Silhouette Art

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

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

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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 completely on symmetry, my art would literally not exist without ti. I’d like to share some of that fascination by exploring a certain weird symmetry which infuses our lives. .

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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!

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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. 

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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.

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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

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Silhouette scissors in action

New silhouette scissors

ONE OF THE QUESTIONS people most often ask when they see me cutting is “How many pairs of silhouette scissors do you get through?” I get the impression they’re expecting to hear that I use at least six pairs a night! When I explain that I’ve been using the same pair of scissors for the

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