Tuesday, October 9, 2012

DIY Silhouette Portraits

In honor of my Grandma's 89th birthday today (or should I say 29th, which was the number she gave me whenever I asked as a kid) I thought I would share this silhouette portrait of her and her two brothers from 1938 and the DIY project it inspired me to do.


I love how detailed this silhouette portrait is despite its inherent simplicity. The artist managed to capture the waves and parts of their hair,  the buttons on my grandma's blouse, the outline of her brothers' ties and even their eyelashes.

She told me a man went door to door offering to create the silhouettes for families in her neighborhood.  As it was the Depression, this was an economical way to take a family portrait.



If you don't expect a silhouette artist ("silhouette-ist"?) to knock on your door anytime soon, here's what you need to create your own:

Digital Camera, Black Paper, White Paper (or any two colors of your choosing, scrapbook paper from any craft store works well as it has some stiffness), Scissors, Pen/Pencil, Double-Stick Tape or Glue Stick, and a Picture Frame.

1. Start by getting your subject to sit still long enough to snap a profile of their face with your digital camera.

2. Use a photo editing program (I used Microsoft Office Picture Manager) to adjust the image size and crop so the subject's profile fits inside your frame. Then print the photo.

3. Trace the profile, this makes cutting it out much easier.

4. Place your white paper behind the photo and cut out both sheets along the traced profile.

5. Adhere your cut-out profile to the black paper.

WHA- LA!

The Whole Family!
While my portraits don't quite include the level of detail as my grandma's, this timeless art form still manages to capture the smirk on Dan's face and Francie's serious curiosity while creating wonderfully graphic and personal art for my wall.

-Grif

1 comment:

  1. I want one of these too!!! Awesome!

    Leslie

    ReplyDelete

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