Friday, November 22, 2013

Make it Better: Silhouette DIY

When we were little, my brother and I were instructed to hold our hands behind our backs when we visited museums and galleries. Did your parents instruct you to do that? We went to a lot of museums and galleries, so it was pretty drilled into our heads -- we now joke that we both instinctively clasp our hands behind our backs anytime we look at artwork.

To me, artwork is very personal. I cannot understand the idea of an interior designer buying artwork for someone, because I want to love every piece I buy. I want to look at it, and not be able to stop looking at it. I want it to take my attention away from the show I'm watching on television, and hold my gaze long enough that I have to rewind when I realize I've missed something. Simply put, I want to fall in love with it.

Of course, building a collection of art that moves its owner means slowly finding pieces over a lifetime. And in the meantime, one does not necessarily want to live with white walls, so perhaps a few interior designer bought pieces aren't so bad after all. Another option is to include a few pieces one makes herself. Who knows? She may end up loving them just as much as the ones she finds at galleries.

A past apartment had a terribly misplaced fuse box in the middle-left of the living room wall. I covered it by creating silhouette art in a large enough size that one frame hid it. I added a second silhouette to the right to make it appear that we just chose to put up pictures there. In our current abode, these silhouettes hang on either side of our bed, as pictured above.

There are lots of tutorials on creating silhouettes from photographs, but most expect one to use a projector, or do something else just as complicated. These were very simple to make -- read on to see the easy instructions...

-Profile photo
-Black marker
-Black construction paper
-White paper

I chose to do profiles of my cat and dog, but I've also used people, so one can use any loved one she likes. Children's silhouettes are a sweet choice. Start out with a picture of the subject in profile, printed out (can be done on regular printer paper). Trace the profile with a black marker to make the outline easy to see.

On a photocopier, enlarge the copies as big as they will go, and print out a copy of the subject's head. This may need to be repeated a few times to get the subject's profile to the size desired -- my final photocopy was two pages worth. Cut out.

Using the enlarged profile, trace onto black construction paper, and frame over the white paper for contrast.

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"There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- God damn it, you've got to be kind."
-Kurt Vonnegut