you would not want them to be anyways. Editing out the wrinkles in a shirt and designing the shapes gives the image personality and allows me to control the composition.

I sketched the outline on a piece of paper. Once I was happy with the line work, I used the sketch as a template. With an exacto knife, I cut out the shapes in the patterned paper.

I used to love cut paper collages when i studied illustration, so this feels a little bit like a full circle. Combining my love of shape, figure and calligraphy. Can't wait to do more!

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