The Last Silhouettist

A modern-day silhouettist tells his story. Charles Burns writes about his research into the art and history of silhouette. On the way he meets some fascinating characters, both ancient and modern.

 Mixed-media silhouettes of buildings

 Mixed-media silhouettes of buildings

Today, the making of silhouettes is synonymous with paper cutting.  However, this was not always so.  Silhouettists of the past were intent on the capturing of shadows, the medium was secondary to this end. (more…)

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A silhouette of Marie Antoinette

A silhouette of Marie Antoinette

Last Wednesday I picked up an eighteenth-century silhouette by Isabella Beetham. Beetham is a well-known Georgian artist and her work is much prized by collectors today. She is something of a feminist icon. (more…)

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Hollow-cut life studies

Hollow-cut life studies

The month of May, as well as being busy season for silhouette cutting at weddings and other events, is also the month for Mays Barn open studio here in Reading. (more…)

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Doll’s House Silhouettes

Doll’s House Silhouettes

One of my favourite projects in Mastering Silhouettes was to create a set of silhouettes for a doll's house. However, I had to think carefully about scale! (more…)

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The Book is Launched!

The Book is Launched!

My new book, Mastering Silhouettes, was launched last month with a small party at the London Sketch Club.  We were fortunate enough to be sponsored by Hendricks Gin, after I worked at their "umbrella emporium" party last year. They supplied the drink, so it was a small but tasty party.  Thank you Hendricks!  (more…)

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Sent to publisher

Sent to publisher

I managed to finish the book, and lots of free silhouettes are going out in the post.  "Mastering Silhouettes", full of silhouette ideas, is coming out in February and is available now for advance ordering on Amazon. (more…)

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Painted silhouettes and Mr Charles

Painted silhouettes and Mr Charles

I am feeling very pleased with myself having just sent the manuscript for my book to the publishers this morning, full of painted silhouettes.  I can sit back and relax for the first time in many weeks. (more…)

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Your profile needed!

Your profile needed!

I need to ask for a little help. I've been commissioned to write a silhouette book, which for me is very exciting.  The book is due to come out sometime in 2012.  It will feature a wide variety of silhouette portraits, both traditional and modern, interspersed with snippets of history about eccentric silhouettists from the eighteenth century onwards. (more…)

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