Simple Silhouette Tutorial

Over the weekend whilst I was charity-shopping, I came across these darling oval canvasses in a pound shop and decided buy a couple, certain that I would come up with a crafty use for them at some point in the near future. And then I remembered I'd spotted a pair of pretty-but-pricey silhouettes at a vintage fair a few weeks ago and how I'd wanted to make some of me & Ed as a very early wedding DIY.

If I'm honest, you don't really need to follow a tutorial to do this as it's very straight-forward, but I thought I'd show you how I did it and how mine turned out.

You will need: a canvas/canvasses or card, profile photos (as in side-on) of the silhouette-ee's, a pencil, black marker (like a Sharpie), plain paper, black paint, paintbrush, scissors and scrap newspaper.

1. To start with, find good photos of yourself or the subject side-on and print to an appropriate size to fit your canvas. Making sure you have protected any surfaces with newspaper, use the black marker to draw a single, continuous line around the outline of your chosen face. Even if you only have photos that capture part of the face, like I do, you can start there and fill in the blanks with your imagination.



2. Turn the paper over. The marker should have bled through, giving you a clear outline to work from. I had to add both mine and Ed's hair so this took a little time, studying photos and reworking the outlines in pencil. When I'd settled on my final draft, I outlined it in marker and photocopied them both, shrinking them by about 10% to fit the canvasses.

3. Cut out the faces carefully, cutting as close to the drawn line as possible. Place the faces onto the canvasses. They traditionally face inwards towards each other to indicate a relationship or to symbolise a wedding but if you're only doing a singular silhouette, you can go either way.
Draw around the faces lightly with a pencil.



4. Now it's time to practice the stay-within-the-lines method of painting we all did so well as children. I used acrylic paint but realised quickly that this was much too thick and hard to control. I would recommend sticking to water-based paint for an easier ride and make sure you have a few different sized brushes to suit the intricate parts around the eyes, nose and mouth.


5. Et voila! Leave them to dry and very shortly after, you'll have a lovely pair of silhouettes to do with as you please! I plan on buying a couple of black oval frames and using them as decor for my wedding. They would look great hanging behind the top table at a reception or as a photography prop.



One last thing: I know this would have been much easier to do with a copy of Photoshop and a bit of techie know-how, but I decided to do it this way on purpose, to keep it handmade, simple and something to keep my crafty side satisfied on a rainy Sunday afternoon!

16 comments:

  1. great post!!! i love this. <3 have a lovely day! xo

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  2. They look great! I don't think I'd have the patience to be honest. I think they'll look perfect at your wedding.

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  3. these are goregous! If I didn't hate the profile of my nose so much I'd definitely try this out! I wonder if they'd make a nice wedding gift though for the next wedding I go to...

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  4. Wow, these look amazing! I wish I had enough creative flare to do something like this...I know that it's simple enough but judging by my painting efforts that I posted today I think it's beyond me!

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  5. Oh they're fab!! Doing it the Photoshop way would be so soulless. This is way more fun, plus you can do fun stuff like drawing your own hair. I would be tempted to edit my jawline a little bit if I tried it, haha.

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  6. This DIY is amazing Ellie, I love it! Really want to try this myself when I have a bit of time =)

    http://shop.ebay.co.uk/han_han3/m.html?_trksid=p4340.l2562

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  7. Oooh I really want to give this a go x

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  8. This is so neat!! They came out amazing! :)

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  9. Fab crafty project, definately putting this down as one to try!

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  10. oh my Ellie these are beautiful! good job!! and handmade is so much better than using a computer! xxx

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  11. oh, this is such a beautiful and simple diy! i remember doing something like this when i was younger, i'm definitely going to have to try it again when i get the chance!

    thank-you for your lovely, lovely comment ellie! :')

    xx

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  12. This is so so lovely :)

    Maria xxx

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  13. Whaaat these are hella cute

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  14. I love these! So personal and so different. I expected you to do it the way we did at school - shining a light onto paper and tracing the outline (everyone mocked me because my bottom lip stuck out so much, yay school). But this way is better, and they look awesome. I love cameos. It would be amazing if you could get little versions done and wear each others somehow - maybe Ed with cufflinks, and you with a pendant?

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