Silhouette Art

Thoughts about the art and practice of silhouette portraiture, in all its myriad forms, in both traditional and experimental forms.

Man with cloth cap and question mark

How familiar are you with the silhouette?

If you’ve seen me cut a silhouette, you’re probably more familiar with this shadowy art than most. But how much do you really know about them? My question today is more about silhouette imagery, as used in advertisements, illustrations and popular art, than about the craft I practice. It’s the concept, or idea of a

Read more »

Cutting around a photo to make a silhouette

How can I make a silhouette myself?

I’m often asked if there’s an easy way to make a silhouette. If you have a mobile phone, yes there is! Here’s an easy project you can do at home during the holidays to make silhouettes of your family. Try it out with your children, parents, friends or siblings. I will show you how to

Read more »

Four silhouettes in almost exact symmetry

Weird Symmetry

AS AN ARTIST interested in science I’ve always been fascinated by symmetry. As a silhouettist I rely on symmetry, my art would literally not exist without it. I’d like to share some of that fascination by exploring a the symmetry which infuses all our lives. Symmetry is so commonplace we mostly don’t see it, but

Read more »

Two en grisaille portraits

En Grisaille Portrait Silhouettes

I BEGAN PLAYING with an en grisaille portrait many years ago. At the time, I was experimenting with traditional techniques for adding gold details (known as embellishing) and began scribbling pencil notes on my white copies. I began to find these white copies more interesting than the finished silhouettes!

Read more »

Classic cameo silhouettes

Cameo Silhouettes

Classic cameo silhouettes THE SIMPLEST of silhouettes is the classic cameo, often called a bust-length silhouette. This kind of silhouette was popular all over England during the Georgian and Regency periods. The majority of silhouettists working today still predominantly make cameo silhouettes. 

Read more »

Speed cutting: SS still

Speed cutting secrets

SOMETHING WHICH struck me after the “Off With Your Head!” speed-cutting contest was just how entertaining it had all been. With Cindi Rose and I cutting back-to-back, silhouettes began filling the room within minutes. Everybody went away with at least one portrait and most got two. Wherever I looked there were people laughing, joking and comparing profiles.

Read more »

Speed-cutting preparation: a cup of Earl Grey tea and a biscuit

Some very fast Germans

AN INTERESTING CHALLENGE was set for us by a client in Germany. He wanted each of 250 conference delegates to receive a silhouette – cut from their own corporate-blue paper – during a conference dinner.  My initial proposal (based on tried-and-tested advice to allow two minutes per person) was to book four artists.  He replied

Read more »

Scroll to Top