Make your own silhouette art

Photo: Nicole Radja Silhouettes have been singled out as a hot decor trend lately. From a design perspective, it’s a no-brainer: The simple...

Photograph: Nicole Radja
Photo: Nicole Radja

Silhouettes have been singled out as a hot decor trend lately. From a design perspective, it’s a no-brainer: The simple outline makes a bold statement…and with a small amount of cash, so can you. Inspired by a post last spring on DesignSpongeonline.com on DIY silhouettes, I decided to create a collection of portraits of my immediate family members. After scavenging for four 4-by-6 inch photos with a profile (or at least three-quarter) perspective, I outlined their figures on tracing paper and cut them out with an X-Acto knife. Holding the paper in place (use tape for extra ease), I lightly penciled a single outline of each figure on four mini 4-x 4-inch canvases. I selected three colors of complementary acrylic paints—one for filling in the figure, one for the negative space and the other for the edge of the canvas—and painted four pretty pictures. For the three-quarter profiles, I penned in parts of the portrait, such as the hairline and jawbone, to distinguish the face shape. If you’d prefer to steer clear of brushes and paint, select two contrasting fabrics; secure the tracing paper silhouette on one fabric, cut out the shape, and use the second fabric as a backdrop. Glue to a hard surface such as cardstock, and frame.

Supplies from Blick Art Materials (42 S State St, 312-920-0300; 574 N Kingsbury St, 312-573-0110):

Three tubes of acrylic Blick Artist’s paint $4 each
+ Winsor & Newton paint brush $2
+ X-Acto $3
+ 4 canvases $3 each
+ tracing paper $0.25 per 8 1/2 x 11 sheet
TOTAL COST $29.25

Not feeling artsy? We've got some suggestions for some great silhouette pieces that you can purchase, click here to find out more.

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